our story


How it all started

For his final internship, Merijn worked in Bonaire in the Caribbean. Here his nights were filled with nightly entertainment: being chased by street dogs after working an evening shift in a tropical hot kitchen and drinking cocktails at the beach. During his time there, the idea of starting his own company emerged.

This idea grew further while he was living together with Jort in Colombia. They knew each other from working in the kitchen. After coming back from Colombia, a single problem was clearly present: a big shortage of hospitality talent in the Netherlands.

Merijn saw owners struggling with finding and attracting talent, some even had to close due to the lack of personnel. Merijn and Jort knew that there was a lot of talent in Europe, however, as a hospitality owner, it can be rather difficult to find the time to look for staff, let alone staff abroad. At that moment The Work Embassy was born, an international hospitality talent agency. A company that connects talent with hospitality owners, creating a more connected more intertwined hospitality world, figuratively ‘deleting borders’.

After a couple of months in the business, Merijn was at a party late at night talking passionately about The Work Embassy. Leonardo heard the conversation and was immediately hooked on the idea. A few coffee meetings and lunches later Leonardo, Jort and Merijn collaborated together to further develop and grow The Work Embassy.

They all have a broad international experience in the hospitality sector from Australia to Belgium with firm roots in Utrecht in the Netherlands. Therefore they understand what it is to live abroad, being exposed to new cultures and the fact that these experiences are invaluable. To this date, it has been a fun, crazy, challenging and priceless experience with great adventures ahead.