In this special series, we are interviewing members of our club, so that you can get to know each other a bit better.
Today we talk with Kees Van den Hoek, shipyard director of Monaco Marine Beaulieu sur Mer, about his life and work in the region.
Kees has lived on the French Riviera for over thirty years.
What brought you to the French Riviera? How long have you been here?
I’ve lived here most of my life, since 1987. I’ve been working in the yachting industry all my life. And in this line of work it is much better to be on the French Riviera than in The Netherlands.
Why did you decide to start your business?
I first decided to start my company because I believe that entrepreneurship is in your blood and I come from a family that always had their own businesses. For me It is more exciting and offers more freedom.
What does your company do?
In the past I had a yacht management company, for 32 years. A little over 2 years ago I started working as managing director at Monaco Marine’s Beaulieu-sur-Mer shipyard. This is what I call being on the other side of the counter. It is a big change, working with a team of 34 people in a shipyard where we repair, refit and maintain yachts up to 50 meters.
What makes your business stand out?
What stands out most is the incredible, motivated and highly qualified team and the diverse specialties that we have in-house. We for example carry out warranty works for the top end yacht builders on a daily basis. We also constantly stay up to date on the latest technical developments in the industry. Last but not least, I think that the main thing that sets our business apart is the size of the Monaco Marine group, with eight shipyards all along the coast from Marseille to Monaco. I take great pride in the shipyard that I manage.
Do you have any special offers for Business Club members?
In this type of industry it is difficult to make special offers. However, if one or more of the members would like to visit a shipyard I can offer a tour. I am also always open to suggestions, like for instance we could partner with someone who sells something that we can use or promote.
Why did you decide to become a member of Business Club Côte d’Azur? What do you like most about it?
Well to be honest, in the first place I joined because Robin is my daughter and Joshua my son-in-law. And I knew I couldn’t refuse if I didn’t want my wife to divorce me (just joking). Today, I am so happy to see the success it has become and I couldn’t be more proud of them. This is a vibrant community of motivated and very nice people.
What is your favourite French wine?
Impossible to answer, it really depends on the weather, the food, the time of day and especially my mood. If you insist, I really like Saint Romain white 2018 from Alain Gras, and Whispering angel rosé. My favourite red is probably Domaine Saint Bernard 2017 made in Le Luc.
What is your favourite spot on the Côte d’Azur?
Our home is my favourite spot. I also love walking by the Loup river with my family and our dog.
What French word do you find very difficult to pronounce?
Give this one a try: Intergouvernementalisations. Impossible!
What is your favourite French expression?
“Casser la croûte” which literally means to “break the bread” therefore to eat.