Founded by sisters Fabienne and Pelou Bouland and their friend Tedje Fliers, Coffee Concepts is a novel combination of services all under one roof; coffee shop, bookshop, gallery, juice bar… and marketing agency. Located in a stunning corner house in the Old South area of the city with the Vondelpark as a backyard, Coffee Concepts is now one of Amsterdam’s hottest hangouts.
Fabienne, tell us about the concept behind Coffee Concepts…
My sister and I have always wanted to do something with coffee, ever since we were very little. After studies, we had little work experience and so simply decided to do what we have always wanted to do: coffee, marketing and communications. We rented the perfect building to mix the concepts in one place. As such the name logical.
What makes you unique as a marketing firm?
That in addition to having a office, we have somewhere where people can join us for coffee. It's great as a business for people to actually experience and see us working.
How did you all get into marketing, what are your backgrounds?
My sister Pelou studied anthrophology while having a financial job too. She is very disciplined and did an amazing job but was unfortunately not-long bored and wanted something more exciting. I studies business, and after a position at Jimmy Woo for Casper Reinders, where I was responsible for the company's communication for just under two years, I was ready for a new challenge.
Who are your clients?
We recently worked on the Grazia Fashion Awards and the launch of Happy in Shape magazine. There are also a lot of very cool restaurants on our books, including Van and Rijn, Vondelpark 3, Woo Bros and Odessa, while brands include So Patron Tequila, Absolut Vodka and Supegra. Recently, we have become more involved with various art projects which are really inspiring, notably the Dutch Design Week. As a firm, we have always said that we would only work with companies that we have a feeling with and like; if you don’t, no one will believe your story.
Which architect / designer did you employ for the Coffee Concepts space?
We did it ourselves.
Coffee Concepts often holds art exhibitions – what do you love about the medium?
Art inspires! It’s so personal, while the work that’s there in comparison to the story behind it, is always so much more.
Who are your favourite artists?
I love Jeff Koons and his almost hysterical combination of colours and materials. For fine arts, Joseph Cals is unique while I’m really into the work of Carli Hermes, a Dutch photographer.
What would you be doing if you hadn't set up Coffee Concepts?
Traveling the world. Even though I have seen many countries for my age, I never took the time to travel alone and explore the world for a long time on my own. It's still a dream.
Do you consider Amsterdam to be one of Europe’s most creative cities?
Definitely, the architecture is so special and inspiring. It’s one of a kind. There are also so many new businesses, emerging design people and artists.
Where else could you live in Europe?
I would say Paris. I find it so beautiful and the language is so flattering. The architecture throughout, from the parks to the buildings are totally my style, while the fashion and food are so good.
What is your favourite restaurant in Amsterdam?
Food is guilty pleasure and so it's hard to name one particular restaurant. For Asian, Woo Bros, Dynasty and Izakaya while for Italian for sure it has to be Odessa, Bella Vista and Toscanini. For a good steak, you have to go to my all-time favourite Cannibale Royal or Van Rijn.
What is your favourite drinking spot in Amsterdam?
The bar at MOMO. They do amazing cocktails and great food.
What do you love about Amsterdam?
How you can do everything on your bike. It’s so easy going with such relaxed people and different cultures mixing it up.
How do you spend your weekends in Amsterdam?
I work six days a week of the seven that Coffee Concepts is open and so I only have one day whereby I always try not to plan anything, to instead see how my day will transpire. Sometimes it will be just relaxing at home, and other days coffee with friends. In the summer with the weather and the canals, it's the best spot to be. It's so relaxing and incredibly fun. My family are very lucky to have a boat and so as soon as the sun comes out, we're on the water.
Where do you go to feel inspired?
New York. It's the city that never sleeps with the latest concepts and new creativity. It has the best restaurants, stores and museums, with lots of different pockets and unique styles.
How do you relax?
I go to my Inner-Peace Therapy twice a month. It's the only time and space when I'm without a phone or any other impulses and distractions; a time to truly relax.
What are you doing this summer?
I don’t have a serious plans yet but I'm sure it will be spent with some of my closest friends. We eat, drink, dance, tan, sleep and talk a lot.
Coffee Concepts, Jacob Obrechtstraat 5 Amsterdam, The Netherlands; coffeeconcepts.co