November 1, 2023

Peter explains: how it all started

These are the words of Peter van der Moolen, owner of Van der Moolen Foodgroup

From the Jordaan to the Far East of the Netherlands!

“My father, Piet van der Moolen, an Amsterdam boy from the Jordaan. So how do you get to Enschede?

In 1962 my father was brought to Enschede by his mother and Chinese stepfather to do some repair work on the heating of their hotel and Chinese restaurant.

It doesn’t stop there. He soon helps out in the restaurant. There, he gets the annoyance of his parents about the quality of the noodles they serve. As a Chinese, my grandfather thinks the quality is far below par. Can’t we make real, traditional Chinese noodles ourselves, he asks his son.”

How to make your own traditional, rolled Chinese noodles

“My father goes to work and designs a machine to make his own traditional, rolled noodles. After a long process of trying, failing, trying again and finally succeeding, my grandfather can prepare the most delicious noodles with his homemade noodles in his restaurant.

This has not gone unnoticed. The noodles are so successful that other Chinese restaurants also want to serve the traditional waltz to their guests. Within 6 years, the Van der Moolen family will supply half of the two thousand Chinese restaurants in the Netherlands with traditional rolled noodles.”

Miefabriek Tai Ming

“My father Piet, my mother Henny and my grandparents put their shoulders to the wheel and ‘Miefabriek Tai Ming’ saw the light of day in 1966. A well-chosen name, because Tai Ming means ‘best noodles’. And that’s it. Made from the best quality durum wheat flour. Due to its success, the competitors are also becoming curious. ‘But they never managed to match our quality,’ says Piet. ‘My father and I were a golden combination, his knowledge of the product and my knowledge of machines simply provides the best noodles.’

It doesn’t stop with the dough machines that my father develops, with about 1000 kilos of noodles per hour, the drying process should be faster. There are special drying tunnels for this, up to 4 metres high. Eventually, he finds the drying tunnels he needs in Sweden and has them come to Enschede. It takes him a lot of effort to figure out the ideal rolling and drying technique. But when the desired result is achieved, this turns out to be a golden opportunity. Dead straight noodles, without breakage. Virtually no unusable residues and the straight shape of the noodles suddenly makes packaging and transport a lot more efficient.”

Mie is not pasta. Or is it…?

“Since 2000, my sister Loes and I have been at the helm of the Van der Moolen Foodgroup. We build on the foundation laid by our parents and grandparents. Although that hasn’t always been easy.

The challenge of introducing Italian noodles to Chinese restaurants has caused a lot of sleepless nights. To save costs, many restaurants opted for this ‘fake’ noodles. The Italian noodles, i.e. pasta, is cheaper and easier to process, because less starch remains after draining than with traditional Chinese noodles. That went down well with many restaurants. Despite the flatter taste, Chinese restaurants actually use pasta for their noodles. Read more about the difference between noodles and pasta here .

Difficult for us? Yes, but the knowledge we have of dough for noodles brings us a distinctive unique quality. And as everyone knows: quality is the best policy!

Product innovations and new processes

“Fortunately, the trend is that there is a lot of demand for fresh, honest and high-quality products such as our noodles. That is why our range has expanded considerably in recent years, with special variants such as organic, whole wheat, spelt, algae, seaweed and lemongrass noodles. And we don’t sit still. By involving chefs and product developers in our innovations, we can introduce the third generation of chefs, who often don’t know traditional noodles at all, to our high-quality products.

And that quality has already been determined in the past. The best raw materials combined with craftsmanship and a unique production process have been the basis for our success for years.”

Would you like to know more about our authentic noodles or our types of pasta and rice?

Please contact us or request a free sample pack .