A History of Shopping

Grocery shopping. We all do it, whether we enjoy it or not. But have you thought much about how it used to be before we had grocery stores and name brands to turn to? The Kruideniers Museum, in a little area just behind ‘t Hoogt cinema near Neude, takes visitors back to the early days of grocery stores. The museum is actually a shop on the ground floor, where you can buy various drop, mints, candies and household goods carefully weighed out in the traditional way. Upstairs, in the 17th century building, is a small area set up to show some of the early packaging, displays and measurements first used in these kinds of shops.

The museum is known also as Betje Boerhave, in honor of the 19th century grocery woman whose notes and diaries have provided much of the historical information for the museum. The museum receives no subsidy and runs on donations and the profits from the candy and goods sold in the shop. Admission is free, and the volunteers who keep the museum running are very friendly and obviously care about the museum.


It’s definitely worth a visit, if for no other reason than to take a look at some of the early packaging of products you may well remember from childhood, or even products that you still buy today. The Droste cacao display I posted Friday is just one of the many interesting and attractive product displays set up. It was fun to see ones that I recognize even from America, along with brands that I’ve come to know since moving here, including Hema and Maggi.


Quaker Oats



One of the unintentionally funny — and scary — displays was this advertising poster for syrup.
Scary Syrup