The city centre is bustling again. The weekly market on Friday and Saturday contributes to this, of course, but so do the special (new) shops and initiatives that make a visit to the city centre more than worthwhile. This is great for the people of Dordrecht, but also for tourists who are increasingly finding their way to the oldest city in Holland.
It's fun again in the city centre of Dordrecht
On 16 September, Charmé Munter opened the doors of her Hair Toko for the first time. The barbershop has the atmosphere of an English pub with a bar and warm colours. The goal of this cosy new shop in the Grote Spuistraat is to create "a warm place where everyone feels welcome and where we only work with animal and environmentally friendly products. From Kevin Murphy to be precise," says the enthusiastic and experienced hair stylist. That this has more than succeeded, is clear from Charmé's full agenda. "In recent years I have built up a loyal clientele at the hairdressing salons where I have worked. It's great when people are happy with their haircut, but what I also often hear from customers is that they like my advice on how to do their hair at home themselves." The name of the hair salon is a nod to Charmé's Indian background and the question she was often asked if she didn't want to start her own toko. She certainly did and now she has: the Hair Toko!
"How lucky I am to have my shop", Jolanda Branderhorst thought regularly during the lockdown. In her window of byBranderhorst in Voorstraat, she put on small exhibitions that some people adjusted their walk to. "That feeling and the compliments I got, I would like to give to others", says the driven social entrepreneur and designer. "That is why I am starting a small gift shop in Hofstraat, next to the secret counter of designer Marije Vogelzang. It will be a surprising social enterprise with unique, beautiful and valuable products. The place will be so special that the volunteers and interns who work there will undoubtedly be showered with compliments. Of course I hope to sell a lot, but the people who will be working there are at least as important." The real name of this cool shop will be revealed at the festive opening on 19 November at 15.00. Everyone is welcome to come and see it. Everyone is welcome to come and take a look then.
Hofstraat 3, Dordrecht
Once you know the place, you never forget it. The unique view from Wilfred and Patricia's hair salon on the Oude Maas is a living work of art of boats passing by. They have been here since 2018 when they made a new start, both privately and professionally. A joint start with, among other things, the contemporary salon at the Keizershof as a result. But of course, people don't come just for the view. Patricia: "Wilfred has all the experience in the world. He has won awards, trained hairdressers and had several hairdressing salons himself. We complement each other well, and time and attention are our main pillars. And good quality, of course. We are the only salon in Dordrecht that works with the products of the Italian company Davines. Wilfred: "Davines is the Bentley among hair products. It is completely pure and provides nutrition to the hair and scalp." Another niche at Figaro1967 is colouring in twelve minutes. Skin-friendly, ammonia-free and with 100% grey coverage. Those who are at a loss for words can always come to the hospitable Wilfred and Patricia.
Owner Kees Verburg has no complaints when it comes to the interest in the brand new Bed and Breakfast that he runs with his wife. They have been open since 1 October and have already welcomed guests from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England and even Indonesia. They themselves live downstairs in the cinematic Rijksmonument in the centrally located Grotekerksbuurt, the two B&B rooms are upstairs. Kees' wife gives English courses at home (hence the name) in which guests can participate. Kees himself has been retired for a few months now, but has no intention of sitting behind the geraniums. "The B&B is a great way to come into contact with different people. I like the liveliness that the guests bring with them and I like to welcome them with a personal touch. Of course, we have only just opened, but the first signs are good. We have already received the first booking for Dordt in Stoom."
Ten years ago Wim van Driel (33) joined the family business Van Driel Schoenen that his grandfather started in 1946 in the Voorstraat. Six years ago he and his wife Jantine took over the shop as the third generation. In March last year his father stopped working after sixty years. As far as the young entrepreneur is concerned, another 75 years are bound to follow. "The contact with customers is what makes the work fun. It's nice when someone leaves the shop happy with well-fitting shoes. Comfort and good service are of paramount importance to us. That is why we have many regular customers, but fortunately tourism is also picking up. During the lockdown, we rebuilt and modernised the shop. We also have an extensive webshop, but we prefer to give tailor-made advice in the shop. In our freshly renovated shop, ready for the future."