It’s official: Brussels Ketjep sauces are now available in Paris! And not just anywhere but in the prestigious setting of la Grande Épicerie de Paris and le Bon Marché Rive Gauche.
In late August, both brands unveiled the event exhibition “Il était une fois la Belgique” (translate “Once upon a time Belgium”), dedicated to our beautiful country. A unique chance for Parisians, tourists and expatriate compatriots to (re)discover more than hundred brands made in Belgium. All within a Belgian-comic scenary. Mode, design, food,… you’ll find something for everyone, and even more! It’s also a chance to attend various masterclasses, workshops and signing sessions. Anyway, the walk promises to be a memorable experience.
The six iconic Brussels Ketjep sauces also stand on both stores shelves, between Belgian beers, chocolates and mussels cooking pots. The chance to get your hands on the brand in France, exclusively until the 18th of October. And for Belgian friends who will hardly make the trip to the French capital (now classified “Red Zone”), here are a few pictures 😉✌️
Brussels Ketjep is today one of the most well-known brands in the kingdom, and it’s because of its innovations. But some of its products aren’t on the shelves anymore to help tell the rest of its history. That’s how Frisket is born, for a short-lived campaign…
To stimulate the beer brand Mort Subite, Heineken France launched a partnership with Brussels Ketjep. The theme of this partnership: the perfect Belgian pairing. The Frisket sauce was designed to be best appreciated with a good Lambic beer and crispy fries. The beer and the sauces were promoted in an exclusive pack containing 3 Mort Subite beers, the Frisket sauce, fry cones and the exclusive comic strip telling the story of how Bruno, master brewer, and Sylvain, top sauce maker, met. The comic was drawn by artist François Gadant and coordinated by the Konbini team. The famous French infotainment media also handled social media communications, for which is won an award for the best Instagram campaign.
Frisket was sold exclusively in this gift box. It was sold out on the first day of sales on vente-exclusive.com. Only a few thousand French people had the opportunity to taste a pot of this sauce with a nice beer!
|This sauce, that perfectly connected beer and fries, was a tartar sauce 3.0. Extra secret ingredients? Lemon, mint and shiso, to make it fresh and tart.Read more|
|Read even more|
|Frisket was re-released for a few months in Belgium, but under a different name: Vismet! A limit edition to celebrate the opening of the Brussels Ketjep station. That way, Belgian foodies could also enjoy it.|
De Ideale Wereld (DIW), het gekende tv-programma, staat bekend om zijn typische humor op het randje van absurditeit, zoals wij Belgen dat goed kunnen. Speciaal voor Pukkelpop zetten de presentatoren hun eigen knettergekke minifestival, de Sausfeesten, op poten met een binnen- en buitenpodium. Ze voorzagen ook een unieke EHBO-stand. Arme festivalgangers met een acuut tekort aan saus konden daar terecht voor de reanimatie van hun frieten, hotdog of hamburger. Als Brussels Ketjep-kenners vroegen de presentatoren aan het merk om een speciale saus te creëren voor hun Sausfeesten. En zo geschiedde: de Chalarmaise was geboren. De naam is een knipoog naar het werkwoord ‘chalarmeren’ dat DIW bedacht en als running joke blijft gebruiken. (Voor de smurf-fanaten onder ons, ‘chalarmeren’ is een variant op het werkwoord ‘smurfen’.) Het festival was zo’n groot succes dat de DIW-ploeg achteraf besluit om de saus te verkopen in flessen van 300 ml. Alles stond klaar voor de lancering tot … de producenten van het programma ontdekken dat ze als openbare omroep geen product op de markt mogen brengen dat werd gepromoot op antenne.
Het idee bleef echter bestaan en ze besluiten om reclame te blijven maken voor een product dat nooit in een winkel zal verkocht worden. De flessen Chalarmaise die al geproduceerd waren, worden nu gratis aangeboden aan het livepubliek. In bijna elke uitzending komt een absurd nepreclamespotje voor Chalarmaise aan bod. Het publiek wordt gek en wil absoluut die mysterieuze nieuwe saus proeven. Op sociale media worden grote supermarktketens verweten dat ze de saus niet in de rekken hebben staan.
