In the year 1939 Martien and Rie van der Valk started a restaurant in Voorschoten, near Leiden and The Hague. By hard work and a hospitable, homely approach their business turned into a success.

In the years after the second World War they built a number of restaurants, together with their 11 children. Meanwhile their grand children and great grand children have turned the company into the largest catering business within the Netherlands with 56 establishments and another 25 worldwide hotels.

And nowadays the hospitality vision of Martien and Rie is still the considered the foundation of their successful "Van der Valk formula." Their mentality and entrepreneurial spirit set an example to the younger Van der Valk generation.