85

Studio Stroop

Elandsgracht-Studio Stroop

Studio Stroop is all about passion, craftsmanship and diversity. Three concepts that virtually all businesses along the Elandsgracht have in common. Business is good, as its growing clientele is as diverse as its treatments and range of products. 20somethings rub shoulders with octogenarians,  the rich mingle with the less rich,  locals or people from way outside the city limits – they all find their way to the Studio. What matters most to owner Wilfred is to make someone feel better and more confident after a treatment because ultimately, confidence and feeling comfortable give a person true beauty, Wilfred says. It makes perfect sense. You connect with it because that is how you want to be treated. Wilfred employs eight people, all of whom have been trained internally by means of a course that is Studio Stroop’s own. It was devised by Wilfred, who saw this as a great way of spreading his filosophy and creating an unofficial stamp of approval of his Studio and his methods. Besides this shop, he also runs a studio at the very heart of the Dutch broadcasting industry, in Hilversum. Plenty of celebrities pop in there on a regular basis for some treatment or other. All of this together really make any advertising superfluous. The brand speaks for itself by now.

contact

Elandsgracht 85

1016 TR

+3120 4204240

www.studiostroop.nl

Studio Stroop
105

Baobab

Elandsgracht-Baoab

You have your restaurants, your clothing stores, your dry cleaning businesses, you name it, it is all to be found on the Elandsgracht. And then there is Baobab. A shop that is truly in a league of its own. An oasis in the lively gracht that hasn’t been a “gracht” since about a century. Step inside this place and it’s like you stepped into a Bedouin’s tent in a sandy place that still knows the meaning of summer. Owner Thea started her business in the 1960s, as a hobby. She and Baobab have grown up together on the Elandsgracht, as have her customers who first walked in as twenty somethings and have kept coming back as they became parents or even grandparents. Handmade jewellery, crafted ornaments, decorations, pieces of art, pottery, this store carries it all, from all the different continents. And there’s even more in the basement, which one imagines is what Ali Baba’s treasure cove may have looked like. By all means come in for a visit. Just make sure to take your time to marvel at all the amazing artifacts on offer.

contact

Elandsgracht 105

1016 TT

+3120 6268398

www.baobab-aziatica.nl

Baobab
110

Rijwielhandel Comman

Elandsgracht-Comman

Owner Stef Comman is a third generation bicycle repairman. Both his grandfather and his father were in the business before him. As a teenager, Stef never really fancied a career fixing bikes. Until he started lending a hand in the shop on busy days.  His dad, not about to have his own son as his apprentice, sent Stef to some of the biggest names in the business to learn the trade. Once he was qualified, Stef went to work for his dad, and now, nearly twenty years on, Stef runs the place, with a passion and interest he’d not imagined possible as a young lad. He welcomes his customers with a joke and friendly banter, but as everyone who steps into his shop soon finds out, the advice he offers is never less than sound, honest and professional. Talk to him for more than five minutes and it becomes clear this man loves what he does. And as he witnessed the biggest brands in the business starting to use inferior materials on their bikes in a desparate attempt to survive the economic downturn, he grew frustrated but also determined not to go along with that. So he started a brand in his own name: superior materials, amazing design, and best of all: manufactured locally, Stef Comman has virtually guaranteed his name and survival. He will not bike gently into the night, that much is certain.

contact

Elandsgracht 110

1016 VA

+3120 6248956

www.commanfietsen.nl

Fietsenmaker Comman 005
58

De Kleine Eland

Elandsgracht-Kleine Eland

In just seven years, Jurgen Ambrosius and his wife have found a home on the Elandsgracht for their toy store ‘De Kleine Eland’. In turn, the Elandsgracht has embraced this shop with its old-school toys, dolls, puzzles, games and any other classic toys you could think of.  With a primary school  nearby, their target market is just around the corner. The couple started their toy store in 1993, so 2013 marks quite the milestone.Through a coincidental meeting with the owner of the building, they kept in touch and were able to take his place in 2006 and open their doors to what must look like a true paradise for any kid that is not glued to an iPod, mobile phone or other electronic gadget. Even adults have a field day here, as it will doubtlessly take them back to their childhood with a lot of the toys on display. Expect to leave the shop with a big smile, and most likely some “ new, old toys”.

contact

Elandsgracht 58

1016 TW

+3120 6209001

www.kleine-eland.nl

De Kleine Eland
70

Koentact

Elandsgracht-Koentact

This language school offers Dutch courses to highly educated internationals (expats) who are here for work, university studies or less formal reasons. The 60 new students that Koentact hosts every 5 weeks, work mostly for international companies such as Air France, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike. They follow the lessons in private or in group form. What sets Koentact apart, is its approach to teaching the language: the Dutch lessons focus predominantly on the combination of language and culture. Therefore, students go out on the streets during which they are encouraged to put into practice their newly learned vocabulary by interacting with Amsterdam locals. Theory alone is fine, but nothing quite helps the memory as practice, when you want to learn Dutch. Koentact also organizes the Amsterdam Language Café for everyone who wants to practice his foreign languages, so also for the ‘real Amsterdammer’. It is this sympathetic, original and personal approach that suits the spirit of the Elandsgracht to a tee.