Maar dan kwam plots toch een kans om de saus te kunnen verkopen door de winst te doneren aan een goed doel. Op 6 december doorkruiste de DIW-ploeg als ware het Sinterklaas het hele land met hun Chalarmaise-caravan. De tournee startte in het Vlaams parlement waar de ministers emotioneel werden verplicht om meerdere potten saus te kopen voor het goede doel. Daarna was het eindelijk aan het grote publiek om met de neus in de spreekwoordelijke saus te vallen. Urenlang stonden er lange wachtrijen in de stations van Antwerpen, Gent en Leuven…
Of hoe een saus echt alles uit zijn korte leventje wist te halen!
He never imagined he would be working “in sauces”, but today he can brag about having founded one of the most iconic ketchup brands: Brussels Ketjep! Paperboy went to meet him. Here’s his story.
A ‘ketje’ is a boy from Brussels who hangs out in the streets and who is (sometimes) more charismatic than his parents. Every Brussels-born kid was once a ketje, and some remain so forever. In 2012, one of these ketjes was driving his 1981 Honda Civic home around 1 in the morning. He had just sold his first ever ketchup. That’s how it started. No market studies, no visit to the bank, not even a sales agreement. Brussels Ketjep was born without warning. That Wednesday, a few restaurant owners from the capital ordered cases of the first Belgian ketchup brand. Over time and as word got around, other distributors joined the adventure to provide their expertise and service. Today, the ketchup is distributed in Flanders, Wallonia, Europe and beyond. The brand’s fame grew with the progressive expansion of the product range. Brussels Ketjep has been able to grow while keeping its ‘ketje’ spirit.
Paperboy: How did you come up with the idea of making ketchup?
The Ketje: By eating a sandwich with ketchup. The whole time I was eating it, I was looking at this American bottle of ketchup. Everyone knows it. I wondered nobody tried to do better. I was never a huge fan of ketchup. I thought it was plain and too sweet. But I love tomatoes and everything to do with them. So I thought I’d make a ketchup that actually tastes like tomatoes. A bit less sugary, but that still tastes like a real ketchup.
P: Were you a cook before?
K: Nope. But I grew up in a bookstore where my mom sold candies and chocolates, and I worked in catering. So I’ve always been interested in food in the wider sense of the word.
P: How do you enter a market with such major competitors?
K: Naturally. By visiting all the restaurants that seemed to also want to offer good products to their customers. I kept my day job for two years and developed Brussels Ketjep at night and on weekends. The second year, I even delivered wholesale orders early in the morning before going to work.
P: When did you go full time?
K: When I understood that I didn’t know how to properly work and organize both jobs. I was overwhelmed by the growth of Brussels Ketjep. So I told my boss that I wanted to quit so I could go all-in in my sauce business. I bought a truck and it took off.
P: Any future plans?
K: Continue developing the brand in the restaurant industry both in Belgium and abroad. We’re also starting unique partnerships with original projects and passionate people!
NATIONAL FIELD BOOSTER
HORECA + RETAIL
We’re diving deep into innovation. NBC Sports says it’s an unprecedented marketing approach that more professional sports club should use (NB: publication June 19, 2019). By partnering with the country’s biggest sports club, Brussels Ketjep had a new challenge in mind: Creating a delicious sauce with the club’s colours. Unfortunately, they wear mauve…
Our meeting with Marc Coucke was the catalyst.
Since the successful entrepreneur became the president of the Brussels football club, many changes have been made in the organization, eliminating bad habits once and for all. One of the steps was to let small companies sponsor the club. Brussels Ketjep wanted to be part of this renewed effort but wanted to do its bit by creating a special sauce for supporters – and go the extra mile!
In our first meeting with Marc Coucke, he told us he was a foodie and admitted he wished our stores had a good tartar sauce, which he loves. So the Ketje decided to secretly create a premium tartar sauce recipe with capers and crisp onions. Obviously, the hardest part was making it mauve using natural food colouring while still making it look tasty.
After several tests, carefully measured spirulina and black carrot extract, we had our final sauce.
