The Droste building

Frisk is located in a building with a rich history: the lower floor of the old Droste factory. If you say Droste, you say cacao and chocolate. The world famous brand was and is recognizable because of the image of the Droste nurse, which you’ll also see on the outside wall at the ‘Spaarne’. The main building is designed by J.J. van Noppen. The building functioned as the storage of beans, the packaging and the expedition department. The position next to the water is characteristic for chocolate factories because of the supply of the cacao beans via the water.


In 1977 Droste lost her independence to an American company. Not even ten years later the factory moved to Vaassen. The factory in Haarlem ended up empty. In 2007 workers started to knock down the historical Droste terrain. The factory silo and the national moment with the trusted Droste nurse are the two most characteristic industrial buildings. They had to be kept. Luckily, cause it’s a beautiful location for Frisk aan het Spaarne.



The name Droste didn’t just get famous because of the chocolate, but also because of the Droste-effect. With this visual effect, the image contains a small image of that image. That’s the image of the nurse (the Droste woman) on the package of the Droste chocolate like how it’s been printed since approx. 1900. The Droste woman is visible from the water.



Did you already see him on our terrace? A popular historical figure from the history of Haarlem is back in town! The steel ‘drostemannetje’ is an ode to the much-discussed man of chocolate, a tribute to the beautiful city on the ‘Spaarne’. The ‘drostemannetje’ is made of steel, coming from the Droste factory. The droste pastille was the symbol of the advertising campaign in the 30s and was shining on top of the factory for many years. In 2017 the ‘Wildlasser’ made the city a bit more complete by placing the artwork at Frisk. Who knows, maybe more characters will follow.

If you want to know more about Droste and our special building, please check here the three-part YouTube-series about the cacao production in Haarlem.