THE BEST LICORICE EVER. WITH LOVE, WITHOUT GLUTEN AND GELATIN

DROP: AN ONGOING SUCCESS STORY…

1990

Willem (Klepper Sr.) opens his stall at the Alkmaar market

1991

Klepper Jr. is born

2015

Klepper Sr. is celebrating 25 years on the market, and together with Klepper Jr. they are developing an anniversary licorice. It must be the tastiest licorice ever. Sweet licorice with a little bit of spice and a pleasant bite.
By sheer coincidence, the licorice turns out to contain no gluten and no gelatin. Klepper & Klepper look at each other: this is not the tastiest licorice ever, this is THE BEST DROP EVER.

2017

People come from far and wide for The Best Drop Ever. Klepper & Klepper decide that The Best Drop Ever deserves a bigger market than the market in Alkmaar. From now on it is available in the better specialty store in your neighborhood.

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2018

After a two-year search, Klepper & Klepper find the best salt in the world in the Celtic Sea. After which The Best Salted Drop Ever is a fact.

2019

Question: where do you find the best honey in the Netherlands?
Answer: in the Dutch Biesbosch. And since 2019 also in The Best Honey Drop Ever.

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2020

The quest for the best bay leaf in the Netherlands ends in the southwestern tip of North Brabant. The best bay laurel in the Netherlands therefore ends in The Best Drop Ever.

With love

The ingredients of The Best Drop Ever are of the highest quality. That goes without saying. We don't really need to tell you. The extra ingredient is love.

Delightful vegan

The full-sweet, mild-salt and bay leaf variants get the V label (with the V, for Vegan). The honey variant may be called 'vegetarian', because you need bees for honey.

Gluten free

The Best Drop Ever is gluten free. This means that The Best Drop Ever is produced in an environment where products containing gluten are never processed. You do not taste that ...

Tasty local

We prefer not to be in places where people do their daily shopping, but in places where they buy tasty things. Tasty things like The Best Licorice Ever.

THE HISTORY OF THE BEST LICORICE EVER

The history of The Best Licorice Ever begins in 2015, or no, actually in 1990. That was when Klepper Sr. (who at that time was just called Willem Klepper, Klepper Jr. hadn’t even been born yet) opened his candy stall at the Alkmaar market.

It was in 2015, Klepper Sr.’s 25th year working at the market, when he decided to celebrate by making the best licorice ever and giving it away to all his customers. With 25 years of candy-experience, Klepper Sr. knows a lot about licorice and what people like: a sweet, slightly chewy licorice with a hint of salmiac to add the necessary spice. Not too firm, not too soft. We would call it a taste of nostalgia, reminiscent of drugstore licorice from days gone by.

He puts the ingredients on paper and goes with Klepper Jr. to a licorice manufacturer. After a while experimenting with quantities and drying times, they had done it. The most delicious licorice candy ever made was ready for the market.

KLEPPER & KLEPPER HAND OUT

The plan is to give away 1200 bags. Those 1200 bags are gone in no time. Klepper & Klepper seem to have gold in their hands. Black gold. Klepper Sr.’s customers are in total agreement with him; this really is the best tasting licorice ever. It’s head and shoulders above the rest. People keep coming back and from all over the country. Every now and then you come across a lost man from Zeeland (200Km away!), and they love licorice there too. Sadly, Klepper Sr. had to disappoint the people. The best licorice ever was an anniversary licorice. It will never return.

But he hadn’t counted on Klepper Jr.

GLUTEN-FREE AND GELATIN-FREE, MADE WITH LOVE

Klepper Jr. understands that there’s more to this little licorice candy, much more. Especially because it doesn’t contain two things: gluten and gelatin. There is no gelatin in the recipe. What’s more, the usual replacement ‘wheat starch’ has been substituted by potato starch, making it gluten-free.

Klepper Jr. realized that (he had studied commercial economics and yes, then you know a thing or two), this licorice comes just at the right moment. Gluten-free and gelatin-free, made with love; that is exactly what people want today, and they’ll be more than happy to go out of their way to get it.

THE BEST LICORICE EVER

The Klepper candy (as the best tasting licorice ever was popularly called) needs its own packaging and a name that tells people what to expect; a name that speaks to the imagination of people who have never even heard of Klepper Sr.’s market stall. This is how, after much deliberation, Klepper & Klepper decided on what to call this sweet and tasty treat. They decided not to hide the innate bravado that characterizes market stall owners. This really is The Best Licorice Ever. No more, no less.

After they had gotten a packaging made to ensure The Best Licorice Ever gets just the right amount of ‘dryness,’ Klepper Jr. sets out to get the licorice into the better specialist shops. His method is as simple as it is daring. He knows that once people have tasted it, the licorice will sell itself. He puts some boxes in the trunk of his car and visits the specialist shops that he thinks should be selling their licorice. He gives each owner a box and says, ‘Try it. If you want more, you know where to find me.’ He hands over his business card and walks out of the shop, knowing he will get a call asking for some more boxes within a few days later.

AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE NETHERLANDS

The success of Klepper Jr.’s approach meant that The Best Licorice Ever could be found throughout the Netherlands within a year. Not in the supermarkets, though. Despite them calling and sending copious emails, proclaiming that The Best Licorice Ever cannot be missing from their shelves, Klepper & Klepper always kindly but firmly decline these requests. They want The Best Licorice Ever to stay a bit exclusive. They know that once you’re in the supermarket, sooner or later, the supermarket will want to pull a stunt with your licorice (you know, like all the Black Friday promotions and sales). Pulling stunts, as Klepper Jr. likes to say, is for the circus. You don’t pull a stunt with The Best Licorice Ever. Actually, it can be very dangerous to pull a stunt with a licorice in your mouth. Before you know it, it‘s gone down the wrong way. No, you enjoy The Best Licorice Ever just like you used to enjoy a good cigar: sitting in your favourite chair.

