FoodAtelier has been in the Stationsstraat for less than a year now. From Tuesday to Saturday, owner Manon sells home-made meals and snacks here to anyone who wants a healthy, responsible and above all delicious meal without having to go to too much trouble herself.

In a short period of time, Foodatelier has become a fixture in the neighborhood: 'Residents of the Dwaalgebied and the Bomenbuurt know how to find my store better and better!

To start with: what typifies FoodAtelier?

In my store I sell vegetarian and vegan take-away meals. Everything is homemade and as much as possible with organic vegetables. The weekly menu varies from week to week, what's in it I determine on the basis of the supply of vegetables at that time. However, there are a number of fixes: I always make two different main courses, two salads and a quiche. There are also always vegan pastries in the menu, there's always a demand for them. A real FoodAtelier specialty? Those are the breakfast tarts. With oatmeal, dates, nuts, fruit and yogurt, but without sugar or substitutes. That's why people come here specially.

How did you start FoodAtelier?

Cooking is in my blood. I have many family members with a restaurant and my parents had a business here in the city for a long time. It was a kind of coffee shop, for which my mother always baked quiches. After finishing hotel school, I initially chose a different path, but I always had the dream of starting a caterer someday. Because the step to owning my own business seemed too big to me, I reported to Thuis Afgehaald (a system where home cooks cook for several people and others can pick up a portion of this, ed.) a few years back, on the advice of my husband. That went very well very quickly, within a month I was cooking for ten people every day. Then I dared to take the step to my own physical store'.

And why did you choose this location at the time?

The Dwaalgebied always seemed to me to be the ideal location. The atmosphere in the neighborhood fits exactly with the feeling I wanted in my store. When I started looking for a suitable building within the Dwaalgebied, there wasn't much choice, but I think that's how it should have been. This small building fits in perfectly with the concept of FoodAtelier. Moreover, the location is ideal, there's a lot of people walking past my store every day, coming from or on their way to the train station.

I like the neighbourhood very much so far.  I have nice contact with the other entrepreneurs in the Dwaalgebied. For example, the guys from Pulcinos get me dinner, and I get it from them.

I have plans for a collaboration with Mr. Morris, although we had to put it on hold for a while because of corona'.

And do you have a lot of customers from the neighborhood?

Sure I do. There are a lot of customers from the Tuinstraat, the Noordstraat and the Bomenbuurt who come by every week, sometimes even every day, to pick up something to eat. 

You build a bond with those customers. By now I know a lot of them by name and I know what they do in daily life. I sometimes hear from people that at FoodAtelier it feels a bit like a social workshop.

And it's still getting busier and busier. So much so, in fact, that my husband recently quit his job to come and help me in the store'.

And do you also like to store locally?

I like to store at small local businesses myself! I know they have to work as hard as I do. Another big advantage of local shopping is that you're more likely to come across unique, direct and sometimes handmade products from small retailers and the hospitality industry. I like to spend a little more on that'.