The Battle of De Zeester
If owner Jenny (pictured left) were to write a book, it could well be called “The Battle of the Starfish”. You could find it in the Horeca Heroes section of the bookstore. It would be a real island story because it all started in Poortvliet on the island of Tholen. In 1994, Hans and Jenny Goudzwaard took over the cafeteria and café ‘t Centrum. For 25 years, they supplied the village with chips and their busy café was an important entertainment venue. Raising two boys and running two businesses was not always easy, but together they managed. You would think that would be a good time to retire and buy a ticket for the first cruise boat.
A pearl on the water
Things turned out differently. They had their eye on one of the most beautiful spots on the island. For on the Gorishoek stood restaurant De Zeester. Unfortunate detail was the restaurant’s bad reputation. After several changes of owner, the premises had also fallen further into disrepair. Because the location was beautiful and an investor would realise a new building within two years, Hans and Jenny moved in in 2011. But the contractor went bankrupt and costs were mounting as really everything was breaking down or in need of replacement. “What did we get ourselves into?” they must have often thought.
Setback after setback
Meanwhile, son Maikel (pictured right) and his girlfriend Iris were already helping a lot to make the best of it. Fortunately, Maikel was enterprising enough to start an events agency himself because no one could have guessed at the time that they would have to wait 10 years before contractor De Nijs/ Soffers jumped into the gap. After the necessary preparations, they finally opened in October 2021. Maikel is now in the business, working with his parents on their shared dream. Anyone who saw the new restaurant for the first time came up superlatives short, how modern and how atmospheric! The huge corona-waiting time was well spent because every detail has been so well thought out. Beautiful, but heavens above, what timing….
All’s well that ends well
The Starfish’s reputation was by now thick and fast but corona, meanwhile, had shown its worst side and really everything was locked. So once again the costs were skyrocketing and it was just a question of when they could finally pop. How wonderful that this bizarre story ends in 2022 with a great restaurant season and a fairytale wedding for Maikel and Iris. And that you can now eat delicious food there and have a great view you’ll have to come and discover for yourself….