contact

Elandsgracht 70

1016 TX

+3120 7371616

www.koentact.nl

Koentact groep
18

ETOS

Elandsgracht-Etos

This  garage-turned-pharmacy was a welcome addition to the gracht when it got here in 2006 and has proven one of those places that people like coming back to. You listen to general manager Conny and it all sounds so straightforward: it is all about product knowledge and honesty. Her personnel is supposed to know what they’re talking about if they are to offer reliable advice to their customers. The fact that they get to try all new products is not only a great way of achieving this, the staff take great pleasure in it, too. Their modest yet professional attitudes make Etos a great place to wander around in. Browse at your leisure without feeling accosted by pushy people looking for a quick sale. The Etos employees had rather they gave you good advice without selling you something then making you buy something that does not really benefit you. Result: a steadily growing number of regulars as well as new customers. Common sense is good business.

contact

Elandsgracht 18

1016 TW

+3120 4289008

www.etos.nl

Etos
122

Vlaamsch Broodhuys

Elandsgracht-Vlaamsch Broodhuys

The Elandsgracht has been the proud host to the fifth and smallest establishment of the Vlaamsch Broodhuys since 2007, when the bigwigs of the company decided on this location because, well, it’s the Elandsgracht and its central location is very hard to beat. This shop may be small, but its attractive warm interior fits the size perfectly. It is all geared towzards a cosy place for coffee, brunch and lunch.  Its excellent sandwhiches and sweet, sweet pastries, made to order right in front of you,  will make any discerning customer’s mouth water. The bread is made from a company own recipe, top secret of course, and delivered to each of the Broodhuys’s shops around dawn every morning. Refreshingly it does not have wifi, so turn all your gadgets off and take your time when you step in here. One further interesting detail is that cash is not accepted here – you can only pay with debit cards.

contact

Elandsgracht 122

1016 VB

+3120 3302089

www.vlaamschbroodhuys.nl

Vlaamsch Broodhuys
108

Balthazar’s keuken

Balthazar's Keuken

Balthazar’s Keuken is located in an old smithy. The atmosphere inside is decidely French. The inviting interior is humble and modest, but belies a very good cuisine indeed. Catering for two shifts each evening, the chef decides the menu, leaving the customer to choose between meat or fish for a main course. With the advent of the internet as a public forum, amateur critics were given an arena to vent their often not-too-subtle opinions from the safe, anonymous confines of their own living room. In that regard, it could be considered no small miracle that any negative notes about this place are very, very hard to come by indeed. Then again, it should not be considered a miracle at all if you execute a restaurant concept as well as owners Alain Parry and Karin Gaasterland did here. The success of Balthazar’s Keuken can, and should therefore be considered purely the result of fresh ingredients such as originality, hard work, attention to detail and caring about their customers.  Add to that the consistenly very high standard of food that is produced in this kitchen, and, as many other businesses along the Elandsgracht demonstrate every day: quality always prevails. Opened only on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, reserving your table in time is highly recommended –  more often than not, this place is fully booked.

contact

Elandsgracht 108

1016 VA

+3120 4202114

www.balthazarskeuken.nl

Balthazar's Keuken
65

Hollywood Mark Tattoo

Elandsgracht-Hollywood Mark kopie

Hollywood Mark Tattoo was established on the Elandsgracht in 2007, but owner Mark had by then already lived in The Netherlands for fifteen years. The discussion of fate vs coincidence is not one to be had here, but one cannot escape the notion Mark was destined to do what he does, and to end up right here. Mark was spotted in Los Angeles in the 1990s by Dutch tattoo legend Henk Schiffmacher, who was suitably impressed by the young artist’s work. So much so that he extended an invitation to join him as an apprentice. Mark jumped at the opportunity and quickly made a name for himself, soaking up the knowledge and skills that are now building and expanding Mark’s own reputation. Moreover, it is in Amsterdam that he met the love of his life. Mark runs a small yet very dedicated business, where no work of art leaves the shop without his own seal of approval. He has tattooed some of the biggest names in both Dutch and worldwide showbusiness, but is very discreet about all of that. He much prefers his work and that of his fellow tattoo artist, speak for themselves. Whether you are looking to get inked, or just want to see where vision and drive can get you, if you are looking for undiluted inspiration, come visit this place.

contact

Elandsgracht 65

1016 TP

+3120 4284860

www.hollywoodmark.com

Hollywood Mark
101

Sunfit

Sunfit2

Unlike some of the tanning salon’s most avid visitors, this place is rather inconspicuous and that works just fine for owner Coby. For a solid 25 years, this tanning place, has built its reputation, slowly expanding its services over the years, becoming more and more of a full blown beauty salon. The salon moved to a great new place on nr. 101, where it uses every square centimeter for its impressive array of sunbeds, wood panelled cabins and reclining massage chairs. The place offers handy frequent visitor cards at special rates. Not that it really needs to lure customers in. Once you’ve been once, odds are considerable that you will be back for more.

contact

Elandsgracht 101

1016 TS

+3120 6225663

www.zonnecentrumsunfit.nl

Sunfit