Powered by xpats.com
Weather
10 °C

Not registered yet?

  • Daily & weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment our articles
Register now

You are here

Recent articles

Nov 20, 2017

The federal government has claimed or reclaimed €201 million in the year to 30 September as part...

Nov 20, 2017

According to an open letter to the government of the Brussels-Capital Region signed by more than...

Nov 19, 2017

David Goffin has pocketed almost €1 million in prize money after becoming the first Belgian to re...

Nov 19, 2017

The City of Brussels owns a dune on the outskirts of Ostend, which it is about to sell to Flander...

Brussels food shop spreads organic, seasonal gospel

Nov 14, 2017
0
A new organic market in Brussels is trying to get its customers to accept that they can’t stock everything all year round

Fed up of selling sports gear for a multinational, Brusselaars Julien De Brouwer and Quentin Labrique decided it was time to follow their hearts into the organic food sector.

The result is The Barn, a new market in the capital’s Etterbeek district. Their aim is to offer local, organic produce in minimal packaging, and to connect customers with where their food really comes from.

“We worked together in Decathlon until this summer, but we always wanted to do something in this environment,” De Brouwer explains. “We wanted an active role in the organic sector, so we combined our passion and our retail experience.”

Their concept is simple: fruit, vegetables, wines, oils, nuts, pulses, bread and cheese, sourced as locally as possible, with a short chain back to the producer. It’s a wide range but not necessarily a deep one. So you’ll find one red wine, one kind of tomato, one kind of apple …

“Everything is in bulk, and we go for direct contact with producers, so it means we can have really accessible prices,” says De Brouwer. “People are loving it so far. We’ve been open three days, and we’ve had more than 500 people a day.”

A blackboard on one wall lists locally grown vegetables and when they’re in season, so customers can know what to expect when. Right now it’s asparagus season. Across the room there are photos of producers at work, along with a noticeboard that’s updated weekly with the situation out in the fields.

“Last month was hard for our producers,” says De Brouwer. “Temperatures were low, and it was freezing at night, so farmers had real difficulties, and we want to explain this to customers. We want to tell people that it’s normal that the Belgian strawberries haven’t arrived yet, that there is a reason for it.”

People will have to accept that they can’t stock everything all year round, he says. The onion season, for instance, is over in Belgium, so The Barn doesn’t sell them. “We won’t get them from a southern country. It’s a Belgian product, so why go somewhere else?”

The three exotic fruits sold here – mangoes, pineapples and bananas – have to come from a bit further afield, he admits, while things like artichokes are brought in from Italy; all products are clearly marked with their origins. “But we’re limiting ourselves to that. We won’t go further. Kiwis, for example, we get from Italy; we could get them cheaper from further away but we want to be as local as possible.”

Place Saint-Pierre 38, Etterbeek

Questions & Answers

Help and get help

alexsimion

my question is that traveling on B2 visa to US, do i need a hotel booking ? i will be...

Drifter

I read that during second world war there was a big orphanage for Jewish kids. I could...

lovelorn

Anyone know if they will be selling the starred.thanks puds in Be r do need to treat my...

Jobs

Get in touch with your internal...

Internationally certified and experienced...

Events & Social

Upcoming

20 Nov
20.11.2017
Kent
by UK Essays Experts
20 Nov
20.11.2017
Brussels
by Expat Club
21 Nov
21.11.2017
Brussels
by English Comedy Brussels

Popular

3 Dec
03.12.2017 to 03.10.2019
New York
20 Nov
20.11.2017
Brussels
by Expat Club
21 Nov
21.11.2017 to 25.11.2017
Bruxelles
by muziekpublique

Twitter