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In Voorschoten in the Netherlands you will find next to hotel De Gouden Leeuw the Valk Versmarkt. In January 2015, at the same spot where it all began for the Van der Valk hotel group, Van der Valk opened a brand new shop. True to the emerging trend of premium food retail, Valk Versmarkt is a food market where experience and quality are key. Tunify spoke with Marino Berkhout, the responsible at Valk Versmarkt for automation: all things like cash registers and scales, but also music.
In recent years, Van der Valk got inspired by the best food markets around the world like Jamie Oliver in London, Eataly in Italy and the Chelsea Market in New York. But the unique concept of Valk Versmarkt appears to have grown out of their own Van der Valk history, says Marino. “Traditionally, the purchasing for about 35 Van der Valk hotels in the Netherlands happens from Voorschoten. We supply the meat, wine, spices, even the dishes… in short: everything you need to run a hotel. Previously, we already sold meat in at a separate butchery in Voorschoten, because of the high demand for it from our customers.” With this new food market concept, Van der Valk now takes a new big step. “In addition to a butcher, we are now also a bakery, cheese shop, fishmonger and greengrocer. We even sell coffee and wine. The fresh products are processed and packed in front of the customers by professionals who truly master their craft."
The biggest challenge when starting Valk Versmarkt was transmitting the real ‘food and beverage experience’. Valk Versmarkt should under no circumstances be seen as yet another dull supermarket, but rather as a food specialty with fresh high quality products. “When you enter the store you should think ‘Oh, that looks really fresh, this smells delicious…” In other countries, such as Belgium, people pay a lot more attention to eating. There is a world of difference between a butchery in Belgium and the Netherlands, both in terms of product range and in shopping experience."
Just like in some of the hotels of the Van der Valk group, Valk Versmarkt uses the music of Tunify to support the overall experience. “We have both young and old visiting our shop, but the majority of customers are over 40 years old. Everyone agrees about the music that we play and that’s a very pleasant feeling to have. We know the music is perfect when customers and employees are humming along with it. Our staff is very critical in terms of music, so we hear it right away when something’s not good. But with Tunify, we have such a variety of music that we only get positive feedback."
Valk Versmarkt uses Sonos to play music in the shop. Marino explains this decision. “Sonos is a nice system, very reliable. You have nothing to worry about, it just works well, all of the time.” The Sonos multi-room functionality also comes in handy now Valk Versmarkt is looking to play different kinds of music in separate shop areas. ”Soon we’ll add a restaurant to the shop. We are thinking about creating a separate music zone for this, because we want to play other music than in the shop itself."
If you are looking for fresh restaurant quality products, you’ll find an excellent range of products next to hotel De Gouden Leeuw at the Veurseweg. On the Valk Versmarkt website you can find some additional information and opening hours.