While living in Holland, DuChâteau was one of Tom’s clients. In his facility, he and his team made the brand’s finest custom floors. It wasn’t long before DuChâteau saw a growing need to have Tom under the same roof as corporate. From a business perspective, it made sense. The shipping costs and long lead times for his floors were quite hard on our customers.
Before Tom’s move stateside, if a customer wanted to add on an extra ten square feet, it would have taken two months to arrive, but now the lead-time could be cut into just a few weeks. We wanted to do better for our customers, and Tom, of course, saw how. And so it was that Tom and his family came to San Diego and joined the DuChâteau family officially.
In Europe, wax finished hardwood floors have been around for hundreds of years, but America is just now starting to produce this special flooring. DuChâteau was actually the first to introduce these types of floors to the United States! The long wide plank floors, hard wax oil finish and rustic character of the wood are very popular in Europe. Before our process, Americans regularly purchased a more glossy and plastic-looking hardwood floors.
At first, Tom’s family were not thrilled to move to America, but once they saw the opportunity and promise of life within DuChâteau, they never looked back. The recession in Holland also made his decision simpler. As soon as they arrived, his family quickly grew to love sunny San Diego. Tom was also able to move his personal equipment from his shop in Holland, as well as purchasing new equipment once he had arrived. Amazingly, Tom even jerry-rigs some of the machines for his own purposes to further achieve a look that simply can’t be found anywhere else.
The quality has never wavered since moving his shop to the United States. His full color processing has gotten even more consistent with the weather here in San Diego. This is because some of the color processes require sunshine – something there is no shortage of here. However, given the excess of rain in Holland, this was a limiting factor to which he is no longer tied.
Since leaving three years ago, Tom has not been back to Holland, but he was able to see his family on a fishing trip in Denmark. What he misses the most are the pubs, as San Diego does not have bars like in Holland. Leiden, the city where Tom grew up, has a population of 122,000, which is comprised of over 125 pubs! The community would cram into these energetic spaces, listen to live music, play European billiards and enjoy a night of drinking. Tom also misses certain foods that are specialties of Holland. In particular, you can catch him longingly talk about “fat ass cow” steaks (“dikbil” in Dutch), raw herring fish and stinky cheese. Luckily, he did not have to make too many lifestyle changes for the move. Tom bought a boat in order to stoke his passion for fishing, even though the type of fish he catches is very different. Nevertheless, Tom and his family are happy that he made the move to San Diego to work with DuChâteau and we are thrilled to have him on board. His expertise with hardwood floors is sure to continue to make waves in the industry!