THE NEXT CHAPTER:
THE BEST SALTY LICORICE EVER

Once The Best Licorice Ever achieved national coverage it was time for the next chapter. The Best Licorice Ever was worthy of a salty variety and that’s no mean feat, as Klepper Sr. knew all too well. Salty licorice can quickly become too salty and has a tendency to dry out, making it turn rock hard. As well as the perfect recipe, you also need to experiment with drying times.

But before they enter the licorice lab to experiment, Klepper & Klepper go in search of the best salt in the world. Eventually, they come across unrefined Celtic sea salt, which is extracted by hand and rich in minerals. Some claim it’s good for your blood pressure, but others say that’s a load of rubbish. Nonsense or no-nonsense, it is the ideal base ingredient for The Best Salty Licorice Ever. Time to visit the laboratory.

It’s a while before Klepper Sr. is a completely happy with the salty licorice. ‘A while’, in this case, being an understatement on par with ‘the sea is wet.’ It takes so long and Klepper & Klepper go back to the drawing board so often that the licorice manufacturer threatens to throw in the towel. But Klepper & Klepper persevere; the licorice has to be perfect. Every now and then, they take a batch back to the market to see how enthusiastic the customers are. They are often enthusiastic, but not enthusiastic enough.

THE BEST HONEY LICORICE EVER

The success of The Best Licorice Ever doesn’t exactly go unnoticed. More and more newspapers and (trade) magazines write about it. Good news travels quickly and word-of-mouth recommendations soar. Shops put boxes of The Best Licorice Ever in the shop window to attract customers. Dutch national newspaper, De Telegraaf, writes an extensive article about The Best Licorice Ever.

In 2019 Klepper & Klepper thought it was high time for a new challenge. Perhaps the biggest challenge so far: create The Best Honey Licorice Ever.

How many really yummy honey licorices are there? Not that many. That’s because the same rules apply to honey licorice: if you don’t have the right drying time, it turns rock hard; if you don’t have the right recipe, it’s all too sweet; or, you don’t taste the honey at all. In other words, it was time to drive the licorice manufacturer crazy again.

But first they had to find the best honey in the Netherlands. At the end of their search, Klepper & Klepper found themselves in The Biesbosch National Park at a small independent beekeeper who produces organic honey. He doesn’t use any chemicals or pesticides and is considerate of plant and bee habitats. The bees are buzzing, wildlife flourishes and everyone is happy. That’s because just the idea of it all being pure and natural makes the licorice taste better. Go on, admit it.

However, to actually make a really yummy licorice from pure and natural honey, that’s step two.

Actually making a delicious licorice candy from pure and natural honey is another thing; let’s call it step two. Step two took quite a long time indeed, but in the end, they managed it. On 20 May 2019, World Bee Day, The Best Honey Licorice Ever was officially on the market. Obviously it’s gluten-free, gelatin-free, and made with (lots of love) and 12% pure and natural honey from the Biesbosch.

ACROSS THE BORDER

At the end of 2019, Klepper & Klepper decide it’s time to look beyond the borders. Coming from nowhere and taking licorice-land, the Netherlands, by storm with an own-recipe licorice candy is certainly a lot of fun. But wouldn’t it be even more fun to get the rest of the world hooked on licorice? The Netherlands may well be a unique country, but it is a bit strange that they don’t like licorice anywhere else. It’s so strange that it’s probably not even true. All those other countries do love licorice; they just don’t know it yet. Perhaps because they don’t know about The Best Licorice Ever!

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THE HISTORY OF THE BEST LICORICE EVER

The history of The Best Licorice Ever begins in 2015; or no, actually in 1990. That was when Klepper Sr. (who at that time was just called Willem Klepper, Klepper Jr. hadn’t even been born yet) opened his candy stall at the Alkmaar market.

It was 2015, Klepper Sr’s 25th year working at the market, when he decided to celebrate by maken the best licorice ever and giving it away to all his customers. With 25 years of candy-experience, Klepper Sr. knows a lot about licorice and what people like: a sweet, slightly chewy licorice with a hint of salmiac to add the necessary spice. Not too firm, not too soft. We would call it a taste of nostalgia, reminiscent of drugstore licorice from days gone by.

He puts the ingredients on paper and goes with Klepper Jr. to a licorice manufacturer. After a while experimenting with quantities and drying times, they were done. The most delicious licorice candy ever made was ready for the market.

PIPE DREAMS

This is the story of Klepper & Klepper and The Best Licorice Ever. We don’t rule out The Best Licorice Ever getting even more flavours in the future. Alongside The Best Sweet Licorice Ever, The Best Salty Licorice Ever, The Best Honey Licorice Ever and The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever, you can also imagine The Best Salmiac Licorice Ever, The Best Licorice-with-Wine Gums Ever, The Best Griotten Licorice Ever, The Best Salty Herring Licorice Ever, The Best Mint Licorice Ever, or The Best Natural Yogurt Licorice with a Hint of Mint Ever, to name but a few. But for the time being these are all pipe dreams, leaving us with just one suggestion for you: keep an eye on Klepper & Klepper.

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