Sjaak Pappe, co-founder of Rynbende Spirits, tells us the story of the relaunch of Rynbende.
After unsuccessful relaunches in 1986 (Bols) and 1998 (Mitra), we can hopefully say “third time lucky” after almost 25 years. We are looking forward to introducing you to our 21st century aged Rynbende genever soon. The recipe will include botanicals from origeneveral Rynbende recipes.
“We” are Erik Post and Sjaak Pappe, friends and entrepreneurs in mould-making and strategic innovation, respectively. We were enthused by (the people and opportunities in) the beverage industry. But why, you ask, did we set out to relaunch the Rynbende brand in this industry that is alien to us both?
That has to do with my family history. My grandfather Job Kramer Freher worked at Rynbende almost all his life and retired as company manager. His second cousin (son of a sister of my grandmother) Louis Meulstee was master distiller and his father-in-law Piet van der Wel worked there as a driver. As a child, I often visited the Rynbende complex on Groeneweegje in Schiedam. I can still recall inhaling the scent of genever.
At one time, my grandfather had planned to start his own distillery, but circumstances (including WWII) were not favourable and the plans were shelved. I inherited three Rynbende recipe books from my grandfather, via my father, but I did nothing with them. Until a few years ago, when an acquaintance motivated me to do something with them. As a tribute to my grandfather and his in-laws, I decided to bring Rynbende back to life. At a birthday party, I told my friend Erik about my aspirations – and to my surprise he said he he would love to join me as an investor.
Our journey of discovery
I quickly decided not to start distilling myself, as I was still busy and happy with my other ventures. I started by acquiring the brand name, which turned out to be owned by a large beverage production company. So Rynbende became a virtual, outsourced business with various partners adding value to the brand. Curiously, the number three also played a role here. After two failed partnerships, we have now found a third top partner to develop the recipe. During the relaunch at the end of this year -where else but at the National Genever Museum – we will unveil these and other partners.
Rynbende’s wonderful history and my family history will be incorporated into our marketing, bottle design, packageneverg and corporate identity. Our story will revolve around seven themes.
More about grandfather Job and the other family members who worked at Rynbende soon.