A desire to be able to eat and drink by the banks of the River Wye led Dutch supermarket magnate Albert Heijn to develop the award winning Left Bank Village in Hereford.
Having made Hereford his home, he invested millions in creating and developing the bustling restaurant, leisure and retail centre, as well as the four star Castle House Hotel close by.
He opened the 150-seat Floodgates Brasserie in the Left Bank Village which quickly gained a reputation for its fine dining.
The restaurant and hotel are supplied with pure-bred beef, Gloucester Old Spot pork, free range chickens and vegetables from Albert Heijns’ 500-acre Hereford farm.
In 2007 Albert Heijn, now 83, sold the successful Left Bank Village for around £4 million. He moved to the UK in 1992, having been one of the richest men in the Netherlands and former president of Ahold, the third biggest supermarket chain in the world, founded by his grandfather.
Ahold has more than 3,000 stores worldwide.
After retiring from the family business, while retaining a significant stake, he married a Dutch friend who was living in the UK and settled in Hereford.
He fell in love with the beauty of the River Wye, but his frustration in not being able to sit by the river relaxing and eating resulted in the birth of the Left Bank Village.
The Castle House Hotel followed soon after, with individual suites designed by his wife and the German design firm Neumeyer. The hotel opened in 1999 and won the AA Hotel of the Year award soon after.
According to the Quote 500 Dutch rich list, the Heijn’s fortune from the Ahold group, which was founded in 1887, continues to rise.
The family’s many business interests over recent years included the Dutch franchise for Wimpy.