Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Sjuul van Pol and I am working in the marketing field for 9 years now. Next to this day job (which I love) my real passion lies in food, hospitality and surprising people. So that’s how ‘Ditmaal’ was born. I have a huge interest in food, wine and creative concepts. With ‘Ditmaal’ I can combine both worlds: work and pleasure…
What would you consider your distinctive achievement?
In order to understand this I need to explain more about our concept. At ‘Ditmaal’ we want to surprise people. Once a month and for only one night we set our table in a unique location. So far we’ve been in a brewery, at Sphinx, a former supermarket, old factories and even in a vineyard. During this night we serve a six course menu, accomplished with wines and a few surprises along the way. Next to the food aspect it’s also about meeting new people. When you visit ‘Ditmaal’ you sit alongside strangers with at least one similar interest: food! Sure, we want to serve high quality food and wines. And we do this in a generous way, like you’re at home and you have some friends over for dinner. But the atmosphere and new connections that have been made at our table: that’s something we are really proud of!
The people who make a reservation are really diverse, but it’s nice to see that one shared passion or interest combines all worlds. Our guests shake hands before they have a seat and hug and exchange numbers when they leave. That’s really cool.
What are you looking forward to?
Making memories really…
At Ditmaal we have one vision and one vision only: we want to make memories.
And memories in our opinion, can only be made by addressing all senses in an unexpected way.
I’m looking forward to be a part of a conversation, in a few years from now, and how people have experienced a night at Ditmaal.
Which advise will you give to other professionals?
From my experience, I feel that a lot of people have so many great ideas! The problem is they are stuck in thinking about all the things that can go wrong, before they even get started.
This time I just followed my passion, just did it and faced all the problems alongside the way.
If I have known everything, I might not have started Ditmaal. But now I did, and I’m proud of it.
What are the challenges that we need to overcome to make cultural entrepreneurship more accessible?
I think when you’re a guest at our place, you see a group of people that is sitting around one table sharing at least one same distinctive passion. These people would have never met if they didn’t like food and didn’t like meeting new people. The idea is very simple. Invite people with something they can relate to, with something they love. By calling it ‘cultural’ you’re putting a stamp on it, where only a few people can relate to. Culture is everything and everywhere, so why bother calling it that way? Just invite people over with something they love to do.