Museum Shop ‘Albert Heijn’

Museum Shop Albert Heijn

The first shop owned by Albert Heijn; now a household name in the Netherlands and beyond…

Museum Shop Albert Heijn, also known as ‘Albert Heijn’s First Shop’, provides a nostalgic view of a grocery store at the end of the 19th century. Albert Heijn established his grocery business in this building, which was located in Oostzaan at that time. The current building still showcases the original stock and furnishings from that era, including a sturdy wooden counter, large copper scales and wooden storage jars used to contain coffee, tea, beans and other wares. One particular attraction is the large, ornately decorated and hand-operated coffee grinder. The shop is filled with the scent of spices, licorice and candy, redolent of days gone by. Visitors to the shop can also admire the lectern at which Albert Heijn once did his bookkeeping. Two decorative ‘karotten’ (rolls of tobacco used to make snuff) and a Chinese tea box are displayed on the facade of the building, to advertise to people that tobacco products and tea could also be bought here.

Museum Shop Albert Heijn

The current building still showcases the original contents and furnishings from that era


The history of Albert Heijn goes back to 1887, when a young entrepreneur established the small grocery store in Oostzaan that would grow to become global retail chain Ahold. Museum Shop Albert Heijn consists of two houses that have been joined together. The front section is an 1820 grocery shop from Oostzijde in Zaandam, while the rear section (originally used as a dwelling) comes from Kerkbuurt in Westzaan. A reconstruction of the original layout and stock in the very first Albert Heijn store in Oostzaan is displayed here. The interior is based on Albert Heijn’s corporate collection, as well as that of Simon de Wit, their former competitor and a prominent figure in the Dutch grocery scene. Although Albert Heijn eventually came out on top, with all Simon de Wit branches coming to bear their competitor’s logo, the Heijn and De Wit families had never been and would never be friends. When Mr Heijn wanted some of his favorite Zaanse mustard, he even went so far as to have an employee buy it secretly from his competitor because he refused to enter a Simon de Wit supermarket himself. AH has now also been selling the famous Zaanse mustard for decades… Albert Heijn’s shop in Oostzaan in 1872, together with Albert and Neeltje Heijn and their three oldest children. The man in the photo is the grandfather of the later Albert Heijn, who served as president and CEO of the concern from 1958 to 1989.

National monument approx. 1820 Relocated/reconstructed in 1966 (formerly located at Oostzijde 97, Zaandam and Kerkbuurt 61, Westzaan)