Marqt and MarketsDenise Kortlever, Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Marqt is a new kind of marketplace; a chain of authentic food stores as an alternative to the traditional supermarket. The stores in Amsterdam, Haarlem and The Hague (Rotterdam will open soon) make fresh, organic food accessible in an inspiring and good-looking environment. Founders Quirijn Bolle and Meike Beeren, who both worked for international food retailers, noticed that there wasn’t much room for fresh, real food and decided it was time for a change. “Customers seem to be increasingly more interested in the wellbeing and background of the products they buy and often can’t find real food in the traditional supermarkets. Marqt brings together customers with farmers and producers who provide them exactly these authentic products”.
Central to the concept of Marqt is ‘real food’. According to Marqt, real food is authentic (no additives or dubious E numbers and preferably organic), produced with due respect for the environment (sustainable production without a “bitter aftertaste”), really fresh (local and seasonal products), inspired (enthusiastic, caring producers) and tastes really good (every product is approved on taste, smell and texture).
The concept may remind you of Whole Foods, but unique about Marqt is their focus on local products. Marqt uses local suppliers as much as possible and wants to provide interaction between the customer and producer, with in-store signage providing information on which farm the sheep cheese was produced, for instance, who baked the fresh sourdough loaves and who prepared the wasabi hummus and ratatouille with goat’s cheese. And as all the food is presented in an attractive and tempting way, it is practically impossible to leave Marqt without a big bag of groceries you can’t wait to taste.
Another place to find real, authentic food in the city is at one of the popular food markets. Really worth a visit is the Pure Markt (in Amsterdam, The Hague and Amstelveen). Here, food lovers will find everything from made-to-order crêpes and wood-fire pizzas, to free range meat, local beers and English pies. On Saturdays, the Noordermarkt and the organic market on the Nieuwmarkt (both in Amsterdam) also offer a wide choice of fresh, delicious food sold by passionate producers.