During 1931 in the darkest days of the great depression Evert van de Sandt left his employer with an extra half a month salary to found his own business. A brave step in those harsh times, especially considering he was only 29 years old.
The first few years were tough. He was working from an office at the Hoogstraat in Rotterdam. One small room which a friend allowed him to use for free. He had a chair, desk and a telephone. In the early days his wife had to do needlework for them to get by.
During the mid 30’s the company was doing much better. Evert was one of the first to go on a business trip to the United States of America. When he returned he had won some important representations, one being the Canadian Fishing Company.
After the war he continued where he had left things and divided his company in two parts. One was the export department which mainly sold Dutch canned fish under the “VICO” brand. The other department continued the import agencies.
In 1950 he bought the office at the Straatweg, a monumental, old building. Not too much later, he was lucky to hire Mr. Bob Sauer, who brought further expansion and who took care of the business education of the second generation with great vigor.
Evert van de Sandt Jr. eventually became responsible for the Export Department while Kees van de Sandt was employed in the import agency. In 2000 the brothers decided to split up the company both keeping their part of the business. It also meant that they had to leave the office at the Straatweg.
In the new millennium, the company concentrated on four pillars: Nuts, Dried Fruits, Canned Fruits & Vegetables and Specialty Products.
In January 2012 Jelle van de Sandt, the third generation, took over as owner and president of the company. With the second generation still working, J.M. van de Sandt B.V. now has the best of two worlds and is thriving.