Mooijer started his seafood career in the 1960s, working at the family fishmonger in Amsterdam, and went on to become one Europe’s most successful seafood entrepreneurs, specialising in the processing of prawns and shrimp. Over the decades he turned the company, Klaas Puul, into a seafood empire with locations in seven countries, a turnover of €200 million and 3,500 employees.
He was known to be both energetic and courageous. When, in 1989, the home peeling of shrimps was prohibited by law, he built a new peeling plant in Tangier, Morocco.
“It was a huge investment, which was not without risks,” says Sander van den Berg, the company's current CEO. “And there have been more defining moments in which Evert dared to take steps that others didn't. Evert didn't spend much time studying extensive prognoses and cost-benefit analyses.
He made them on the back of a beer mat and, after that, he mostly followed his instincts. And they seldom let them down. He was a unique entrepreneur in many ways, and a remarkable person.”
Five years ago Mooijer handed over the day-to-day management of Klaas Puul and investment company H2 Equity Partners now owns just over fifty percent of the shares. He was, however, up to the last moment involved in the company of which he had been at the helm for decades. Only seven months ago, he laid the first stone of the new main office in Volendam. He did this together with his wife Gaartje and their grandchildren. In addition to the new office on the Lupinestraat, a new fresh products plant of 5,500 square metres is being developed, while the current frozen products plant in Edam will be expanded to 3,500 square metres.
“Both new locations will comply with the highest possible hygiene and food safety standards. With these new plants, we are definitely ready for the next 25 years,” says Van den Berg. “The company is in excellent shape. We will absolutely miss his bold entrepreneurship and passion, but Evert will always be part of Klaas Puul.”