Guests at Sems have free Wi-Fi use. Of course, the building is equipped with the most modern means of communication for presentations and the like.
Even as a little boy, he knew: When I grow up, I want to own a catering business. When Jeroen Meppelink was in high school, he dreamed that he would accomplish this before his 30th birthday, and he did! On June 1, 2012, at the age of 29, he opened the doors of Sems for the first time as the new owner.
It was his passion for the catering industry that drove Jeroen then, and still drives him now. He says: “You either have it in you or you don’t. I think I can say that I have it in me. You need to be able to read guests and understand people. I translate this to my team of cooks and they turn this into something beautiful. I also need to ensure that my people ‘at the front’ pass this on to the guests. It is always up to me to bring everything together perfectly. When guests leave Sems after a dinner, wine tasting, or party, we want them to feel like they’ve had a very nice evening.”
Jeroen comes from an entrepreneurial family and has been working in the catering industry since the age of fifteen. “My father, who owned an Italian restaurant, inspired me.” After high school, Jeroen ‘obviously’ attended the Hotel Management Studies and participated in an internship abroad. In 2009, a friend pointed Sems out to me: “That’s the perfect place for you!” Jeroen made an appointment and immediately hit it off with the previous owners. “After spending hours drinking coffee, we agreed at once: I could start as a manager!”
For Chris and Lucienne Nicolai, Sems appeared to be a temporary phenomenon. They like developing new concepts and want to move on at some point. Due to the crisis, it was the worst imaginable time to take over the business, but Jeroen didn’t hesitate for a minute: now he could realize his dreams! A difficult period followed, because the banks weren’t very keen on diving into this venture with him, but Jeroen persevered and accomplished his goals. June 1, 2012 the time had arrived: Jeroen could call himself the sole owner. “I will never forget that moment – a euphoric feeling!”
When it comes to appearance, Jeroen considers Sems a catering business, as it should be at this level. “It is located in a beautiful, monumental building. Instinctively, the layout is perfect; there is a large, open, and robust kitchen and the wines play a very important role. The total package is right. The guests we welcome here agree with that, given their positive feedback. I am a happy person.”
sems is suited for most events
A building with a history
Sems is located in a characteristic building at the Gouverneursplein in Leeuwarden. The building was constructed on a terp around 1800 and used to be located at the Ee river. From the basement, you could walk straight onto the bank of the boat-canal where skippers load and unload their cargo. However, the Ee was filled up in 1884.
It is a building with a story. Originally, the governor lived there. The past century, it functioned as the location of the land registry. Because cartographer, surveyor, and engineer Johan Sems literally put Leeuwarden on the map in 1603, the business was named after him. Another interesting piece of history: in 1615, Sems determined the dividing line between Groningen and Drenthe, together with Johan de la Haye. He took the Martinitoren as a starting point. This line is also known as the Semslinie.
Around 1970, the building was used for a totally different purpose and became the K(!)reativiteitscentrum, with De Blauwe Stoep established in it. Many habitants of Leeuwarden have learned to draw, paint, model, etc. here in their spare time. Afterwards, students occupied the building for a while to keep out squatters, but eventually the squatters broke in. Around 2005, there wasn’t much left of the once stately building. It was completely deteriorated by the last occupants.
A substantial renovation has fortunately ensured that the building would regain its former glory, and better still: the building is now equipped with all the amenities of today. Since December 2008, Gouverneursplein 36 has been the location of Sems.
For every occasion
Sems is the right place for every occasion. Whether you have something to celebrate or for any other occasion, we have everything under one roof, giving Sems the ability to quickly adapt and always provide quality customized service.
A few suggestions:
- Your future in-laws are going to visit for the first time and you would like to go to dinner with them and make a good impression…
- You want to surprise a dear friend celebrating a birthday with a cooking workshop…
- It is high time for a class reunion and it should be celebrated big…
- You want to treat a couple of good friends to a special wine tasting…
- You are (finally) getting married to the love of your life and want to celebrate it in style…
- It is the 10th anniversary of the business and you want to commemorate it in a festive way, both with your employees as with your best business-relations…
- You want to appropriately say goodbye to your oldest employee, someone from the very beginning…
- Meetings with the sales department can also take place at our tasteful location…
- Your staff has worked very hard the past months and you want to show your appreciation and make them the center of attention…
Whether you want to have a special morning/afternoon/evening occasion in private or for business purposes: Sems is always the perfect choice!
Restaurant | Wine tavern | Sems upstairs
When you enter our establishment, the restaurant with open kitchen is located on the left and the wine tavern on the right. At first sight, the rooms seem to be separate, but the restaurant turns into the wine tavern at the back. Guests can easily walk around. The top floor, which we have appropriately called ‘Sems upstairs, has ample space and is used for parties, assemblies, and other meetings. Due to the special layout, the entire building has a calm, modern, clean look.
The restaurant can seat 65 people. There are European walnut wood tables by Pilat & Pilat that create beautiful lines. For a lunch or dinner, we only set the tables with linen napkins because the wood is very atmospheric. The high fabric couches ensure that restaurant sounds are muffled, so you can converse with your dining companions undisturbed. There will always be appropriate music in the background.
The wine tavern can accommodate about twenty-five guests, and you will find the same design and atmosphere as in the restaurant. The décor includes high tables and barstools. The wall of wines, where our unique wines are located, is the showpiece. The wine tavern is the perfect area to have an aperitif, drink, or wine tasting.
Sems upstairs offers seating from 10 to 120 people. Immediately noticeable are the beautiful, high ceilings. For a reception, buffet dinner, weddings, or staff party, the entire space can be used as well as a part of it for private use. Sems has a second kitchen that can be utilized depending on the needs of our guests.
Where we are?
…or book by phone
Do you need some help to set up a reservation or do you still need some more info? Just call us! The best moment to reach us is around 11.30 a.m. Our number is +31 58 216 22 14