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Guillaume (Wilhelmus) Dael was born in Gulpen on 2 May 1851. On 17 April 1878, he established 'G. Dael, in colonial goods' in the house located on the Wolfstraat 28, where he lived since 16 April 1877. In address books of that time, G. Dael is known as a railway official, but from 1887 onwards, he is listed as a storekeeper. His wife Catharina runs the store for the first few years, and he works there besides his job as a railway official at Maastricht-Aachen. 'G. Dael, in colonial goods' sold soap, oil, canned goods, matches, petrol, tea, biscuits, etc.
The attached photo is a family photo in front of the store in I891. In this photo, the old façade is shown. On 7 October 1901, this front of the store has been rebuilt into the façade as it still exists today. N.B. Many details, such as the windows on the upper floors, are still in their original state today.
In 1905, Guillaume Dael took over the roastery annex warehouse from Aug. Hustinx in The Bonnefantenstraat in Maastricht. Aug. Hustinx was a colleague, who also had a store in the Wolfstraat. In the early 1900s, there were about 12 coffee roasting companies active in Maastricht. Guillaume Dael's roastery works on hydropower from the river Jeker. When the locks in Kanne close, one has to be inventive to be able to roast anyway.
On 23 February 1923, Guillaume Dael formally sold his company to his son-in-law Louis Boesten from Amby. He now calls the company House B. Dael, after his wife, whom he marries on 5 October in the same year. Her name is Blanche; she is the youngest daughter of the founder.
Guillaume Dael died in 1928. From that year onwards, the company name was called Maison Blanche Dael. Louis Boesten, the owner, did not work in the company himself, but Blanche did. She worked part-time in the company and part-time as a teacher of French secondary education. Her mother, Mrs Catharina Dael-Van Kaldenkerken, continues to work in the store for a long time and is mentioned in official documents as the storekeeper until 1938.
In 1928, the 'Gothot' coffee roaster from the Bonnefantenstraat was placed in the shop window. Since 1963, a 'probat' coffee roaster has been placed on this spot, which now roasts freshly roasted peanuts every day.
On 23 July 1939, Mrs Dael-Van Kaldenkerken dies and Blanche has to work in the shop herself. However, she had the help of her older brother Léon, who came to roast coffee after his work was done at the Municipality of Maastricht.
In 1956, Mr Jean Erkamp joined the company, and Léon Daubel teaches him the art of roasting coffee. Boesten and his wife Blanche remain involved in the business until old age. They are strict about purchasing and quality, and advertise weekly in the local newspaper. In 1969 they decided to sell the business to their coffee roaster, Jean Erkamp, and his brother-in-law Huub Berghof, who is a pharmacist in the Kleine Straat.
The name 'Maison Blanche Dael' has been maintained.
In those early years, the brothers-in-law were still selling a range of 'comestibles' or delicacies. In addition to coffee, tea and nuts, the assortment also included oil, soups, biscuits, ginseng, smokes, etc. Over the years, however, the range has focused purely on coffee, tea, fresh nuts and related products. The common denominator is and remains the selection of the best qualities.
On 13 August 1973, a new store with a coffee roastery and shop opened at Muntstraat 7 in Maastricht. However, due to the labour-intensive nature of both businesses, in 1988, the decision was made to close the Muntstraat store.
On 1 January 2001, Jean Erkamp hands over his share in the business to Albert Berghof, his partner's son. After a short career in the business world, Albert opted to continue in the family business and plans to further develop the coffee and tea speciality company and to expand its activities.
On the occasion of its 125th anniversary in 2003, Blanche Dael receives the predicate 'purveyor to the royal court’ from Governor B. van Voorst tot Voorst.
A salient detail in the company's history, is 1877 as the establishment date on the letterhead of an invoice from 1937, while 1878 is the official year of establishment at the Chamber of Commerce. Until 2001, 1877 was considered the year of establishment. This was corrected in 2001. However, during the application for ‘Purveyor to the Royal Court’ in 2001, 1877 was still written on the stationery.
From Maison Blanche Dael, sister company Blanche Dael Coffeelovers was founded in 2000. This small chain of by-the-minute espresso bars in the South-East of the Netherlands has already 9 locations and is still expanding.
After a donation to Stichting Pimma, to rebuild a primary school in Guatemala, the Escuela Blanche Dael foundation was established in 2006. With this foundation, paid by proceeds from coffee sales, help is offered to schoolchildren in Guatemala.
In 2016, Blanche Dael received the Maastricht Award for distinctive entrepreneurship in Maastricht.
At the end of 2020, the coffee roasting company and tea factory moved into the Brikke building in the Sphinx Quarter in Maastricht. On this former industrial site of the Sphinx pottery factories, Blanche Dael has found a suitable monumental accommodation for its activities. A building from 1875 that is reminiscent of the first roastery of Guillaume Dael in the Jekerkwartier.