The flagship coffee shop started in Haarlem, Holland by Dutch cannalegend Nol Van Schaik is facing imminent eviction from its leased premises.
Van Schaik took over the building ten years ago, and named it “Willie Wortel’s Workshop.” Willie Wortel is a fictional character well-known in Holland for his ingenuity and hard work.
Van Schaik took over the run-down building and created a workshop of pot-smoking renovators who restored it structurally and aesthetically. While rebuilding the WWW building, Van Schaik brought a higher level of pot and hashish to Haarlem, while also working with city officials and police to create an innovative local coffee shop policy that is ranked as the best in Holland.
The shop became a focal point for cannabis activism and fun, and Van Schaik added two more shops to his Dutch hempire. He recently renamed his shops “Willie Wortel’s Sinsemilla, Indica and Sativa.”
Last year, Van Schaik and Britisher Colin Davies opened the UK’s first coffee shop, called The Dutch Experience. Harassment from police, prosecutors and judges in England distracted Van Schaik, who has been battling with the greedy building owner who wants to demolish Willie Wortel’s Workshop to build condos and a parking lot.
“People think that everybody in Holland is on board with the coffee shop idea,” Van Schaik said as he made plans to barricade the shop to prevent threatened eviction within three days. “But some people are prejudiced against our culture, and they try to prevent us from buying buildings or staying in them. Until a few years ago, banks wouldn’t make real estate loans or allow bank accounts for coffee shop owners. We’ve been fighting that prejudice, which complicates a business in which the government allows us to sell our product but doesn’t officially allows us to produce it or procure it.”
Van Schaik invites anybody in Holland right now to visit Haarlem and help him stand off the demolition crews. Visitors will also enjoy Van Schaik’s two other Haarlem potshops, and Haarlem itself, a fantastic Dutch heritage town located in the heart of tulip country a few minutes from Amsterdam, near a fantastic national park and beach, packed with museums, cafes, canals, restaurants, and super-stony weed and hash.