We have completed a marketing and research trip to Amsterdam Netherlands. There is a movement similar to the craft brewery movement in the United States with many small bakeries popping up all over the city. We wanted to get a feel for the movement, availability, quantity and quality of the products. We wander the streets seeking out those bakeshops by their reputation. We found a bakery, coffee shops or a small grocery store could be found within a short walk, almost every block or two had an option. We also found there are a few chains of shops and also a difference between a bakkerij or a patisserie. One offers more breads, croissants and rolls and the other more sweet treats.

Our first day out, October 20, we planned to visit three locations south of the city centrum. Instead we found five additional spots! Fortunately Poppy's son was willing to serve as the taste tester. We walked six kilometers on our first day. Bloomestein is a block away from our hotel. They focus on pastries and chocolates. They also offer breads- brown bread is a national favorite and staple. Their tart infused with almond, piled with whipped cream and coated with a fresh fruits glaze is a favorite!
Bakkerij Renzema is a commonly found shop around the city. It is good. We found it curious some of the shops do not allow credit cards. Also, the servers behind the counter do not touch the money. They gather your order, type in into the register and wait for the patron to drop their coins into a small machine on the counter.
De Bakkerswinkel is a small neighborhood shop with some seating for the locals to meet, share a few crumbs and hot drinks. We found the goods appetizing and the service friendly.
The next shop is Le Pain Quotidien. They are more a cafe with baked goods and lunch options. It seems many of the shops bake or purchase their goods from another location.
We found Brood, with a number of locations around the city to be more of a factory look and taste. They have really cool trucks to deliver products to their various shops. Unfortunately these small vehicles would have a tough time on the streets and highways in the United States.
Across the street from Le Pain Quotidien is Van Muyden Bakkerij. It lacked the warmth and intimacy of a neighborhood store.
Huizevanwely is a GREAT chocolate shop on Beethoventraat. It had a number of locations around the city.
Lastly we went to Le Fournil de Sabastien, regarded by many as the best in Amsterdam. It was the only shop with a line out of the store and down the street. Watching croissants being made in a store front window certainly added to the charm. Clearly their reputation is clearly earned with outstanding products.
It seems the influence of the French is strong throughout the baking tradition and growth of the local markets.

On my second day, October 21, of the baking tour of Amsterdam, we walked close to 7 km. We found a number of gems and were able to visit a baker's supply store.
The first shop is a chain store and we found three locations. The Bakkerrij Simon Meijsseen has an incredible blend of breads and pastries. The environment is friendly, the product tastes great and the presentation of the product and store is one of my favorites.
Just a few blocks away we found Patisserie. It is a delightful shop with great products. This was a surprise store because it was not on our radar and just found it along the way.
Our next bakery is Bakken met Passie. The product was good but the clerk was less than friendly. When we asked to take pictures she said we could not take any of the products.
A few blocks away is Duikelman on Ferdinand Bolstraat. This is the bakery supply store. They carry just about any products a professional or amateur cook/baker would need. I was able to purchase two wood molds to make Speculass, also known as Dutch Windmill Cookies. I could not resist buying a set of cookie cutters. It is a set of world monuments. It is really cool. I will be adding the different cutters on our webpage.

Next we wandered the streets and saw two more Bakkerrij Simon Meijssen locations. The exterior at Albert Cuypstraat was not as nice as the first on Van Baerlestraat but the product was consistent.
We found Bakker Hasan. It did not stand out and the products seems pretty typical and usual.
We next found our way to Patisserie Holtkamp on Vijzelgracht. We were looking forward to this spot as it is listed as one of the queen's favorite. It lived up to the reputation and was one of the most friendly stops.
We started our way back to Hotel Victorie and found Baker Bart which seems pretty generic.
Then we saw Brood en Banketbakkerij Rud H Venekamp. This shop is AMAZING! It has the amazing marzipan, chocolates and candies We did have our first taste of Roomborstplaat, a tasty fudge like candy. The lady in the shop was kind and very welcoming. Their products are beautiful and wonderfully crafted. They blew me away!
Lastly we stopped at Patisserie Kwekkeboom. It is a nice shop and has three locations around the city.
Overall, it was a good day despite the constant rain and chill. Please take a look at the photos from our experiences.

