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Dutch Pastoe Furniture Factory bankrupt

About a year ago, there was a stir: 'Where have the Pastoe letters on the roof of the former factory gone?' It turns out, that was not the biggest issue for the furniture manufacturer. Was it a harbinger...? After 111 years, it seems the end is nigh for the iconic furniture maker, as the company faces deep financial troubles.

The journey of Pastoe began in 1913, focusing from the outset on the industrial production of chairs. Over the years, the range was significantly expanded, and Pastoe specialised in design cabinets.
However, past results are no guarantee for the future. After several tumultuous years, the Dutch court has declared the bankruptcy of the firm Pastoe B.V., operating under the business names Toonkamer, Ddci, and Dutch Design Center.

Director's Conviction
In 2016, the "trouble in paradise" began. Real estate entrepreneur Rudy Stroink, who had been director at Pastoe for about two years at that time, made negative headlines. He was suspected of paying 1.7 million euros in bribes to a former Google employee to secure a data centre for the Groningen Eemshaven. Two years later, in 2018, the court sentenced Stroink and his wife to community service and a suspended prison sentence.

Factory Relocation
Around 2015, it was also announced that Pastoe would leave Utrecht after more than a century. Said and done: the designer furniture manufacturer moved from Utrecht to Houten. Since 2016, "Dutch design" has been manufactured in Houten, after the production process was adapted to contemporary demands. The factory premises at Rotsoord were repurposed for the HKU in the same year. Other parts of the factory were filled with hospitality and workspaces for creative businesses.

Since its inception, Pastoe has participated in various exhibitions. The Centraal Museum Utrecht and other galleries organized exhibitions in honor of the work and history of UMS Pastoe, a Dutch furniture factory active from 1913 to 1983. These exhibitions highlighted various aspects, including the pre- and post-war history of Pastoe, the development of their furniture, and collaborations with designers.

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