‘I don't like numbers, so we complement each other well'

‘I don’t like numbers, so we complement each other well’

Kirsten: “We wake up at six thirty without an alarm clock.”

Danny: „We can go back to the business! No really, we do the work with great pleasure.”

Kirsten: “First we check whether there are any important e-mails or apps, our phones are next to our bed. Danny now has a new hobby, cycling 25 kilometers to the business in Amsterdam.”

Danny: “Lance Armstrong style, haha. Actually, I’m ashamed of it, but I try to beat my record every day. I also arrive completely crumpled. Every day is a time trial. My highest average speed is 30.3 kilometers per hour.”

Kirsten: “I go for a walk in the woods with the dogs around a quarter to eight. I clean up at home and drive to the office around ten o’clock. Sometimes I go by bike, and then I take the mountain e-bike. Then I don’t arrive sweaty, and I have had my hour of oxygen.”

Danny: “We have just lived in Tarifa, Spain, for six years.”

Kirsten: „Our daughter did kitesurfing at European level and wanted to become the best in the world. At the age of 15 she was world champion in the youth and she wanted to continue. Danny has also done something similar for ice hockey, so he understood her.”

Danny: „As a sixteen-year-old I had the dream of achieving the highest level in ice hockey and you didn’t have to stay in the Netherlands for that either. That is why I went to Canada with a teammate from the Dutch team. He was named best attacker and I best defender. Okay, let’s gowe said then. We lived in Edmonton, Northern Canada for a year. There we experienced temperatures of minus 50. It has been a very nice learning experience, especially for myself as a person. I thought it was great that we could now do the same for Isabeau. Tarifa is of course also a lot better to do than from ice rink to ice rink, haha.”

Pizza companies

Kirsten: “Isabeau now also works for us in the company. Due to corona she became demotivated and she paused her studies at the higher hotel school. She helped set up the dark kitchens [keukens die consumenten via bezorgdiensten direct maaltijden leveren] and think along about new products. Now that the classes are live again, she has resumed her studies.”

Danny: “In Canada and America I had seen the development of large pizza companies. When I returned, I started a caterer next to my mother’s Italian restaurant in Laren that also delivered. That became Al Capone’s Pizza. At the peak, we had 42 pizza shops and a turnover of 24 million euros. I was always the youngest in my company, which was crazy.”

Kirsten: „I am not vegan, but flexitarian. But yes, I live with someone who is vegan and have a daughter who is almost vegan. For 80 percent I am vegan, but I can’t quite let go of my egg and cheese yet. Every now and then I eat a piece of fish or chicken.”

Danny: „I became vegan partly because of top sport. At one point I was looking at old vacation photos and I thought, ‘Hey, but my dad wasn’t with me, was he?’ I was about 27 years old and ate a lot of ribeyes. Then someone from the sports world said: ‘Maybe you should eat less meat.’ Then the pounds flew off. I’ve actually been a vegetarian for the past ten years. For two years I flew all over the world with Isabeau to organize the World Kitesurfing Championships and I met many athletes. They were often vegan. I saw their performance improve. After the documentary Cowspiracy it was a no-brainer for me to become vegan as well. This is how Vegan Masters was born. We make mainstream consumer food vegan. We still have the pizza company, but I notice that we no longer have any affinity with it.”

Kirsten: „I try to work from home two days a week, because of the dogs and also because I am quite involved in the numbers. I can hardly close myself off at the office.”

Numbers

Danny: „I don’t like numbers at all, so we complement each other well. Kirsten is half German. All pünktlich and gründlich, haha.”

Kirsten: “We started with the business plan in 2018. Danny is the marketer and creates the whole concept. I work it out to perfection in Excel to see if it is feasible. We are really a team in that.”

Danny: “After work, we often dive into the vegetable garden for an hour.”

Kirsten: “Danny cooks the most, and we eat our own Vegan Masters meals twice a week. I cook the least at home, that has never been my strongest point, haha. I do the dishes.”

Danny: „take out we also eat once or twice a week.”

Kirsten: „And once a week we go out for dinner ‘at grandma’, in Danny’s mother’s restaurant. Around half past eight we go for a walk with the dogs. I often spend an hour or an hour and a half answering emails or making payments.”

Danny: “We live very rural, in a converted manor farm. Sheep and cows walk around it. We can really enjoy that. During corona we celebrated everything here: my mother’s birthday, Kirsten’s sister’s wedding, my daughter’s baby shower.”

Kirsten: „In the evening the whole place is filled with fire pits, friends come over. We work, play sports, see family and our dogs and we are very happy with that. We don’t need that much around it.”

In Rush Hour, couples and singles tell how they combine work and private life. Participate? Mail to werk@nrc.nl

‘I don’t like numbers, so we complement each other well’
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