I first wrote about the Little One more than two years ago when I was greatly helped by Maarten, in a red vintage VW van that parked itself on the beach at Arashi, to serve drinks and lovely snacks for my birthday.
The Little One still does that, only it evolved into a premier catering and event planning company, and last night at Arashi, it nicely promoted itself, by showcasing its diverse product to local wedding and event planners.
We had a great time. The highlight of the night was the video booth, a charming air conditioned (!) cabin where squeezed-in friends may leave recorded messages for their party hosts. We laughed so hard, we cried, at our numerous botched attempts to produce a sensible thank-you note for Maarten and Jacky, the twin engines behind the business.
The business of the Little One took off with a mobile bar, nicknamed Lola. It is fire-engine-red and an eye catcher, perfect for any occasion. Immediately, the resorts recognized this versatile wagon, and we started seeing it serving specialty cocktails, in all the best places and at private events.
Then came the silly photo booth, nicknamed Lucy, also in a VW wagon, that added a retro look to weddings, and promo activities. Guests regularly have a blast with all ridiculous props that come with the van.
Later Otto, the Vespa moto was added, serving as a juice bar, and Bella, a motorized Piaggio with Prosecco and Stella Artois on draft, a classic Rockabilly Jukebox, Beethoven the piano-DJ station, and recently elegant, free form stretch tents in a number of sizes.
Owner Maarten Thoonen — The Little One Aruba, phone: +297 745 5008 — reports he first bought the VW in the Netherlands and fully restored it with the help of his father, then he brought it to Aruba, at the beginning of 2017, and started to offer party services. While slow at first, he is now on fire, very popular and busy.
From the start, Maarten was the efficient bartender, DJ, and sunshiny host. He is by nature, genuinely interested and engaged, and cares immensely about the enjoyment of his guests. He delivered food, drinks, smoothies, music, waiters, lights, tables, generators, glassware, toilets, and most importantly permits for events in out-of-the-box places.
He worked with some excellent island chefs, and then Jacky danced in. They have been inseparable since that Little Miss Sunshine stepped onto the stage with her considerable culinary talents, passion for food and people, infectious laughter and boundless energy.
They are a winning duo. Maarten met his match in Aruba. And they jointly produce stress-free turn-key events. The success of the Little One proves that even in a saturated market there is room for innovations, and for a creative, passionate quality operator.