And more good news: the official launch of the Mauve sauce took place a few days after the announcement that Vincent Kompany would return to the RSC Anderlecht club! To show that football starts with team spirit, the RSCA offered to donate a part of the profit to the Child Focus foundation.
The MAUVE sauce is available in Carrefour, Delitraiteur, Cora, Match, Night/Day, White Night as well as with the independent resellers of Brussels Ketjep.
It’s also available in our online store and in our Brussels Ketjep station, chaussée de Wavre 1731 at 1160 Brussels.
It’s already three years ago that we made French Fries History thanks to David Antoine from Radio Contact. He has done everything in his power to blast off the first cornet full of fries into Space!
And we all know this: french fries are not (what am I saying: never!) without sauce. For this occasion, we have joined forces with David and his 16-20 team to create a totally new sauce… the 16-20. It’s a sweet and vinegared sauce with a taste of fried onions and peppers. One sauce which can take pride in having travelling further than any else!
Today, to celebrate this anniversary, we check in on this cornet of french fries. What became of him three years after his ascent? How does he see his retirement ? How is he taking the idea that many people thought he was a hoax? Those questions which keep you up at night finally get some answers.
It’s at the Friet Museum of Bruges that the famous cornet of french fries is currently resting. Ok, he’s not very appetizing anymore, far from his glory time. But it must be said that a Space journey wears. However, he keeps presenting himself to visitors with the desire – and the duty – to prove to the world he’s real. YES, on 28 April 2016, he went closer to Space than any other cornet of french fries before. AND YES, he came back in one piece, thanks to toothpicks which enabled him to keep all the french fries in the package (well, rising that high also ensures great cryogenics). He’s testifying it every day in this unusual museum telling potatoes and french fries history, between diverse collection pieces on the topic.
Now let the world know: some Belgians shipped french fries into Space, and it’s true! After all, it had to come from us. Because Belgians eat french fries on average twice a week. Enough to find an opportunity to taste the 16-20 sauce, don’t you think?
At the start of this year, I had the chance to go to Dublin to represent Brussels Ketjep at the “Facebook Gather” event, organized for a few 500 SME.
How has this started? Thanks to an informal meeting between Alexis Lebedoff, Facebook Belgium director (we thank him!) and our Ketje founder. This way, Brussels Ketjep joined the Belgian SME forum. The occasion to meet other entrepreneurs who want to improve their Facebook and Instagram communication.
I boasted about it to many friends and all of them agree: a Facebook invitation is class. Well, I was expecting to board in first class then. But it’s with a certain Irish low-cost airline that those two days have started… At the airport, we were awaited by a “Gather” sign. The occasion to organize with the people there a getaway in a typical Irish pub to drink a Guinness. In the evening, a drink & mingle was offering the possibility to meet European business owners to share experiences. As a French speaker, I didn’t know what “mingle” exactly meant. But I quickly understood it’s a stylish way to network.
The event day finally showed up. It took place at the backstage of the stunning Croke Park stadium (if it doesn’t ring a bell, I promise: it’s giant. One Direction and Céline Dion had concerts there!). I attended presentations and academy sessions with subjects from new Facebook tools introduction to creativity development in our businesses. We also listened to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, about Facebook’s commitment to addressing current challenges. But honestly, the main aim was to meet people from as different universes as sauces (us!), second-hand luxury goods, yoga, ice cream, jewellery, human resources or NGO. The occasion to bring face to face experiences, ideas, challenges and dreams. What did we have in common? My boss would certainly like me to say/talk about our “willing to learn”, but we mostly wanted to enjoy the Open Bar (if you go to Ireland, drink a Baby Guinness on my health).
My last day in Dublin was marked by a peculiar visit of the Facebook office. Even though they were exactly like I imagined them, they were still impressive. Spaces are huge, pleasant, colourful, creative and branded from floor to ceiling. The company restaurant is amazing: it offers a varied menu to ensure everyone finds what he likes. The only cloud on the horizon: no sign of our sauces… And they don’t have the chance to have a metro station at their name!
