1958: the start of Mer du Nord – Noordzee

Since 1994, Wouter and Veronique have been the faces of and the driving force behind Mer du Nord. But did you know that Mer du Nord was actually founded back in 1958? What was then a small fish store for only fresh fish has grown over the years into the concept it is today. We’ll take you through a little piece of Mer du Nord history.


Back in 1991, Wouter took his first steps as a “fishmonger” at Mer du Nord. Then still green behind the ears, he was trained by the then owner. A few years later he became the owner of the – then small – fish store.

Caracol madam and mussel man

When Wouter took over Mer du Nord, the business consisted of only a kitchen and a small fish counter. So there was no mention of a fish bar or caterer back then. However, there was invariably an elderly woman with a mini caracol stand next to the fish shop. She sold hot caracoles and escargots day-in and day-out, until one day she didn’t show up….

Passersby and regular customers of the “caracollen madam” kept asking about her, whereupon Wouter decided to offer caracoles and hot escargot soup himself. Soon after, a mussel man also joined the team several days a week, to do nothing but scoop mussels for customers day-in and day-out.

Beginning of the fish bar

And so the principles of the fishbar were born! After escargots, a homemade fish soup (prepared by Veronique) was also on the menu. Shrimp croquettes and other fries followed next, eventually completing the range with delicacies of fish “à la plancha. The fish store expanded to include a caterer and an oyster bar, and so the fish bar also grew little by little.

For more than thirty years of hard work on what is today’s “Mer du Nord. We did – and still do – this with passion. Now it’s up to the second generation.