You know what? You deserve a treat. And we deserve a treat. In fact, we think just about everyone deserves a treat! It's been a hell of a year. And now that we're on the subject of treats, it's impossible not to discuss Holtkamp. This glorious bakery has been an Amsterdam institution for years - over 50 years in fact! We sat down with the master of sugar herself, Marieke Buiten, to find out how the cookie crumbles. Keep reading to find out more!
gloobles: Hi Marieke! So sweet of you to chat with us. Can you tell us about a bit about Holtkamp’s history?
Marieke: Holtkamp was opened in 1969 by Petra & Cees Holtkamp. They bought the shop from another patisserie. There has been a patisserie here since 1886. The business grew, & restaurants & café’s added the cakes & croquettes to the menus. In 2002, (their daughter) Angela Holtkamp took over the business. Holtkamp kept growing & growing, & in 2015 the company was split up into a Horeca side ^ the small shop (16m2) on the Vijzelgracht.
- gloobles: Wow! We love when a place has so much history. The space is so special - it really feels like stepping back in time. What was the vision behind the design? Do you think you’ll always keep it like this?
Marieke: In 1928, the shop was built in the “Amsterdamse school” style. When Angela took over in 2002, she decided that the shop should be renovated to its original state. We love the way it is now & do not want to change this.
- gloobles: We don't blame you. We wouldn't change a thing. How would you describe Holtkamp to someone who’s never been? What sets it apart from other bakeries?
Marieke: The assortment we have is very classic. We do not go with food fashion trends but instead keep perfecting the classics we have. We use high-end & fresh ingredients to make the best products we can. We, for instance, squeeze fresh lemon juice for the lemon cake & use fresh eggs for the meringue.
- gloobles: Quality is key. What’s your go-to order at Holtkamp?
Marieke: The lemon meringue cake is our absolute favourite. But as a snack, the croquettes are also really nice.
- gloobles: Mmmmm we're getting hungry. What’s your favourite drink to pair with one of your pastries?
Marieke: The cake that we often sell for weddings is the Champagne raspberry cake. A slice of this cake with a glass of Champagne is the perfect combination.
- gloobles: We have to try that! What’s your typical customer like?
Marieke: The people that come to our shop are a perfect mix of every culture & background. We have construction workers that come in for a fast snack, couples that walk in for a wedding cake at a high end location & people that live in the neighbourhood & walk in on Saturdays for a nice pastry. So I do not believe we have a typical Holtkamp customer.
- gloobles: There's probably a pastry for just about everyone. If you could a piece of cake with anyone in the world, who would it be & why?
Marieke: We would like to have a nice big family dinner: good food, good wine & a lovely cake. That is something that is not possible at the moment because of the Coronavirus, & I think a lot of people miss that.
- gloobles: Nothing brings people together like good food. So, we just have one last question. Where do you see Holtkamp in ten years?
Marieke: I hope our shop is still going strong & keeps making people happy with our pastries.