The conclusion of this stay: even though I learned only a few secrets about Facebook, I met inspiring young entrepreneurs. The different speakers gave me the desire to keep our social networks on a human-scale. We won’t seek for likes at any cost. We want to offer authentic and original content. Thank you to be here, for liking our publications, for having read this article until the end, for following us in this crazy adventure and for giving us a chance by trying and enjoying our products.
A year has now passed since the begin of our collaboration with this North-coming hotel chain. It values local food and an environmental engagement. It’s Thon Hotel! It’s also one of the few in Brussels to own its hotels. Today, we put it in the spotlight with a contest.
From Norway to Brussels
Did you know that the group is native to Norway? It’s a certain Olav Thon who built this empire from his teenage years, from scratch. Next to his worldwide hotel empire, that hosted big heads of state and diplomats as Angela Merkel and Ban Ki Moon, he also established a property group that is well-known in Norway. In matter of fact the group bought every possible ground (of property) they could in Norway, which led to an expansion to the capital of Europe, Belgium.
Thanks to the Norwegian roots the group has strong environmental values. It starts with a green conception of new hotels, but that’s also ensuring consistent renovations and concrete actions. In this way, visitors can, for instance, decide to avoid daily room cleaning to donate to an association. Also, this environmental conscientization requires the use of local food. Thon Hotel even brews its own ecological beer for Belgium: the Thonner’ke, a craft triple blond beer.
In line with this, the food offering in the Thon Hotel restaurants is local, fresh and varied. That’s why Brussels Ketjep was chosen as partner concerning sauces. The chain also favours handmade and has for specificity to always have fresh fish (as a nod to its northern cradle). What the public does not always know is that those restaurants are accessible for anyone. Good deal: -50% on breakfasts during the weekend. A golden opportunity to brunch outside.
To take part in the contest and try to win one night for two people in one of the Brussels Thon Hotel, go to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. Find here the terms of the contest.
The news is now official. And for this occasion, we met David Steegen, Public Affairs Manager, and Emmanuel Rutsaert, Sponsorship & Hospitality Manager, for a joint interview.D = David Steegen
E = Emmanuel Rutsaert
How would you simply and efficiently describe the Anderlecht club?
D – Belgian – Brussels – National – Over the top, especially when we lose.
E – Dynamic – As champions…
D – … even when we aren’t. Especially when we aren’t !
E – We must be able to lose like champions.
How many people are subscribed to the stadium?
D – Today we have 18.000 subscribers and 2.000 seats sold over the counter. We always keep a quota to sell over the counter because we are obliged. It’s 500 places more than before!
E – And 3.000 VIP seats.
Could you briefly introduce us the Anderlecht list of hits?
D – We are 34 times champions…
E – … I give up. David could talk about this for hours and hours!
D – 9 Belgian Cup, 3 European Cup, 2 UEFA Super Cup in 78 and 76. Until 89 we were part of the 20 biggest clubs of the world. Of the world! Formerly we were in the top 10 of budgets, today we are around 270th in Europe. Between 1970 and 1989, we played 7 finals of the Belgian Cup. And then since mid-80, the nineties, the market has totally changed with big European championships which have liberated significant resources compared to ours.
How does the RSCA culture allow you to have such results?
D – The first reason is a historical one. In 1970, we had a new president called Constant Vanden Stock who invested a big amount of capital in the club. It enabled us to run big transfers throughout the years. We were looking for the best players from around the world, whilst still training young players. He had the ambition to be one of Europe’s greatest players and he succeeded. The other reason is of geographic nature. Being located in the capital of Belgium and the capital of Europe definitely does have its perks. This attracts the biggest companies, which releases considerable resources. We can’t argue about the fact that professional football is also a matter of resources.Today there are 3 to 4 big Belgian clubs. Especially Bruges and us: we are the biggest from a budget point of view, followed by Genk and the Standard. We always stayed on top. For instance, we played the 54th European Cup season in a row. There are only Benfica and FC Barcelona which are doing as well.
Several Red Devils are coming from the RSCA, what’s the place of the training of the youths inside the club?
