Starcuisine is building a sustainable future
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Starcuisine is building a sustainable future

  • 15 November 2021
  • By: Esther van der Lelie

StarCuisine is growing and building a new facility to be ready for the future. It is an exciting process in which the entrepreneurs can rely on the people at Aan de Stegge Twello construction company, who look ahead, provide guidance and do what they say.

The specialist in top-of-the-range dishes (including oriental and Italian) and producer of chilled meals for the hotel and catering industry and supermarkets decided to build new premises at the Prisma business park in Bleiswijk due to its growth. Construction company Aan de Stegge Twello was awarded the contract and will ensure, right down to the smallest detail, that the agreements made are prepared and complied with. StarCuisine wants to use its new premises for sustainability and modernisation and to improve logistic accessibility. On condition that the changes for the employees are kept to a minimum.

StarCuisine is led by two entrepreneurs. Lart Braaksma explains: "The oriental restaurant/production house at the time had gone bankrupt. My father, Lammert Braaksma, suggested that I, together with him and my good friend Fernand Molenschot, should breathe new life into the production house." It clicked well between the men, they appeared to complement each other in competences, in 2009 the step was taken. "At the time, we mainly supplied the hotel and catering industry. Nowadays, 30% of our turnover is aimed at the hotel and catering industry, restaurants, hotels (food service) and 70% at retail, such as Jumbo, Marqt and PLUS."

Growing and looking ahead

The decision to enter the retail market was not a bad one for the company. The premises in Rijswijk soon became too small. Lart: "Fortunately, we were able to take over the neighbouring premises, which doubled the floor area. A short-term solution. In 2019 we decided to develop a new location. Preferably in the area around Rijswijk, because we do not want our employees to travel too far. We ended up at the Prismapark in Bleiswijk, sufficient land and easily accessible by car, public transport and bicycle. In August 2020 we said 'yes'."
Lart immediately expresses the future expectations that come with saying 'yes': "Now we produce 10,000 kg, in 2026 we want to grow to 20,000 kg in the new building to reach 30,000 kg in 2030. That will require another new building and we have already bought a piece of land for that."

Bas te Riele and Lart Braaksma

Challenging construction

Together with Arcadis, a list of 10 construction companies was drawn up, from which a shortlist of three emerged, including Aan de Stegge Twello. Lart immediately experienced the contact with them as pleasant and the references were good. StarCuisine chose this construction company because they needed a party that would take them along and push them forward.
Bas te Riele, commercial project manager at Aan de Stegge Twello: "We practise the art of looking ahead comprehensively. We take our clients with us during the process, say in advance what we are going to do and then do what we say. That way, you plan in advance how you are going to achieve the right outcomes." Lart adds: "I wanted a beautiful factory but didn't know exactly how. Aan de Stegge Twello built up trust from the start and organised the construction professionally and in positive harmony, super neat." Bas agrees that positivity is important: "There has to be a good connection for a 100% chance of success."
According to Bas, the challenge in this building project lies in the complexity of many different areas: warehouse, production, kitchen, freezing and tempering cells, packaging department and office. And in the great variety of equipment and installations. That means a lot of thinking about heights, dimensions, routing, temperature changes, hygiene and fire provisions. "Our 3D BIM model supports the client, installers, suppliers, architect and us in the preliminary and implementation process."

Attentive cooperation

StarCuisine and Aan de Stegge Twello have found each other when it comes to attentiveness. Lart: "We see that the construction company controls the construction process, just like we control our food process. And they do a little more by thinking along with us. We do that too. We go the extra mile to make a dish really tasty and to make it look good. That attention ensures that people remember your name, give good feedback and choose your product again."

"The cooperation is honest and professional," says Lart. He says that, as a new experience, he finds the building process difficult, exciting and incredibly fun. Bas also found the cooperation pleasant and constructive: "In Lart's case, you can recognise his business background, he thinks in terms of large processes, but also indicates when he wants to think about things. We respect that." According to the planning, construction will be completed in December 2021.
"After that, the move will follow and we can look further ahead," Lart concludes.

Beeld: ©Cor Salverius Fotografie

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2021