Running your own company: sometimes, it happens a lot faster than you anticipated. For example, Tio alumna Kirsten Veltkamp, who only graduated recently, already owns her own successful restaurant: Bistronoom in Woerden, which she runs together with her boyfriend. Even though the restaurant has not even been open for a year, it has already won an award.
Kirsten studied Hotel and Event Management at Tio Utrecht. Her boyfriend worked as a chef at a restaurant in Woerden and dreamt of opening his own restaurant before he was thirty. “He is a fantastic cook, but that is not enough to run your own business. I helped him write the business plan and before I knew it, I was so involved that I did not want to let go anymore. I dedicated myself entirely to this new business.”
Putting theory into practice
The former Tio student is responsible for pretty much everything except the kitchen. She is a hostess, together with a host, and she handles the marketing, communication and finances. She can put a lot of the theory she learned at Tio into practice: “Human resources and business economics, of course. Calculating cost prices and drawing up balance sheets, that sort of thing.”
Does she like her job? Kirsten laughs: “Of course, I love counting the money after a busy Saturday night.” However, the best part of her job is “seeing people enjoy the experience you offer in your own business and watching them love our food and our concept.”
That concept is clear: “We try to make people aware of what they eat. We have a greenhouse where we grow our own herbs and other ingredients.” Just as important: “We want to bring people closer together. They can forget about their smartphone for a bit and relax in a big chair by the fireplace.”
It is always exciting to start a new business: “You hope it takes off and people enjoy it. If it doesn’t go well, you can pack up before the year is out and kiss your investment goodbye.” That is not wat happened with Kirsten. They have even won an award already! After being open for barely a year, they won the Gouden Pollepel award in the Het Groene Hart region.
Follow Kirsten on LinkedIn.