‘The road to a new future was not easy'

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‘The road to a new future was not easy’

Anita: „Having my own Bed & Breakfast was a dream that had been in my head for a long time. But then, Jack and I had only been married four months when my father-in-law passed away and we took over the pig farm. We had our hands full with that. I also worked in the hospitality industry.”

Jack: “We stopped pigs six years ago. More and more nature came around us due to sand extraction, more and more regulations, a golf course was built… As pig farmers we no longer fit here.

“Relocation of the company was too expensive. Then I went to work outside. In construction. I ended up in a completely different world: early in the morning I was picked up by a van and then we went to work in South Limburg. I used to go there once every five years. And all those cars on the road, I wondered what they were doing there. ‘These are also people who go to work,’ said my colleague. After two years I started working in a pig farm near here. I can go there by bike.”

Frank: „I wanted to be a bricklayer, carpenter or interior builder, but the catering industry also attracted me. As a ball boy and later a dishwasher on the golf course next door, I rolled in there. Although I sometimes thought during the dishes: I will never go into the catering industry. In the end I followed a training as a host in Eindhoven and Tilburg.”

Jack: „We did not have an easy road to a new future. In exchange for giving up the pig farm, we were allowed to develop a number of homes on the outskirts of Milheeze. That has been a very long process with the municipality, residents, lawyers, accountants and ultimately the Council of State.”

Anita: “It was a day job, and it kept me awake at night.”

cut ribbon

Anita: “We have been able to make this transition through positive thinking. Frank was immediately enthusiastic when I came up with the plan for a B&B. That way we could pass our company on to him. Incidentally, I babysit the three children of our other son and daughter every Monday. The fourth is coming. And every Tuesday all the children come to eat. So not all my attention is focused on Frank.”

Frank: “My mother and I complement each other well.”

Jack: „I had to get used to the idea of ​​a B&B. But this way we could continue to live on our own land, in the place where I was born and raised.”

Anita: “After the pigsties were demolished, we were allowed to build twelve rooms.”

Frank: “I knew very well what we liked and so my mother and I selected and decorated everything ourselves.”

Jack: „I mow the grass. The B&B has given me new energy. I work 35 to 40 hours outside the home and here I mainly do the maintenance of the B&B and the yard around it.”

Anita: „But on the weekends Jack also helps with changing the beds. If it is very busy, we have an interior caretaker.”

Frank: “My mother and I provide breakfast.”

Jack: “We started in January 2020, just before corona. Then we sometimes looked at each other like: we will continue, won’t we?”

Anita: “We still haven’t had an open day or opening of the B&B.”

Frank: “I would have liked to cut a ribbon.”

Anita: “Actually, it was fortunate that many people stayed in the Netherlands for a holiday. We have been very busy so far.”

Frank: “During the summer holidays we were full for ten weeks.”

Anita: „The environment reacts enthusiastically to the B&B. They are no longer bothered by the company. We buy locally as much as possible: pastries, eggs, the bbq meat from the butcher in the village. That is sustainable, and that’s how we create involvement. I get energy from those compliments. That was different when we still had a pig farm. But we still respect the agricultural sector that makes products that we enjoy.”


Jack: „What I miss is working together in my own yard. I always looked after the piglets together with Anita.”

Anita: “Yes, there have certainly been pain points.”

Frank: “I still have a zero-hours contract at a restaurant, I sometimes jump in. If it gets much quieter here in the winter, I can work there. But we already have regular guests here within a year. Business people who would like to have their ‘own’ room. I know exactly what they like.”

Anita: “Being able to receive and spoil people, that is the greatest gift.”

Jack: “And that we once again have a company that we are proud of. And that the bank agreed with our plan. We just have to come up with something for taking days off.”

Frank: „I am just as happy at home. There is so much view and tranquility here.”

Anita: „We have never really had much vacation. Sometimes we went away for a weekend. And now I think: a cup of coffee after work on our terrace and it’s all right as far as I’m concerned. It’s so nice that this dream has come true!”

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

‘The road to a new future was not easy’
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