Brechtje van Dam


When Miranda Broers gave birth to her son thirteen years ago, it turned out that he has Down syndrome. Through him, Miranda learned an important lesson: it is not his syndrome that is the limitation, but the way in which society deals with it. According to Miranda, the emphasis is too much on what this target group cannot do. Therefore, with the help of Qredits she started the Upside cafe: a lunch cafe in The Hague where people with intellectual disabilities work. “I prefer to focus on what these people can and want to do.”

You can find the Upside cafe on the Thomsonlaan. “This is a socially involved neighborhood and a nice shopping area,” says Miranda. She started the cafe here eight years ago with five employees. “A lot more people now work there.” Miranda has always worked in the hospitality industry and comes from an entrepreneurial family. She also studied business administration and always wanted to start her own business. “Everything comes together in this café: social entrepreneurship, catering and business administration.”

‘Just participate’

The motto of the Upside café is: just join in. “That’s what everyone ultimately wants,” says Miranda. Many of the products at the Upside cafe are artisanal and everything is fresh and homemade. “I want our products to be really good. People come here primarily because they think the concept is so special, but they come back for the good food.”

Less incentives

A year after the opening, Miranda opened a second branch on Weissenbruchstraat in The Hague. “We received many requests from the government for catering jobs, among other things,” she says. “Back then we opened a cafe with a vegetable garden, laundry and large space where we prepare catering jobs. The vegetable garden and launderette are ideal places for employees who find the incentives of a full lunchroom too much.”

Sustainable entrepreneurship

In Miranda decided that she wanted to do more sustainable business. That’s why she knocked on Qredits’s door for a social

al credit. “My brother is an accountant and told me about Qredits. He said it is an organization that pays a lot of attention to the person behind the company. Moreover, they really think along with you, especially if you have a social enterprise and profit is not your first priority.”

No number

Miranda immediately clicked with her business advisor Sylvia. “She came to visit the store, which I think is very special. I am not used to that from other financial institutions. I was able to tell her about my plans: new insulated ceilings, smart lighting, making good use of the heat from the open kitchen. She heard my story and thought it was a sensible plan. Precisely because Sylvia did not immediately let me sign all the forms but first had a conversation, I was able to explain what I wanted and why. At Qredits I am not just a number.”

With full dedication

Expanding further Miranda seems beautiful, but she is also very happy with what she has now. “It is very satisfying to give this target group a chance. They can do so much. I want their potential to be seen. Moreover, they work with full dedication and they are always cheerful: here you see no morning moods and they are never late. If they are there, they are really there. I really enjoy that.”

Ready-made food is always greasy, unhealthy and full of processed meat? Not true! Now you can also enjoy the tastiest easy meals in The Hague, but completely vegan and good for you. Lazy Vegan is for everyone who finds cooking too much effort, but who would like to eat plant-based more often. Something for you?

Lazy Vegan

developed a lot of delicious ready meals without nonsense ingredients. Completely vegan, completely responsible and completely tasty. Vegan and easy go well together. You will find the meals in the freezer compartment. Just heat in the pan and you’re done. In a few minutes you can put a delicious plant-based meal on the table, which, according to many people, tastes really good.

Ready meals for every taste

You like to do something good for the planet, but you also want good food. They understand all too well at Lazy Vegan. That is why you can choose from several special dishes from all over the world. For example, go for the Indian-style curry or the creamy pasta. Unlike many other ready-made and vegan meals, Lazy Vegan is full of flavour. Also nice: all meals are not only vegan but also gluten-free, soy-free, without preservatives and full of vegetables.

Pascale from Lazy Vegan tells…

Pascale is a product developer at Lazy Vegan and lives in the beautiful The Hague. She knows better than anyone what a challenge it is sometimes to find tasty vegan dishes. “There are quite a few options, but the range of really tasty plant-based dishes is still limited.” Especially in the supermarket there is little that ticks all the boxes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, healthy and tasty. “But it is possible. Because our meals are frozen, the taste and nutrients are better preserved. Freezing also means we don’t have to add preservatives to the meals. “As a product developer, Pascale invented the new flavors Pasta al Pesto and Italian risotto.

Lazy vegan in The Hague

You will find a version of this in every Albert Heijn in The Hague. the Lazy Vegan meals in the freezer. Larger branches even have them all! Jumbo and delivery supermarkets such as Getir and Flink also deliver the dishes. Throw a few in your freezer for after a long day and you’ll always have a healthy and tasty meal on the table!