NØRD, coffee and products
A few weeks ago I got the tip to take a look at the Sint Jacobsstraat in Leeuwarden. There, a new design/interior shop would have been opened which would be totally my thing! If you know me a little bit, you know that I want to get on my bike as quickly as possible to cross to the city. So half an hour before closing time I was standing there of course.
Is Leeuwarden ready for this?
You can see Coffee and Products is stuck onto the windows. A mix of the catering industry and retail. A concept that is completely new for Leeuwarden. In the urban agglomeration you see a concept store (shop where the owners sell stuff they would also want to put in their own house) on every corner of the street, but here … Inside the store they sell products from all kinds of young designers and serve coffee made from beans that you do not just buy in large numbers from the wholesaler. I was very curious about how this store ended up here and therefore I asked if I could interview both owners;)
Who and how?
” We are real nerds! ” Gerard and Suus told me when I asked them the first question: who are you? A couple from the retail world that together have joined there forces to open this store. Suzanne is the head of everything around the field of creativity and Gerard does the accounting;) In other words; the commercial area.
Since the couple lived in Amsterdam for a long time, they missed the concept of a concept store;). That’s why they followed their heart to open the doors here in Leeuwarden too. Gerard also always wanted to start his own company in order to be in control. He missed the personal appreciation after working for a boss for a really long time. The appreciation that he gets out of it is many times greater! At the beginning they naturally wondered whether Leeuwarden is waiting for this: catering and shop all in one. They have asked around what people would think of this idea but in the end it’s just a try … And they did! They have looked in several places for the good location. But when this little building in the Sintjacobsstraat finally came up for rent, they grabbed their chance!
We are real Nørds!
At the beginning I did not quite understand what they meant by ‘nerds’, but after I had asked them with full conviction why they had chosen the name nOrd I was already ” tapped on the fingers ”;). Since Gerard and Suus left Amsterdam and moved to the north, I assumed that the name was inspired on that, but that turned out to be different … The Danish ø you apparently pronounce as the e of the English word nerd. And that is also what Nørd means!
They often get the question whether they know what the word means, but that was actually the goal: a catchy name that looks strong as a trademark with a Scandinavian touch and a touch of irony. And Gerard has had that experience more! When he was still working at Sissy-Boy in Amsterdam, there were constantly tourists standing in front of the windows to take pictures of the logo. And that has everything to do with the real meaning of the name: transvestite! A store that calls itself a transvestite … it’s all possible!
Fun Fact: Sissy-Boy actually means transvestite!
When I asked which item in the store was the favorite one of the owners, Gerard had his answer ready: the coffee machine! Since they have entered into a whole new adventure together, Gerard wants to learn everything about making coffee. Of course he wants to deliver quality! He also buys the more special coffee beans, which do justice to the farmers and the ones you can’t just buy from the wholesaler. It was a different story for Suus. She did not necessarily have a favorite item. All items with a story behind it appeal to her the most.
Why Scandinavian design?
Since the store is decorated in a predominantly Scandinavian style, I asked why the Scandinavian style appeals to them the most. The peace, simplicity and functionality are the three elements that make it a favorite. Gerard therefore also says: ” A Scandinavian chair is beautiful and also comfortable and an Italian design looks nice but is not always comfortable ” And that is purely for functionality! No shrieking colors or frills … Just simplicity.
Since I had discovered through instagram that Suus had also set up her own company ‘Suusies’, I wondered how she started doing that. It all started with a stuffed animal that she had made for her eldest daughter and that she had tied to the pram. She received a lot of compliments about it and everyone advised her to proceed with it! Since one of her friends worked at a design fair in Amsterdam, she could show her talent there. Because of the fact that this fair of course attracts design junkies, suddenly all sorts of stores asked if they could buy her self-made stuff! After she was able to take the plunge to go to shops to ask if they wanted to buy her things, it suddenly went very fast. Also because of the use of Instagram Suusies has grown up and her stuffed animals, crowns and other stuff are sold all over the world! Australia, Singapore, Dubai, you name it!
The young successors
The children of the couple would also like to work in the store;) They already regularly ask how old they should be to be able to work in the store! However, Gerard and Suus do not expect that by that time they will still own this shop. They are together too fickle to bind themselves to one thing for so long. But who knows! They do not have a discrete plan for the future. As long as they can live well in the future, they are already very satisfied. The satisfaction they get out of this is far more important to them than a lot of money!
So if you’re ever in Leeuwarden, take a look and have a nice cup of coffee at this cute little shop!
Where can they be found?
Sint Jacobsstraat 15, 8911 HR Leeuwarden
Maps -> https://goo.gl/maps/ULYs2cDLFm22