In polonaise by the new supermarket – Reek has been waiting for this for years

A few hundred residents of Reek walked Saturday morning from the village hall to the brand new Aldi on the edge of the village. And with the local mop band leading the way, they danced through the store. After years of struggle, they finally have a supermarket in the village.

The new business opened its doors on Saturday morning and a long battle to get a supermarket in the village is finally over. Reek hadn’t had a store for years and when Aldi came up with the plan for a new store, that was good news. But supermarket owners in surrounding villages objected and the judge even halted construction. The residents of Reek did not leave it at that. They even started a boycott against the supermarkets in Schaijk and Zeeland.

A compromise was reached after years of struggle and lawsuits were withdrawn. Aldi is now allowed to come for a trial period of 5 years. It will then be examined whether the consequences for the rest of the municipality of Landerd are acceptable. If the experiment succeeds, the temporary Aldi, which has been open since this Saturday, will be permanently established a few hundred meters away.

“There was nothing left, that’s not good for the village.”

“I’m going to buy a mik as soon as possible,” says Sjaak van Tilburg. At 99 years old, he is the oldest resident of Reek. “I used to have a shop in Reek myself, but now there was nothing left and that is not good for the village.” Van Tilburg cannot participate in the parade and that is why he is put in a chair on a trailer and he drives along to the new supermarket.

“We’ve always kept hope. I’m really happy.”

The festive procession is awaited by Bastiaan Boshoeve of Aldi. “The fact that we are so welcomed by the residents is truly unique. It’s overwhelming in fact.”

Antoon de Louw of the local action committee can’t believe his luck either. “We sometimes doubted whether it would work, but we kept hope. All of Reek is behind us. I’m really happy.”

And so is Sjaak van Tilburg. The oldest resident no longer has to cycle to Schaijk. He walks with his walker through the new Aldi, beaming, looking for his first bread from Reekse bottom.

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