An ongoing success story...

1990

1991

willem klepper the best licorice ever

2015

2017

the best licorice evert sweet
de beste drop ooit zout

2018

2019

help de bijen klepper en klepper
Laurierdrop klepper en klepper

2020

An ongoing success story...

willem klepper the best licorice ever

2015

2017

the best licorice evert sweet

2018

2019

2020

Een Voortdurend Succesverhaal..

2015

2017

2018

2019

2020

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.

Midway through 2018 and the time has finally come. The Best Licorice Ever has a salty variety. Obviously, it’s gluten-free, gelatin-free and made with unrefined Celtic sea salt.

What makes this candy so special is that not only do salty licorice fans love it; people who don’t usually like salty licorice love it too! That’s because there’s still a hint of sweetness. The Celtic sea salt works as a flavour enhancer, and it’s got a soft chewiness. When it goes into the packet, it might even be a little bit too fresh, making it just perfect after a few days, not hard but firm.

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!

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. 

Klepper & Klepper hand out

The plan is to give away 1200 bags. Those 1200 bags are gone in no time. Klepper & Klepper turn out 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. …

n. Vanuit heel het land. Want zo nu en dan vind je een verdwaalde Zeeuw op de markt van Alkmaar. En daar houden ze ook van drop. Klepper Sr. moest de mensen teleurstellen: het lekkerste dropje ooit was een jubileumdropje. Het zal nooit meer wederkeren.

Maar dat was buiten Klepper Jr. gerekend…

Gluten-free and gelatin-free, made with love

Klepper Jr. understands that there’s  more to this little licorice sweet. 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. realised that (he had studied commercial economics and yes, then you know a thing or two), this licorice comes just at  the right time. Gluten-free and gelatin-free, made with love; that is exaclty 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 most delicious 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 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 achieves national coverage it’s time for next chapter. The Best Licorice Ever is worthy of a salty variety. But that is no mean feat, as Klepper Sr. knows all too well. That’s because salty licorice can quickly become too salty and tendency to dry out, making it as hard as rock. 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.

Halfway into 2018 and the time has finally come. The Best Licorice Ever has a salty variety. Obviously, it’s gluten-free, gelatin-free and made with unrefined Celtic sea salt.

What makes this candy so special is not only do salty licorice fans love it, but people who don’t usually like salty licorice love it too! That’s because there’s still a hint of sweetness, the Celtic sea salt works as a flavour enhancer, and it’s got a soft chewiness. When it goes into the packet, it might even be a little bit too fresh, making it just perfect after a few days, not hard but firm.

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 much. That’s because the same rules apply to honey licorice: if you don’t have the right drying time, it turns hard as rock; 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, it worked. On 20 May 2019, World Bee Day, The Best Honey Licorice Ever was officially available. Obviously it’s gluten-free, gelatin-free, and made with (lots of love) and 12% pure and natural honey from the Biesb

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!

The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever (currently only available in the Netherlands)

While taking a peek across the border, Klepper & Klepper set their sights on developing The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever. You guessed it, there isn’t a really great tasting bay leaf licorice out there yet either. Sound like a challenge for Klepper & Klepper to sink their teeth into? You betcha! And you can sink your teeth into the result: The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever.

Bay leaf licorice has hung around for so long due to the medicinal effects of the bay leaves, which come from the bay laurel tree. Bay leaf licorice is good for ailments like colds, sore throats and lifeless hair.

Then there’s the scent of invincibility suspended around this marvelous plant. The ancient Romans liked to wear a laurel wreath on their heads when they had won or conquered something (or wanted to give the impression they had won or conquered something.) Despite this astounding trivia, a truly great tasting bay leaf licorice did not yet exist, as far as Klepper & Klepper were concerned. “We’ll just have to make one then,” said Klepper Sr., who is always willing to set things straight. 

Their search for pure bay leaf oil, which comes from the laurel tree, came to an end in the southwestern tip of North Brabant at an organic laurel tree grower. It took months of experimenting with the recipe and drying times, as well as rigorous market research. Finally, at the end of August 2020, The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever was launched in the Netherlands, marking the beginning of an inevitable victory parade.

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.

KLEPPER SR. & KLEPPER JR.

WILLEM KLEPPER

willem klepper
huub klepper

HUUB KLEPPER

MEET KLEPPER SR. & KLEPPER JR.

WILLEM KLEPPER

willem klepper

HUUB KLEPPER

huub klepper