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The Story of Toni Kunchi!

The Story of Toni Kunchi!

Tony Kunchi

I have lived on Curaçao for more than 30 years, 20 of which in the Toni Kunchi district. It's high time to shine my light on this neighborhood. Finally, the name of my B&B is directly linked to this.

Because I always like a bit of historical awareness of the places where I stay, I recently did some research. Very late I hear you say. Absolute! How is it possible that you are blind to what you are in the middle of. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading it. If you have plans to come to Toni Kunchi, you will certainly look at this neighborhood with a different perspective after reading the story below.

Don Jamie

Jaime Jose Sprock (1904-1994) was a real adventurer. He is both the ancestor of Ponche Kuba and Toni Kunchi. In 1924 he went to Cuba as a sailor to obtain a secret recipe for making Ponche Crema. An interesting detail is that the label says 1942. Archival documents state otherwise and moreover, WWII was in full swing and sailing was not allowed due to German ships off the coast. Anyway, he got hold of the recipe and with great success Ponche Crema was sold worldwide under the name Ponche Kuba. He later sold the recipe to the Bols company. I understand from close relatives that the Bols version is not nearly as tasty as the original.

Sprock had an enormous commercial spirit and was also at the basis of the Antillean Amstel Brewery. The only place in the world where beer was brewed from distilled sea water.

The plantation

In 1939, Jaime Sprock bought the Vreugdenberg plantation together with his brother-in-law Mozes 'Moi' Pieters. From that moment on people spoke of Toni Kunchi. Where that name comes from is still a mystery. Both families used the area as a country retreat for years to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Parties were held on weekends. The daughter of Moi Pieters (and therefore the niece of Jaime Sprock) still lives in Toni Kunchi. She can remember birthday parties from her childhood when Toni Kunchi was still a plantation. The Toni Kunchi mansion was on the opposite side of the mountain.

The jars of Bols

The cottage consisted of a main residence and two warehouses. These were used to store stock bottles and other beverage attributes of Sprock's company. Shiploads of Bols bottles came this way, to return bottled. These bottles from that time are still found during construction or gardening work.

The tragedy

In 1965 the plantation was parceled out and the cottage demolished. Initially sales were difficult. When it finally started to run, in 1969 a real disaster occurred. First, there was May 30, when, during the great workers' uprising, the families' shops were burnt down, but the real drama happened on October 10 of that same year.

Jaime Sprock's son, Harold 'Oy' Sprock, was killed in a train accident in Boxtel. He would have followed in his father's footsteps, but fate decreed otherwise. The main street in Toni Kunchi and also our street is named after him.

From plantation to a classic neighbourhood

Toni Kunchi has now grown into a wonderful neighborhood with lots of greenery and a rural atmosphere.

The location is very central and you can be in Willemstad or Mambo-Beach in no time. Yet Toni Kunchi still exudes the tranquility of yesteryear.

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Published 27-02-2023 / Copyright © Bed & Breakfast Toni Kunchi