It all started in 1952, when the father of the Slotemaker family turned an old flowerbulb shed at Boeweg in Beverwijk into a herbs and spices company. His interest in seasonings stemmed from the fact that he had always worked in a butcher\'s.
He named the new company "Epos", an acronym of the Dutch translation of "fair trade products among butchers". His station wagon was used to deliver the limited product range consisting mainly of single products, such as pepper and nutmeg and some mixtures. His former butcher colleagues were his first target group.
In 1960, the customer group was extended to meat-processing companies. This transition from trade to industry created a stable foundation for Epos as a company. The Epos sales grew and grew.
As a result of this growth, Epos was forced to seek expansion at the beginning of the 1970s. The company moved to newly-built premises on the industrial estate at Ringvaartweg in Beverwijk. The expansion meant that increasingly more customers and especially more employees were attracted and eventually the first real delivery van with lettering was bought.
The seasoning mixes for minced meat used to be filled by a lady armed with a teaspoon and a stapler instead of a machine.
In the end, a machine was purchased to mix the seasoning and fill the packets.
Once machines had been introduced, sauces could be produced. The first ones Epos marketed were a garlic and Filet Américain sauce - still bestsellers in the product range.
Over time, the product range was expanded constantly with mixes such as sausage seasoning and a ready-made hamburger mix.
Between 1980 and 1990, the factory expanded even further and the five Slotemaker brothers took over Epos. With them at the helm the decision was made to attend more trade fairs, including the first Slavakto.
With even more employees in the mix, Epos started to specialize and became well-known for its stuffed baguettes, pizzas, tortillas, Greek gyros and its introduction of shawarma to the Dutch industry.
In 2000, Epos and Unispec - part of the Bieze Food Group - joined forces.
In 2002, Epos also decided to leave Beverwijk in the western Netherlands and to relocate to a more central location in Nijkerk, where it was joined by companies Dijkstra and Coppens.
Joint under the name that was devised by Slotemaker senior, the company was rebuilt in 2010 to become what it is at present.
In 2011, Epos was the first in Europe to open a high care allergy-free factory. Under the name "Dutch Spices" it produces seasoning (mixtures), sauces and marinades free from 14 declared allergens and 10 additional allergens according to the LeDa list. In addition, Dutch Spices is still the only producer to use complete chain control to prevent cross-contamination.www.dutchspices.nl
In 2013, Epos/Dutch Spices developed consumer brand Simply Spices. The www.simplyspices.nl webshop ensures everyone can enjoy the tasty seasoning mixtures of a product range that is both E-number and allergen free.
Jos Slotemaker, who has been witness to the developments from the very start, sees clear differences between then and now. "But the changes are good" Jos, part of the "Slotemaker Five", says. "Compared to the old days, we have to comply with more rules now, but we have to meet higher food demands as well. We have to adjust our way of thinking to fit the times we live in and I think we do that well." Jos sees further expansion down the line. "We will always be innovative, we will continue to produce high-quality products and we will keep developing good concepts. That will never change."www.simplyspices.nl