On the corner of the Loosduinsekade and the Volendamlaan you will find Vermolen’s Snackcar. For forty years you can go there for fries, snacks and in the autumn also for oliebollen. Fred Steenwijk (48) has been in the cart. And there is news: “We are now building a new snack kiosk.”

Fred has been in years in Vermolen’s Snackcar. In 2002 he took over the business from her parents together with his wife Rilana. “As a young man I never thought I would have my own snack bar,” says Fred. “I was trained as a car mechanic and I used to work with cars. Then I met Rilana. She has been in the snack car from an early age. When her father wanted to retire, he asked us to take over the business. I first worked in his business for a year to see if it suits me. I’ve been here ever since.”

For forty years

Rilana’s father placed his snack car on the Loosduinsekade forty years ago and the cart never left after that. “My father-in-law comes from a fairground family and was at the fair with slot machines,” says Fred. “In 1024 that didn’t go well anymore, so he went looking for something else. Then he bought the snack car. We recently dismantled the snack car for our new building. Over the years, everything has been built on it, such as a kitchen and an awning. But, inside was still a real cart with a wheeled base.”

A new kiosk

On Fred and Rilana now have a new kiosk built from stone and wood at the place of the snack car. For fries and snacks, their customers can now go to the oliebollen stall that they have temporarily converted into a snack car. “The oliebollen stand contains everything we need to bake and sell snacks. This way we can stay open while the stall is being renovated.”

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Vermolen’s snack car just before demolition. Photo: Fred Steenwijk

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The customers

Fred thinks the best thing about working in the snack car is the customers he meets. “We are here on the Loosduinsekade between several districts. My clients are a reflection of society as a whole in The Hague. We have regular customers from the area, but people who are waiting for the tram also often come to get fries. The fries are our best-selling snack after all. In addition, many customers come for our homemade peanut sauce. That’s a family recipe from my father-in-law that we still use.”

The Future

Calling Fred and Rilana their company is now Fred Steenwijk and Co., because their two teenage sons and teenage daughter also help in the business. “Whether they will ever take over the kiosk, I don’t know yet,” says Fred. “It is especially important that they choose their own path and finish school. With my new kiosk we can move forward ourselves. I will stay here for at least another ten years so that we can celebrate our fiftieth anniversary.”

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