Passionate about materials. Inspired by craftsmanship.
Hugo van Osch was born to be an entrepreneur. His whole family is made up of entrepreneurs. When he bought a new kitchen and solid worktop he knew immediately: there has to be a better way of doing this. In 1995 he and four others set up the company Arte di Granito in a small factory building in Deurne. A company that supplied high-quality kitchen work surfaces made from natural stone.
The company grew exponentially and was soon bursting at the seams. Under the motto „we must organise our work in a more clever way, not work harder” Hugo made a decision that would prove defining for Arte's future. Together with Niels van den Beucken, then an intern, he drew a plan for a new factory based on a sound structural organisation. After that, things developed quickly. The structure of the organisation proved successful and manual labour made way for industrialised processes. Niels, who was by then involved in the purchasing of materials, and Hugo were united in their objective: to supply kitchen work surfaces of the highest quality with respect for the environment and society as a whole. Arte obtained ISO 9000-certification and a new automated factory was to be built, featuring hoisting and lifting equipment, a dust extraction system, waste separation, water recycling and an internal training programme for the employees. Arte also joined TFT, an organisation that verifies the environmental and labour conditions in quarries and factories.
20 years of Arte
The construction of the new factory, however, did not go entirely smoothly. Even those close to him expressed their doubts about the new concept. The fact that he persisted was significant. He astonished friend and foe alike with the design of the new factory and its far-reaching mechanisation and automation. A unique approach within the industry sector. In 2008 the first signs of the global economic crisis started to show. This did prevent Arte from going ahead with their planned investments and building their future. The company changed its name to plain „Arte” as it added other materials such as composite stone and glass to its natural stone range. And then later on, also Dekton and ceramics.
Whenever a price war developed, Arte stood by the added value, the quality products and the service it offers. Niels, by then financial director at Arte and Hugo's right-hand man, maintained: „It's okay to slash prices once or twice but if it becomes the norm you have to let people go, which inevitably affects your quality and service. And that's something we don't want.” And so Arte continued its investment policy: a new waterjet system, new software as well as new materials and applications. In 2013 Arte was the first company in the industry sector to become CSR-certified to performance level 3.
Now, 20 years on, a lot has happened at Arte. Hugo: „We've experienced incredible growth. In the number of our employees, our product range and our production process. Despite some ups and downs over the years, one thing is certain: Arte has come out on top. We have changed, streamlined and improved the way we work. Thanks to our positive attitude and ongoing investment in innovation, people and the environment, we are where we are today. A financially
sound company with an enterprising spirit.”
Hugo and Niels.