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Discover Benelux  |  Belgian Flavours  |  (Hand)Made in Belgium

The best of bread Belgium Bakery van Hoorick is a true family business where bread and pastries are made with love and a lot of knowledge. Yet, it also could well serve as a bright look into the future. With its delicious classic pastries - some filled with the famous Belgium chocolate - and tasty, crispy bread made from scratch, Bakery van Hoorick offers up the perfect mix of craftsmanship and experience. “Our strength lies in the fact that we work with only the best of ingredients. Our aim is to make each pastry a delicious and goodlooking treasure,” co-owner Jade Strobbe explains. Known for its long heritage, the bakery was originally founded in 1855 before it was passed on to the family, who has been running the bakery for eight generations. And with time comes knowledge and, of course, craftsmanship. “You could buy bread in the supermarket. But you could also get bread at a bakery, which is crispy, delicious and made with love. This makes a big difference, we differentiate ourselves with this,” Strobbe explains.


Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Antwerp, customers with a sweet tooth or a love for bread can find the cute little bakery in the town of Melsele. The mouth-watering pastries in the shop’s window, the authentic history and their way of working creates a unique atmosphere in the bakery situated in the Belgium countryside. Furthermore, the bakery is run by Strobbe and her partner Thomas, alongside a team of passionate bakers. “We have a clear vision for the future, we would like to reunite different kinds of craftsmanship under one roof. For example, working with a butcher, so we can offer healthy lunches where even the smallest details are made with the greatest love for the profession. Reuniting craftsmanship, that’s our goal.”


Unparalleled taste: every flower is a wish TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK  |  PHOTOS: ROOMER

Neither a wine nor a liqueur, what is it then? “An aperitif made with elderflower,” says Jeroen Michels, owner and co-founder of RoomeR. But RoomeR is actually much more than just that. RoomeR is slightly sweet with an explosion of elderflower, followed by a hint of muscat grape and a pleasant acidity, and the vermouth tones deliver a dry yet full aftertaste. Whilst the flavour of RoomeR is unique, the story behind it is just as special. It all started when Michels was 15 years old. He liked chemistry and started experimenting with his brother in their grandmother’s basement. The brothers incorporated granny Maria’s family recipe for elderflower lemonade in their chemical experiments, and eventually invented RoomeR. “It’s a hobby that got out of hand,” Michels laughs.

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The business took off and these days, RoomeR’s recognition goes far beyond its hometown Ghent - not only for its distinguished flavour, but also for the conscious production. The handmade products are proof of true craftsmanship from start to finish; the elderflowers are grown in a sustainable way, there are no preservatives, flavourings or colour agents added in the production process, and they use eco-friendly packaging and transport. “Our entire bottling process is manual,” explains Michels. “Each bottle contains around 65 elderflowers and they are added by hand, using tweezers.” In addition to its eco focus, RoomeR also often works with special needs students and social workshops. Michels: “We consciously choose sustainable ways of doing business. Overall we emphasise quality, not only in the product itself but in everything surrounding the production process.”