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The Full Story

On Monday, August 22, 1983, the door of the classroom on the Bergerweg in Alkmaar opened. This is where the first meeting took place 38 years ago. They both trained as chefs and since then their paths kept crossing.  At school they experienced wonderful moments with both the students and teachers who sometimes went with them to the largest truant bar in the Netherlands at the time (café Het Moddermannetje)..


Despite partying and having fun together, they both graduated high school and parted ways (temporarily)Jos started working as an independent cook at Partycentrum “Jan Entius” in Nibbixwoud. And after 2 years later he started working as a chef with his uncle Andre Duyves in restaurant "Haesje claes" in Amsterdam.  This turned out to be a bull's eye because Jos, together with his uncle and nephew, set up a beautiful business that was very popular throughout Amsterdam. Every day the place was packed with tourists, businessmen, locals and even celebrities.

Five years later, Jos's father took over Jan Entius's business in Nibbixwoud, when the situation arose that Jos could become manager of the café-restaurant WFO in Zwaagdijk in his father's other business. Jos has gained a lot of experience here and has enjoyed working here from early in the morning until late in the evening for several years. So Jos had to be replaced and Stephen took his place (Not knowing what to expect)


Jos, despite the fact that he enjoyed working there, his adventurous character has led him to the Spanish party island of Ibiza. Jos has enjoyed working as a Cook / Bartender in Ibiza for 2 years.

After three weeks of Haesje Claes, Stephen told Mr. Duyves (that's what Stephen always called him) that Haesje Claes, despite it being a beautiful place, was not what he wanted and Stephen couldn't handle the intensity and pressure. Andre advised Stephen to hold on a little longer and gain experience by staying a while. Stephen continued to work happily for over 13 years afterwards.

When Jos went to have a cup of coffee with his father at Haesje Claes in Amsterdam, his uncle asked if Jos could help him "temporarily" and come back. Jos would temporarily return to Haesje Claes until he went back to Ibiza. But just like Stephen, Jos stayed in Amsterdam and the two friends would be together again and 6 beautiful years followed in the beautiful Haesje Claes.

In 2001 Stephen had to end his period at Haesje Claes with great pain to succeed his father in the company.

His father became ill and had to take a step back. Stephen left the Horeca for good, which was very painful for him.

But Stephen developed and grew rapidly in this new world, which took him across Europe. And now Stephen is working with a very good team for Euro Site Services, a technical staffing company that is currently placing skilled workers throughout Europe.


In all the intervening years they have never lost sight of each other. Every year they went with the staff of Restaurant “Haesje Claes” to the Horecava Beurs in Amsterdam and they also regularly went to AZ  Watch football in Alkmaar and network in the business club there.

But there, COVID-19 would change everything forever. Jos and his team were on the eve of the best preseason ever, but it never got that far. Even worse, the family business has had to close its doors after 46 years. More than 50 employees on the street, it was simply unbearable and there was no prospect, no tourism, no expats, no conferences and no trade fairs.  After 23 years of Haesje Claes, Jos had to take on a different challenge.

But behold, because of this pandemic their paths crossed again. And here in Middenmeer, where they have opened their lunchroom "The Food Box".

Stephen was looking for a local restaurant/lunchroom to receive his customers and do business and knew that Jos was ready for a new challenge.

By pure coincidence, Lunchroom "Bij de Baaz" was available and Jos and Stephen did not hesitate for a moment to take over this immediately and turn it into a super restaurant together.

For Stephen a perfect location opposite the data centers and for Jos a wonderful place to continue his qualities and knowledge. In this company we really want to serve all our guests, customers and contacts well and everyone should feel welcome.

At the time, the slogan of Restaurant Haesje Claes was "Van Kaantjes tot Kaviaar" and at The Food Box we also want to offer all our guests the same service, so for "something for everyone".

See you soon in lunchroom The Food Box, Agriport 57 Middenmeer.

                                                                  Jos, Stephen and the team

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