When the previous business premises became too small, Paul Jeurissen of Place Add started looking for new facilities. Not on an industrial estate, because the entrepreneur believed that was not in line with his business, which provides table decorations for the catering industry. Through the Business Contact Point, Jeurissen found the former building of RTV Maastricht, in the Caberg area. The ideal place to expand further.
Place Add, the company that Paul Jeurissen founded in Sittard in 1997, is doing well. At the time, he sold placemats with ads on them; the product range now includes menu cards, napkins, cutlery pouches, and lighting. ‘We operate in a niche market,’ Paul says. ‘In the Netherlands, there are some five similar companies, everyone knows one another. Our customers include restaurants and hotels that value having their own identity, but we also supply, say, napkins to healthcare provider Meander and Roompot Parks.’
During his search for larger business premises, Paul contacted the municipality. ‘I had a pleasant meeting with the Business Contact Point and, a short while later, I was given the offer to lease the building that previously housed RTV Maastricht. The building had been occupied by anti-squatters for some time. When we went to view it, I had to look through the mess. But I liked the atmosphere instantly.’
It took three months to get the building ready for the new lessee. The inside was painted, new flooring was installed in part of the building, and hospitality layouts were set up for inspiration. Outside, excess bushes were removed. Paul: ‘Now, it's just a matter of dotting the i's: I want to install photos on the exterior walls, so that passers-by can see what we do here, and I want new paving on the grounds. Then I will be completely satisfied.’
The power of Place Add's products lies in the wide range of options, according to the director. ‘In consultation with the customer, we determine the material, size, print, and content. There is something for every budget. For example, custom-made menu cards start at 8 Euros, and the most expensive menus are 68 Euros.’ For many years, the wood look was a trend in the world of hospitality, but Paul believes the industrial look is going out of fashion. 1920s style, with its soft colours and gold accents, seems to be an emerging trend at the moment.
Until now, Place Add has attracted its customers via Google and hospitality fairs. ‘In addition to BBB in Maastricht, we also go to fairs in Amsterdam and Hamburg. The most recent fair had no less than 115,000 visitors, many times the number that come to Maastricht.’ Participation in fairs has led to Place Add gaining more and more of a foothold in Germany, in addition to the Netherlands and Belgium. The company, which now employs five people, is growing steadily. This past summer was a contributing factor in this growth. ‘Because of the warm weather, it was an excellent season for the hospitality industry, which resulted in us supplying many more napkins and cutlery pouches.’