The Village is a vibrant working community for food entrepreneurs, start-ups, students and other food professionals located at Arboretum West in Almere, the Netherlands. With a focus on stimulating entrepreneurship, it is the perfect place for young and aspiring entrepreneurs. (Starting) food professionals are welcome to register for the Food Pioniers Program, where a leading network will guide and help you to develop your business from your own workplace in Almere.
An inclusive hub for aspiring food entrepreneurs
In 2021, ’the Village’ opened as part of the Flevo Campus knowledge institute. The Village is a breeding ground, where students and professionals come together and where (aspiring) entrepreneurs get the opportunity to work on their own business. The close-knit community aims to be an inclusive hub, welcoming people with all kinds of backgrounds and promoting diverse perspectives. In a broader sense, the Village is the place where the food system transitions into a personal network, education transitions into entrepreneurship and where ideals transition into practice.
The Food Pioneers Program
Are you an (aspiring) entrepreneur eager to further develop your food business? Are you looking for an inspiring workplace and community that helps you grow both personally and professionally? Our Food Pioneers Program is the right fit for you!
During this 6-month program, we will help you accomplish your business goals through various training sessions and guidance by Food Hub, Impact Hub Amsterdam and Flevo Campus professionals. You will dive into personal leadership, product prototyping, storytelling and business modelling; we organize for you Q&A sessions with food sector professionals, feedback rounds, community drinks, dinners and a closing event.
And once you are selected, joining the program is entirely free!
Participate in the Food Pioneers program and you receive:
- A (free) workplace in the Village in Almere for six months, which will give you the change to be part of a unique food community
- Kick-off and onboarding session
- Three sprints, incl. workshops on Personal leadership, Prototyping, Transition theory, Business Model Canvas, Sales and Pitching
- 1-day excursion in Amsterdam and Almere
- Online learning program
- Peer-to-peer worksessions
- An accountability partner throughout the program
- 1-on-1 sessions on local networks/production
- Closing event
- Access to the yearly program from Flevo Campus; meet-up events and other networking opportunities
- Access to the Flevo Campus, Food Hub, Horizon Flevoland, the Impact Hub network and events!
….representing a value of over €3,500!
Meet the Villagers
For #2021 and #2022 editions of the Food Pioneers Program, a total of 45 exciting entrepreneurs found their way to the Village. Meet the entrepreneurs of the latest edition below.
Amit is the founder of Mimo. Mimo produces pre-portioned, frozen, vegan, and organic chocolate chip cookies for baking, a product she hopes will make a lot of people happy! With Mimo, Amit wants to help mindful consumers accomplish ethical convenient snacking by providing a high-quality product.
Carolien den Brok
This is Carolien, a farmer’s wife from Zeewolde who loves milk! Five years ago she started a little picnic ground on her farm called ‘Boeren Pitstop’. People who pass by can stop here for a rest or for some delicious fresh farm ice cream. What’s more, she also invites them to see how (and why) things are done at a conventional dairy farm. By giving people the opportunity to come into the stables and open the conversation about dairy farming, she wants to clear up misconceptions and give it a positive image. Her mission is to let more people enjoy pure nutritious products directly from the farm, where they can literally see with their own eyes how it is produced.
Eva & Merijn are part of ‘Koprol in Utrecht’. They fight fruit waste by making Rollies from leftover fruit that would have otherwise been thrown away. By cooking, blending and drying the fruit, they create sweets that are 100% fruit, nothing more, nothing less! With Rollies they create value from what others consider trash, in order to minimise the negative impact of food production.
Hélène, or Lena Vegan Kaesboerin, makes vegan cheese with a silky creamy texture by applying traditional cheese making techniques to cashew nuts, sunflower seeds and lentils. This method reduces CO2, increases health and improves the lives of cows, goats and sheep. She wants to contribute to a better, healthier and fairer world with products everyone can buy, and inspire people to eat plant based.
Jan Jaap van der Meer
As a farmer based in Flevoland, Jan Jaap is on a mission to educate people on all things farm related. Right now, all his milk is directly transported and processed. He is exploring new sales channels together with other farmers in Flevoland and trying to re-engage consumers via tours and other educational tools.
Jurre works at an organic farm in Biddinghuizen. He is on a mission to provide people that have a distance to the labor market with a workplace at several organic farms in Flevoland. He believes that working in an agricultural environment will enrich people’s life, provide them with structure and bring them a feeling of fellowship. This will both benefit the agricultural employer as well as the new employee. A great symbiose is created this way!
Loïs founded Boonzaak. Boonzaak makes tempeh from dutch beans and other local ingredients (like grains, nuts & seaweed). With Boonzaak, Loïs wants to stimulate the cultivation of the huge variety of beans in our country by purchasing them directly from the farmer, even before sowing takes place. In this way she can be sure of the beans, and the farmer can be sure of his income.
Merijn van Logtestijn
Merijn & Eva are part of ‘Koprol in Utrecht’. They fight fruit waste by making Rollies from leftover fruit that would have otherwise been thrown away. By cooking, blending and drying the fruit, they create sweets that are 100% fruit, nothing more, nothing less! With Rollies they create value from what others consider trash, in order to minimize the negative impact of food production.
Milton is the founder of Gingerly. Gingerly is a ginger drink that Milton created according to the recipe of his Surinamese grandmother. This recipe uses 20% pure ginger and no added colorings or flavorings. Aside from his ginger drink, Milton is also brewing up other flavors, such as lime and passionfruit, to add to the Gingerly brand.
Salma is the founder of Nomadschai – a chai latte business. Working as a barista, Salma noticed the rising demand for chai, and saw how there are so many specialty coffees and quality teas, but no chai. She took it upon herself to develop the best chai recipe. She now makes sticky chai with local honey (as she is also a beekeeper) and vegan chai with agave syrup and chai concentrate. All her chai’s are made by hand and with as little waste as possible.
Brothers Samer & Sami are working on creating a more accessible, sustainable & profitable F&B model through their dark kitchen. Their mission is to enable impact conscious F&B entrepreneurs to rapidly launch and scale their businesses through a triple bottom line operational framework so together they can drive the transition to a better food system. They do this by creating the next generation of commercial kitchens as a service (KaaS), combining the ghost and host kitchen models with community services that feed their members’ financial and impact specific successes.
Brothers Sami & Samer are working on creating a more accessible, sustainable & profitable F&B model through their dark kitchen. Their mission is to enable impact conscious F&B entrepreneurs to rapidly launch and scale their businesses through a triple bottom line operational framework so together they can drive the transition to a better food system. They do this by creating the next generation of commercial kitchens as a service (KaaS), combining the ghost and host kitchen models with community services that feed their members’ financial and impact specific successes.
Vlad is the founder of Cupbite. Cupbite creates edible cookie cups and cookie spoons, delivering a zero-waste alternative. Even if you don’t eat the cookie, it is a much more sustainable option than a paper coffee cup or plastic spoon. A cookie won’t end up in the landfill. Cupbite is constantly improving the recipe – aiming to serve Europe and beyond with edible cups and spoons.
Registration for the third Food Pioneers Program is open
- … an entrepreneur with dedication to developing themselves
- … excited to work in an English-speaking environment
- … starting your business or looking for ways to develop it
- … eager to work with other food professionals in a vibrant space
- … looking for a workplace in Almere
Registration is open until the 19th of September 2022
If you are interested in participating or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Eva, email@example.com. Do you want to ask your questions personally? Sign up for our Q&A session. The Q&A session will take place on August 30 during lunch (from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm) where project coordinator Eva Flantua (Food Hub) and Margot Kemps (Impact Hub) will be happy to answer all your questions.