The first thing you notice when you come in is this intense smell of cake – grandma style. Second thing: the friendliness of the girl behind the counter. She has a frank and welcoming smile and the very fact she is baking cake makes her adorable. Finally, ( in case you didn’t know it in advance): everything here is vegan. This is like you’re jumping into a witch-free version of Hansel and Gretel’s tale.
Having lived next door ( now I live three streets further), it is really special to have Koffie ende Koeck as your neighbourhood cafe. I’ve been on the “vegetarian side” for more than a decade now, and above all, there’s nothing I support more than small local businesses. Those with real-people-with-a-heart behind them. Chatting with Maartje – the adorable girl, who happens to be the owner of the place – was inevitable, after so many mornings spent reading ( and working) there. I learned that, yes, she bakes & cooks everything herself, and on-site. And she sketched all the business herself as well – from scratch -, a plan which was actually rewarded with a prize for its sustainability.
The location has the best of both worlds: it is quiet but it has a view to the buzzing Westergasfabriek. Home-made baked goods and coffee ( from Bocca) do the rest ( there’s a lunch menu as well). Specialty of the house, you ask? Well, I don’t want to gossip but I heard the cinnamon rolls are Maartje’s latest success. Koffie ende Koeck gathers a very dedicated community of people who come here especially for its vegan delicacies. I particularly see a whole new generation of girls taking their mothers out for lunch. Wait a minute. I think I already know where I am going to take my mother to high tea this coming Christmas.