D – 35% of the national team of the last World Cup was trained by Anderlecht. It’s one of our main values. Today, there are three good youths who are coming from our academy who are first-team players: Sebastiaan Bornauw, Alexis Saelemaekers and Francis Amuzu. They aren’t even 20. We also trained Kompany, Tielemans, both Lukaku brothers and Januzaj.
How to explain the presence of supporters everywhere in Belgium?
D – First thing first, thanks to our location. Because we are in Brussels, the biggest Belgian city. It’s a city attracting many people, whether for tourism, for football or for something else. And above all, there are great successes of course. We played the big finals of the European Cup. We can compare us to Real Madrid, Ajax, PSG or FC Barcelona: we are clubs from the capital.
E – It gives us a national aura. People want to bind themselves to success, and because we are champions on average one year out of two, we gather fans as much in Ostend than in Arlon.
With the arrival of president Marc Coucke, what’s the new vision for the club? Which changes are ongoing?
D – From a commercial point of view, we made amazing steps.
E – We made progress with partnerships. We used to have 14 partners, today they are 32. From the hospitality point of view too. We invested in the spectator experience, for B2B as much as for B2C. For B2C, we have created a new Fan Zone where supporters can meet, drink beers or eat burgers. For the B2B we invested in 7 new catering offers. The top is the Saint Guidon, managed by the two-starred chef of Bonbon. There is also a Chef’s table option: the chef changes for each match, keeping a Brussels face, which is important for us. We also have two brand new bars, linked to our partner drinks. There is a new commercial impetus, well received by B2B as much as by B2C. What Marc also wants to improve is the animation inside the stadium. For instance, behind the goal, we increased the capacity to generate additional atmosphere.
With those changes in the stadium, there were big renovations. Could you tell us more about the food universe?
E – When I started here, a frequent criticism was that it was always the same. We had two caterers and a few variations. Here we decided to offer a wide range of services, from a brasserie option – which is the cheaper – to the Saint Guidon option – which is managed by Christophe Hardiquest, the stars chef of Bonbon. Between those two services, we have other options like a seated dinner; the Chef’s table; the Kitchen Park with a different theme each month; the Food Market in the form of a walking dinner. The aim was to surprise guests at each match by offering a wide range of choices.
How many tons of fries are sold in front of the stadium of Anderlecht each year?
E – 3,5 tons by season, which is about twenty matches.
Is there a difference between the beer consumption in case of an RSCA victory? In which order?
E- The consumption increases by 20% when we win. When we are champions: it doubles!
Do you like salmon? Scampi? Calamari? So you will L-O-V-E the Vismet! Vismet, what is it? It’s a Brussels word referring to fish market. And we haven’t chosen this name for nothing. At Brussels Ketjep, the Vismet is a 3.0 tartare sauce brightened up with a touch of mint, lime juice, shiso and a drop of whisky. As you may have noticed: it’s a fresh sauce which will be perfect with any fish.
If you already tasted it, the Vismet might remind you something. It’s normal, because it already existed under another name: Frisket. Anecdotally, the Frisket was launched for a collaboration with Heineken France x Mort Subite to create the perfect ‘belgian apéro’. Don’t hesitate to visit the website for cooking inspiration.
People liked this limited edition recipe so much that we decided to offer it again, and this time in Belgium too!
We used the Station opening to introduce it to you. We are very pleased to observe that its success followed up to Belgium! You can find it in our flagship store in Auderghem or at our partner retailers. And if you can’t find it close to you, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us where you would like to see it.
If anything is an integral part of Brussels daily life: it’s public transport. They are thoroughfare where students, workers, employees and tourists come across each other. And as you know, at Brussels Ketjep, we love being inspired by our surrounding. This is why we decided to think on a grand scale and install our first shop as much as our office in a metro station. A metro station with particularity to not shiver because of the metro arrival… Reason: there isn’t an actual metro.
Nifty, isn’t it?
The Grand Opening took place during the Auderghem street market. That was the occasion for Auderghem inhabitants to discover our universe and our sauces including the youngest: the Vismet! Each party comes with drinks, sport and art. That’s why the Dikkenek beers; the Skot’Tiche whisky, the Black Angels team players (foot US Belgian Champions) and the graffiti artist Mino One were there.
