Discover Benelux, Issue 52, April 2018

Page 52

Discover Benelux  |  Food & Drink  |  A Taste of the Netherlands

Taste the love for pure and honest cookies TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: MARIS BAKERY

You will find them in almost all the bakery departments of Dutch supermarkets and retailers: the pure and honest butter and almond paste cookies of Maris Bakery in Middelharnis, in the southwest of the Netherlands. “Our whole team loves to make the best cookies,” smiles owner Ronald Maris. Maris Bakery has been around since 1972, when Ronald’s father founded the company. “At first it wasn’t my intention to take over the bakery, even though the passion for making cookies was already there,” explains Maris. After talks with his father about which course the bakery should take, Ronald did end up running the company in 2006, making it into the success it is today. “My father was a true market baker, I wasn’t. So we shifted the focus to retail. Now our cookies are sold all over the country. And we still cater for market bakers as well.” The company has grown 52  |  Issue 52  |  April 2018

significantly over the years. “We started with a 280-square-metre space, this year we will be in a 1,700-square-metre space. And over the years, our team has grown to 16 employees.”

Combining flavours The bakery produces butter cookies and almond paste cookies. “We only use 100 per cent almond paste, without any additives. It is the only way to get that true traditional flavour everybody knows and loves,” says Maris. He also works a lot on new recipes. “It is about combining flavours: you try new things, putting this and that together. Then, you see if it works, and also if you can produce it in larger batches. “We work a lot with suppliers of our raw materials, to get the best recipes. We also work with suppliers of our production machines, to be as innovative as possible.” The Maris team comprises a combination of Dutch and Polish employees. “It

is a very versatile and professional team, which brings a lot of inspiration for new recipes. They really share my passion for cookies,” grins Maris. Although a lot of the production is automated, Maris still likes to work on the cookies manually. “We decorate the cookies by hand. So we can make them really personal and customised to our clients’ wishes. Besides that, we are also able to produce smaller batches. With a lot of bakers you have to order hundreds of boxes, whereas we can deliver orders from 50 boxes.” Maris concludes: “Everybody who has ever tasted our cookies, feels the passion the whole team has for making these authentic, pure products. It’s that extra ‘flavour’ that makes our cookies so tasty!”