Dirk van den Broek passed away last week Wednesday in Aerdenhout at the age of 96, was confirmed on Tuesday. His funeral was held in his private circle. The man was known for opening the Netherlands first ever supermarket and growing it into a chain.
Van den Broek was born in Amsterdam in 1924 as a farmer’s son. He went from working on his mother’s milk cart, to opening a small dairy shop on Mecatorplein in Amsterdam in 1924. After the war, in 1948, he converted his dairy shop into the first self-service store in. The first supermarket in the Netherlands followed under his own name in 1953. Supermarket chian Dirk has now grown to some 200 stores.
Van den Broek’s obituary stated that he lived an “intense, beautiful and meaningful life”, with the Latin phrase “nil sine labore”, which translates to ‘nothing without labor’.