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Victor van Veelen, Friethoes: "It got slightly out of hand"

A special beer and chips from the same potato

"Yes, it got slightly out of hand," laughs Victor van Veelen. Seven years ago the brothers Joost and Sebastiaan Hoes opened a trial store under the name FrietHoes. It was the start of their own FrietFabriek (ChipFactory) in which Victor van Veelen also participated. Their new production line has a capacity of over 2 million kg of fresh chips on an annual basis. The threesome supplies the local catering (wholesale) with this. "Not that long ago we were working with six fryers, precooking a week beforehand. Now we have a full production line."

Tip of the iceberg
Festival already knew the many food trucks with which FrietHoes visited festivals such as Best Kept Secret and Mysteryland. "There was a clear demand for organic products at festivals. In a short time the catering with frozen products was pushed out. Looking back we can see that our arrival brought the needed change. Organic chips are now a staple at festivals," says Victor, who sees that the concept was soon followed by others. Friethoes sees a similar development in the food service. "This is the tip of the iceberg. What we produce in a year, large industries can produce in a day."

Complete machine line
The current 'FrietFabriek' was complete in May last year. Over the course of 2015 the foundation was laid for a semi automatic factory for the production of precooked chips. "We wanted to do everything the same but on a bigger scale." FrietHoes already used a small scale cutting and sorting machine by Marcelissen. The collaboration was continued to a complete machine line for moving, measuring, cutting, weighing and packaging chips. Victor: "We grew too big for our boots. To be able to continue to grow we needed to set up a separate production location that met the needed norms in the area of cooling and food safety, where chips are still made by people with a lot of professionalism every day."

Organic not a goal in itself
FrietHoes is one of the largest buyers of organic chip potatoes in the Netherlands. "Of course we think it's important that the land is treated well, but our choice is mainly based on flavour." Organic isn't a goal in itself for FrietHoes. Availability also plays at least as large a role. When the organic potato production suffered from diseases such as phytophtora last year, FrietHoes moved to regular potato varieties to meet the demand. "It was lucky that that the potatoes were grown literally 10 kilometres from the factory. This compensated for it a bit, but thankfully we will have organic spuds again in a few week. We believe they taste just slightly better."

Valuing waste
FrietHoes has set itself the goal of making the production line completely zero waste next year. The entrepreneurs already found a suitable solution for the oil. However, the biggest win was in adding value to the cutting waste: around 15 to 20 percent of the potato. "You can feed the peels to the pigs - like they used to - or you can get creative. We decided to make vodka from them. Our peel beer soon followed: special craft beer that is great on a square. As an entrepreneur its an added advantage to be able to serve fresh chips and tell your customer that the drink comes from the very same potato and chip producer. Customer like this and it creates an experience," Victor concludes.

Publication date: 7/19/2017


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