Verkade Experience

Verkade Experience

Verkade cookies and chocolate… a traditional household name!

Bread, rusks, cookies and chocolate…  the Zaan region is also famous for its food industry. This world is showcased in the Verkade Pavilion, opened by Queen Beatrix in 2009, and located in a separate section of the Zaans Museum. The rich history of this Zaan-based business began in 1886. Verkade relates its extraordinary history by means of its corporate collection, which includes many original advertising items such as posters, packaging and tins. In addition to an extensive collection of photographs, visitors can also admire three working production lines for chocolate, cookies and tealight candles. At the very spot where the legendary ‘Verkade Girls’ had their workplace, children can now wrap a chocolate bar in a wrapper they have designed themselves! They can also enjoy interactive and educational games. Visitors can imagine themselves transported back to a factory at the turn of the 20th century as the authentic machines still operate around them, bringing the history of chocolate and cookies to life once more. This treasure trove of Verkade history showcases the best and longest-running marketing campaign ever, which started more than a century ago. The ‘Verkade albums’ containing the famous Verkade pictures are all on display here, as well as the original watercolors upon which they were based. Besides the well-known writers and illustrators Jac. P. Thijsse and Jan Voerman Jr, other Dutch writers and painters such as Henricus Rol also contributed to the Verkade albums. Verkade published 35 picture albums in total, between 1903 and 1940, and between 1965 and 1995. Educator and writer Jac. P. Thijsse founded the Natuurmonumenten (Nature Monuments) foundation in 1905 and is now regarded as the patriarch of nature conservation in the Netherlands. Two million Verkade albums have been handed out in the Netherlands over the years.

Verkade was also famous for its tealights. In 1898, the company started producing tealights and night lights in a factory in Amsterdam, and went on to open the waxine factory in Zaandam in 1902. ‘Waxine’ is a mixture of wax and kerosene and was invented by the English son-in-law of E.G. Verkade, who took over the patent from him. The product didn’t sell terribly well at first, but when Verkade received an order for tens of thousands of tealights for the coronation of the English King, the little candles really took off. Verkade tealights eventually found their way into every home, and they were even regularly used to illuminate the Amsterdam canals! Originally thought up by Anton Verkade, the ‘Waxine’ brand has been a household name for more than a century now.

Verkade Experience

Verkade Museum (2009)
Design based on the old
Verkade Factory
Cor van Hillo and Monique Verschaeren

  • Museum

  • Schansend 7, 1509 AW Zaandam

  • Entry: PAID
    Museum Card – FREE
    I Amsterdam Card – FREE
    VriendenLoterij VIP card – FREE

  • Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • +31 (0)75 681 0000