Yesterday I had lunch (mustard soup and a mini-baguette) at the HEMA near my office and it just gave me yet another reason to love HEMA.
(I’m sure my Dutch friends are already laughing at this post, because I’m always going on about how great HEMA is. Well, now the whole world knows.)
For my readers who live outside of Holland and are unfortunate enough to have never visited a HEMA, it is a Dutch chain with locations throughout the Netherlands. The most succint way to explain it is to say it’s a Dutch version of Marks & Spencer, but I never liked Marks & Spencer, and HEMA is in my mind one hundred times nicer.
HEMA is everything you want it to be – a household goods store, a clothing store, a drug store, a garden store, an office supply store, a card shop, a mini supermarket, a patisserie, a café, and a cafeteria. Yet it still manages to be a managable size, unlike sprawling department stores, and is as cheap as is it is cheerful.
In all the countries I’ve ever lived in – which is many – I’ve never encountered a store that so conveninetly sells all the things I need in one place. Imagine a Woolworth’s, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Ryman’s Stationer, Clinton’s Cards, Tesco Metro, and Gregg’s all rolled into one. Need cotton buds, a bra, correction fluid, a birthday card, a plastic bucket, and a fresh apple pie? Just go to HEMA. I’m telling you, it’s awesome.