Ruerd Akersloot / Coffee & Coconuts
“Don't copy/paste, but
create something of your own."
His dad ran the famous beach club Tijn Akersloot, and when he was ten, Ruerd began helping out in the kitchen, simply because he wanted to. He had found his métier, as not only did he end up taking over the business, but he also went on to start one of his own, turning the beautiful art deco building that formerly housed the Ceintuur Theatre into one of the city’s hotspots: Coffee & Coconuts. Ruerd’s just getting started; next location: Bali. "My desire is to convey my creative vision to a group of people I wouldn’t ordinarily have got the chance to meet."
Are you a born entrepreneur? My father ran a beach club, and as a kid I used to walk around trying to sell seashells to the customers. I also actually worked in the pavilion, and from quite a young age too, so I’ve been in this business since childhood. I don’t know if I'm a born entrepreneur or if my interest arose as a result of my childhood environment, but it suits me.
Where did you grow up and what were you like as a kid? I grew up in a family with four kids, of whom I was the second. We lived in Zandvoort, which in my opinion is the ugliest seaside town in the world. I was a caring kid, and a doer, so I’d often clean the house when I got home from school, or do the laundry to give my parents a break. I was also a bit wild, and had a fondness for pranks. I got a kick out of it, and considered it harmless fun. At least until I ended up in court for bicycle theft and for attempting to break into cars; I realized then that I needed to get off that path.
What did you want to become when you were a kid? A chef. I’ve always been deeply fascinated by food and started helping out in my dad’s beach club’s kitchen when I was ten; not because I had to, but because I really wanted to. Preparing a fish dish, for example, was a lot of fun.
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