One year at Heilige Boontjes
Written by Lynn Hamerlinck on 27 October 2020
“Coffee is balm to the heart and spirit.” - Giuseppe Verdi
The smell of coffee improves your attention, your analytical and problem-solving skills, and stimulates your imagination.1 Even before you walk up the stairs to our office on the second floor of the Heilige Boontjes building, you have already soaked up the delicious smell of freshly brewed coffee. Does this contribute to the success of Lendahand?
Lendahander's love their office. It's a place where spontaneous brainstorming sessions arise, global impact is created, and couriers often deliver meals at hours late into the evening.
But first, let us take you to where it all started, more precisely to 2013, when Lendahand's office consisted of a few tables in a hotel lobby in Utrecht. The first office space came a year later: a glass cube in a skyscraper in Rotterdam. Soon we grew out of the cube and our first lease office, moving into the Kleinhandel, on the first floor of the Groothandelsgebouw.
But, due to a growing team and changing financial conditions, the time officially came for the 'Best Crowdfund platform in the Netherlands' to have its own real office.
Our journey brought us to the second floor of the Heilige Boontjes building, above the cafe of the same name, even more into the bustling center of Rotterdam, capital of cool. That’s where we now celebrate our first office anniversary, albeit sadly from a distance.
Heilige Boontjes (lit.: Holy Beans, prov.: a saint)
A police officer and an old hooligan, who thought that civic reintegration could be better, more sustainable, and above all, more fun, was all it took to establish Heilige Boontjes. Marco and Rodney know better than anyone how difficult it is to get your life back on track after a misstep. At Heilige Boontjes, they work together with young Rotterdammers with a disadvantage on the labor market.
Marco is a police officer and educator, Rodney is a reintegration expert and a social and civic trainer. They transformed an old police station into a cozy place where you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even an evening drink to wind down from a long day.
Everyone who works at Heilige Boontjes has their own story, past and present. Together they do everything, from roasting the beans to serving the coffee. They make the food and pour the best beers.
We Lendahanders love the coffee from our downstairs neighbor, but we also find the afternoon drinks just as attractive!
Did you know...
... the companies in the building all have Rotterdam roots and are socially driven? Heilige Boontjes and Lendahand do very different things, but fit well together.
… you can also enjoy Heilige Boontjes coffee at home or at the office? You can order their beans here to enjoy a good Dutch bakkie.
1 The impact of coffee-like scent on expectations and performance, Journal of Environmental Psychology 2018