Kim Veldman was born into the hospitality business. Her parents both worked in hotels, her father as mȃitre d’hôtel. After completing secondary schooling and a course in hotel management, Kim did an internship at the famous restaurant De Librije. She was only 16 at the time.
Between the ages of 16 and 23, Kim worked in a series of starred restaurants, including De Librije***, De Nederlanden* and De Hoefslag*. Kim met Jacob Jan at work. The click was so intense that they resolved to open a restaurant together. This became a reality in 2002, when their very own Restaurant De Leest opened its doors in Vaassen. Kim was only 23 years old.