Our History

/Our History
Our History 2017-07-31T23:17:43+00:00

Lekker Food’s roots date back to 1957 when Cornelis van Wiltenburg immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands with his wife and 4 children. In 1960, Cornelis, known as Cor, took over distributing Freybe Sausage for Vancouver Island. At that time there were very few grocery stores and delicatessens, he expanded his business and sold to people directly at their homes.

Many of his customers were European immigrants, which caused him to broaden his product selection to include some European groceries items as well. Soon after many European delicatessens opened up and there became a greater wholesale demand for the products that Cor, or as his Canadian customers called him Neil, was selling. Eventually supermarkets also became interested in selling German style sausage and imports. In 1975, Cor van Wiltenburg became “Neil’s Wholesale”.

In February of 1979, Cor’s son, Richard van Wiltenburg, became a sales representative for Freybe Sausage in Edmonton.
Freybe had just expanded their sales to Alberta which created an opportunity for Richard to gain experience opening new accounts and managing the territory.

After a few years of successfully building the Freybe business in Edmonton, Richard moved back to Victoria to work with his father. When Cor retired in March of 1985, Richard purchased Neil’s Wholesale as well as, the Freybe rights for Vancouver Island.

Richard changed the name of the business from Neil’s Wholesale to Lekker Food Distributors Ltd. in December of 1986. His good friend Mike Ready joined him in 1987 and together they grew Lekker Foods business by taking on new suppliers, many without previous representation on Vancouver Island.
Cheese was their passion; they focused their attention on that part of the fancy food business.

Over the years they helped develop brands such as Damafro Cheese, Woolwich Goats Dairy, Zerto Cheese, Boursin , Natural Pastures Cheese Co, Roitelet, St Albert, Indian Life, Sepps, and of course, Freybe. As the business grew so did the size of the sales team and the company’s warehouse needs.

In 2004, Richard purchased property and had Lekker Food’s current facility designed and built. Today, after more than 50 years of success, Lekker Food’s continues to pride itself on maintaining its family values and its philosophy to be the best at whatever they do.