Just before the coronavirus broke out, Raymond Korf started his own taxi company on Texel.Photo: Waddentax Texel/Robin Waerts

Raymond Korf is building a small empire on Texel with his taxi company (Waddentax Texel). Although the passionate taxi entrepreneur does not yet call it that, he does agree that things are going in the right direction. At the end of 30 Korf started his own taxi company. Then the coronavirus broke out. In an extensive conversation with TaxiPro, he looks back on that turbulent period, mentions the difference between mainland and island and speaks about his love for Texel. “I will never leave this place.”

The Texel adventure started for Raymond Korf when the world came to a standstill due to the corona pandemic. “While visiting friends on the Wadden Island during the first lockdown, my girlfriend and I heard how bad the taxi service is at night on Texel. We wanted to see if we could do something about this, if those night shifts are really that bad.” In the summer of 2022, Korf and his fiancée took the plunge and moved from Friesland to Texel.

Once settled on the Wadden Island, it became clear why there were hardly any taxis driving around on Texel during the night. Taxi companies that were active on the island at the time and provided night rides, pulled the plug from this service due to the corona measures. Islanders became cautious, tourism was curbed and eventually a curfew was even introduced. Korf decided with his company to fill the gap left by other companies. “I always stayed on that night. Everyone deserves to come home safely at night. We continue to drive at night. I have always carried on with that notion. In the end you can conclude that the coronavirus has caused a lot, but on the other hand it also brought me a lot. Every lockdown we went through, we came out stronger.”

Good name Since his arrival on Texel, Raymond Korf has managed to create a good name for himself in a short time. Together with two employees, Korf is building a small empire on the Wadden Island. There are now even several catering companies that do business with Waddentax Texel. “During the second lockdown, I had set up a donation campaign. You have to do something in such a situation. If people donated ten euros, they got a discount on the entry fee for the rest of the year. The funny thing is that, partly due to a number of positive articles in the local media, I was approached by a number of restaurants that wanted to do business with me. I didn’t know what I was experiencing. What is happening to me here, I thought to myself. I still think that sometimes.”

The famous restaurant Bij Jef, the only restaurant on Texel with a Michelin star, eventually knocked on Raymond Korf’s door. “They called me and then offered a substantial amount to help me. What they wanted in return was that at certain times – between 30. and 00.30 hours – extra consideration for them. That if they called me, I would be at the restaurant within twenty minutes. I then accepted that offer. How beautiful is it that if you have only been active on the island for three months and then suddenly you are called by such a restaurant, with the announcement that they want you as their first choice and then a few months later get support? You do something like that. It is a great honor and it still feels that way.”

Atmosphere and mentality Several restaurants now call Raymond Korf if they need a taxi at certain times. “We are now supported by about 30 percent of all catering on Texel,” he says. It is precisely this solidarity that has made Korf pledge his heart to Texel. “The difference with other regions is mainly in the atmosphere and mentality. I will give an example. As a taxi driver I used to drive a lot in Friesland. If people wanted to get a taxi there, it had to be done as soon as possible. If that was somehow not possible, it had to be solved.”

“For example, I have experienced that I had a reserved ride and that at the taxi rank, where I was waiting for that ride, suddenly other people gathered around my car. “You are taking me away,” they said. I then explained to them that I was already reserved. “Take me away now or else I’ll kick a dent in your car.” You sometimes have to deal with that. Other taxi drivers will also recognize such aggressive behavior. The atmosphere on Texel is much more relaxed. And you won’t be bothered much by tourists in this context either, because those people are on vacation. They are already cheerful, are comfortable in their own skin and are less in a hurry. The intonation is so different. That’s nice to work with.”

In his own words, the atmosphere and mentality that Raymond Korf experiences on Texel makes him want to stay on Texel. “I will never leave Texel again,” he says with a laugh. “I came here to give Texel – especially at night – the taxi service it deserves, but no longer had. I really like it here and we have built something beautiful here. I have no reason to ever leave here.”

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