The people behind the place
Meet Tommy and Jorien, the managers of de Bakkerswinkel in Amsterdam’s Westerpark. Tommy started working at de Bakkerswinkel fourteen years ago when his girlfriend was a pastry chef at their location in the center (now they have two children). “Fed up with working as a penguin in a suit and a tie,” Tommy went from waiter to supervisor and is now the manager of de Bakkerswinkel in Westerpark.
Also, meet Jorien, the assistant-manager at de Bakkerswinkel. Jorien started working at de Bakkerswinkel 4 years ago, while finishing up her studies in Sociology. However, after her studies she decided not to pursue that further, but to dive into the hospitality sector. This decision was also made after having spent a year in Australia, where she learned the barista basics, and how important it is to create a friendly atmosphere in the café. The fast pace and having to work hard is exciting, and the daily contact with the guests make it worthwhile, it gives you the opportunity to brighten someone’s day with something small as a good cup of coffee.
Background of the space
Piet Hekker, the founder of de Bakkerswinkel, was born into a baker’s family and his parents had a traditional bakery in Zoetermeer. Piet was working as a hairdresser in London when he decided to return to the Netherlands and take over the family business. Tommy says that the most important thing to Piet was creating a connection with people, which has become part of de Bakkerswinkel philosophy.
Piet’s first connection was with Piet Hein Eek, the designer, who created the interiors of the Bakkerswinkel. Famous for his work with reclaimed wood, Piet has a respect and understanding for the raw materials, which are the most important component of his work. Both Piets’ believed that with the right “product, place, and people” de Bakkerswinkel could grow.
What the space is like
The philosophy of de Bakkerswinkel is to create a comfortable and cozy space where people can feel at home. The importance of friendly and helpful people is key to each Bakkerswinkel, though there are many Bakkerswinkel locations, each store has its own unique identity.
As a conscious consumer, de Bakkerswinkel believes that is important to keep it local and work with local suppliers. Supporting local businesses and embedding a sense of community in the people who visit de Bakkerswinkel.
This space is ideal for small groups of twenty to forty people, whether you are organizing a training session, a workshop, or even your wedding (de Bakkerswinkel is also listed as an official marriage location)!
The space is a reflection of how they work at de Bakkerswinkel - "It is important for us that you are yourself and you are comfortable here," according to Tommy. Not only that, but "Making money is not our key goal, connecting with people is more important," says Tommy.
Tommy says that there isn't one aspect of de Bakkerswinkel that makes them unique; rather, it is the space as a whole that is different from other places in Amsterdam. Coming to de Bakkerswinkel, people know what they are going to get: a warm, comfortable, and safe place for all.