On my third day, October 23, of the bakery exploration was an exciting day. The first shop on the list was Unlimited Delicious. They came highly recommended. unfortunately they were not open. A few doors down was a location that was to specialize in artisan carmel shop. Unfortunately they seemed to have gone out of business.
On the same block I found Vlaamsch Broodhuys on Haarlemmestraat. They have 10 locations in Amsterdam. They carried the stock products most shops carry.
As I wandered down the street I was surprised to find four shops I did not expect: Lamour, Stadsbakker Forgejans, Gebr Niemuer and Petit Gateau. They are quaint shops with a variety of bake goods including lots of bread.
I turned down Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal looking for Melly's Cookie Bar. It is not quite what I expected as the cookies are more like the press cookies and a few pastries. I enjoyed a dried cherry and chocolate chip cookie. The taste was pretty good but the cookie was too dry and not fresh enough for my taste.
My next stop was Van Ness Cupcake on Spuistraat. They too were closed. I peered into the window and could see them busy baking and getting ready for the day.

I continues down the narrow streets and found Lanskroon Banket Bakkerij. It also seemed pretty standard in their offerings. It is a little disappointing as they do not do anything to distinguish themselves from other shops. Differentiation is important when there are so many customer options in such close proximity. It is curious, I did not find one shop that carried iced cut out cookies anywhere in the city.
The next stop was another Patisserie Kwekkeboom on Reguliersbreestraat. It is consistent with the sister shop already visited.
I miss a shop earlier in the week and found it on the way back to the hotel. It is De Taart Van M'n Tante. It is curious the sample in the window seemed uncharacteristic of Amsterdam offerings. They remind me a an American cake baking reality show. That isn't necessarily a good thing.
Lastly, I found Bettina Bakt. Since it was later in the afternoon, they had sold quite a bit of their goods.
It was a good day. For the most part, the people I met were fairly cordial. A key learning is shops need to do something to make themselves standout from the competition. They need to do something different to entice people to come in and embrace the ambiance and uniqueness of their shop.

My fourth day of the magnificent bakery tour was Friday, October 24. My first stop was the historic Hartog's Volkoren Bakkerij on Ruyschstraat.  This bakery was started over 200 years ago and use recipes that are over 100 years old.  It was busy!  Literally dozens of people streamed in and out while I was there.  For breakfast I ate a delicious apple tart. I can see why they have been in business for so long.
I continued my journey to Cafe Langereis on Amstel. While I didn't taste their baked goods, I enjoyed a warm cup of tea.  It was a cold and wet walk!  I don't believe they made their products on site as these shops are in very tight quarters.
Next on my list was another Patisserie Kwekkeboom on Linnaeusstraat. This was the third location for this particular shop.  I am sad to say it almost became redundant to visit the shop.
It is curious to note that because of space limitations many shops must have a separate location for baking or purchase their products on the whole sale market.

The final day of my bakery tour was October 25 and perhaps the longest day of walking.  We saw a variety of shops on our list and found a few more treasures along the way.  As it was Saturday, the Metro Nieuwmarkt, an open air market, was bustling for business. We found several neat booths open and the folks are the friendliest we have met. We found another Brood on Zeedijk, having the same fare as the other locations.
Rene's Croissants is a charming place with an old world atmosphere.  Their products are presented well and have a flurry of customers.
Outmayer is an unexpected spot but didn't jump out at us as being particularly unique.
Banketbakkerij v.d. Linde also is a surprise!  We did not go inside as it was quite busy.
The last three locations we found on our way to Gebroeders Niemeijer on Nieuwendijk.  At first we were swayed to keep walking because the store was chaotic and frenzied on this beautiful Saturday morning.  However, we hadn't really had breakfast yet, so we ventured in an found the only open table.  I am glad we did.  I ate perhaps the best chocolate croissant I ever had.  It was fresh, sweet, flaky, crisp yet soft.  It was amazing!
Eventually we were able to break away from the grip this place had and hit the narrow streets once again.  We went to De Bakkerswinkle on Warmoesstraat.  A really cute place and quite popular!
Another shop on our bucket list was De Lassisie Kruimel on Langebrugsteeg.  This place was too filled with patrons frantically trying to eat their last meal, or so it seemed.
A flurry of other bakeries/sweet shops caught our attention as well: Residence Sweets, another Kwekkeboom, Bakkerij Lakket Brood, Brood Banket, another Van Muyden Bakkerij and the elusive Puccini Bomboni.  Each shop has its own character and charm.  Perhaps today became more of an overload as we saw and visited more than any other day. I felt satiated like an addict with one too many fixes injected into my arm.
It is overwhelming to me how different this place is compared to many of the cities I have visited in the U.S.  So many shops in such close proximity is amazing to me.  The quality and volume of product is pretty spectacular as well.  In many regards, we have settled for mass produced and big box store food.  I find it difficult to walk into the local grocery stores and settle for their baked goods.
Amsterdam, you have spoiled me!  You have opened my eyes to new possibilities!  You have inspired me!
I will continue to try new recipes and products based on my Amsterdam experience and continue to focus on our mission-  making and enjoying the best cookies possible.
Thank you for your indulgence and reading about our experience.
Best wishes,