October 1st 2015: The Stroopclub was founded!
Man oh man, what a journey we’ve had so far.
Even before we got started
I still remember us getting on that plane. September 1st 2015.
3 Suitcases in total. In 2 of them half a stroopwafel iron, the 3rd one contained some personal belongings.
And that’s how we set foot on this continent. Voluntarily, can you believe that?
We left a wonderful place, a nice home in a beautiful vibrant city, Rotterdam, the most dynamic place in the Netherlands. Tako with a great job, me having fun projects. Lots of friends, family close by. A fantastic life, enough money to do whatever we want and enough friends and time to spend that whatever-we-want with. And then we left it all. For something we couldn’t possible imagine how it would turn out.
We must say….
It turned out to be great….!!
The Stroopclub, which couldn’t be more than an experiment, not having any network, not knowing anything about the culture, business, food or health regulations in this country, still turned out to be a great success! Only thanx to Beth and Adam, our Airbnb hosts, who let us use their kitchen and yard to experiment with American ingredients. They facilitated a kick start before we even got a home.
Texas Farmers’ Market: Our start at the Texas Farmers’ Markets, first at Mueller, later also at Lakeline, turned out to be a great beginning. Mostly thanx to Carla and Cypress, but also due to the rest of the crew, we started off great. It’s a great showcase, introducing Austinites with our delicious Dutch treats. It was fun, it felt like one big happy family at the market, kind of a self-sufficient community. And above that we were even making money.
Derek: Our first angel. He own, runs and bakes the Moonlight Bakery at South Lamar, if you haven’t had his breads, kolaches, pastries or croissants yet, better do so now. Closest to Europe I can tell! Starting off with some room, later with equipment for the dough making and later for supplying our dough. And he’s still a very important person to our business.
Bouldin, Bennu, Caffe Medici and Royal Blue: Slowly we grew a larger and larger number of ‘members’, we prefer not call anyone a customer. 😉 Bouldin Creek was our first ever member, Bennu Coffee came in as the biggest. The managers and the owner of Royal Blue really helped our product getting out there, people downtown have acces to stroopwafels because of them. And Caffe Medici, they’re awesome, they even give tiny wedges with their cappuccino’s. We definitely wouldn’t have been this far without this group of fantastic entrepreneurs.
Skull&Cakebones: Then we moved into a new kitchen with Skull and Cakebones, yes, the wonderful, delicious vegan cupcakes. (Vegan? Yes and you don’t even notice!) Yauss and Sacha were the ones helping us out, when we’re looking for a new spot, many thanx to them. And they’re also just incredibly awesome people to work with. Couldn’t get any better.
Dillon: Then Dillon, our own Dillon, helped us growing by acting as an operational manager. Yes, we employed our first fulltime employee. And not the least I can tell. Being in Holland for a week, being ill for another, he manages stuff. A lot of fun, but also just extremely reliable, where can you still find guys like this?
And now… We exist for a year. Fortunately still from Skull&Cakebones’ kitchen, we’re supplying 27 wholesale members now, we’re still attending the Farmers’ Markets, we’re giving ‘act de presence’ to more and more events as caterers and we’re getting more and more known throughout the city of Austin. And obviously I forgot to thank many other people, but we’re grateful to entire Austin for your support!
We’re proud, we’re grateful, we’re blessed. We have so many great people around us that support us, sometimes we can’t even believe for ourselves the situation we’re in.
A treat for all of you:
So a big thank you to you Austin, for having us. And if the Dutch celebrate their Birthday, they treat their guests. So that’s what we’ll do this weekend! We will treat you!
Come and see us at the markets this weekend and enjoy a piece of stroopwafel cheesecake with us to celebrate this milestone. We invite you all to come over and have a piece of cake!
See you at Lakeline tomorrow between 9am-1pm or at Mueller from 10am-2pm. (or both.. try the cake on Saturday and if you like it, come back on Sunday again;) )