If you missed this event, don’t hesitate to drop in and say hi from Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. The occasion to discover and purchase our sauces but also our T-shirts and goodies. Everyone can come in, as in any other metro station! That will also be the opportunity to do a tour through our Brussels Ketjep museum retracing all great times of five years of sauce.
Look no further where to find us, now it’s 1731 Chaussée de Wavre, 1160 Auderghem ! So… see you soon.
Why launching a simple advertising campaign when local artists can be showcased? This is the idea we share with our friends from The Word Magazine.
Remember, two years ago, five famous street artists took up the challenge of expressing themselves with our sauces instead of paint bombs.
Last year, we started up again with 5 rappers who had to create punchlines from our sauces scraped on a piece of paper captured in the magazine.
This year, The Word Magazine suggests to ask the talented DEFO to customize a few old runners in the Marolles (area in Brussels). The Ketjep Runner #1 is decorated with the inevitable DALLAS and the #2 with the COWBOY.
And as we like to please everyone … if you spot theses runners in town and post the picture on Instagram or Twitter using #brusselsketjep, you will probably receive a little surprise in your mailbox.
Close your eyes (not really, though, if you want to read this article) and imagine the greatest ambassador of Belgian culinary art. Is it chocolate? Not really. Beer! We thought so too, but it’s not the right time. So… fries, obviously! Think about it: how would you react if a French person told you their country invented fries? We’re going to give you some arguments in response (without throwing sauce on their face…that would be a waste).
We’ll start by the invention of the fry! We already see that the term “fry” comes from the way its prepared. But in all the ancient books that describe the famous fried potato, its shape is nowhere to be found. Even worse, connoisseurs of the time often shared crisps! Fast-forward to the 16th century when the recipe we know today was first archived…in the Czech Republic.
Let’s peel back the Belgian archives. One legend, citing a text from 1680 (bizarrely unfindable), says that the inhabitants of Dinant, Andenne, and Namur replaced small breaded fish with potatoes during famines. They created the famous fries by imitating a popular dish with a substitute ingredient. Except the potato only arrived here around 1735, and fat was very expensive. The first written proof of the Belgian fry cut comes from the book Economie culinaire (by Philippe Edouard Cauderlier) in 1861.
You’ll make your French companion smile. Because another story links the invention, or at least the first historical trace, of the fry to the famous French Revolution (1789). The “pont-neuf” potatoes owe their name to the famous bridge in Paris. Once again, many books name recipes or the sensory quality of fries…often cut in slices! Our honour remains intact: France cooks potatoes like other countries of the world, which is more similar to crisps.
In a word, nobody can prove the invention of the fry as we know it. One thing is for sure: the whole world likes it and Belgium keeps an exceptional aura in the minds of foodies. And just for that, we can pull out our flag, fanfare, and the many Brussels Ketjep sauces that go with our favourite potato!
Like a big family, Brussels Ketjep has many illustrious members that we love to invite to the table. Founded in November 2012 by a Brussels ketje (the affective nickname for a Brussels man, the word also means “small,” but we will hide his actual size for our readers), our range now includes numerous sauces.
First things first, with the desire to offer a ketchup that is both more delicious and still close to its origins. This requires of tomatoes … An obvious point, but our Ketjep sauce contains 50% more than the competition. And as our grandmothers (or our cooking shows) have taught us: tomatoes bring acidity, not sugar, resulting in a fresh and mouth-watering sauce, with a rounder and more natural finish. Intended as a base for professionals in the hospitality industry, our Ketjep has already won over the hearts of many people!
But Gourmet patrons wanted more, first and foremost of course, a good mayonnaise. To select the perfect recipe, three samples were sent and scored by chefs (and their teams) in Belgium. After a good deal of hard work, the reward came through in April 2013, with the birth of the Mayo sauce.
In January 2014, to prove that Brussels Ketjep could master the classics while offering originality, the Dallas sauce arrived. With its unique recipe and its spicy tone, it sits proudly in our restaurants, and also as an accompaniment to dishes such as hamburgers or steak tartare.
But you’re going to say: there’s no mustard or barbecue sauce! And you’re quite right, especially when our Ketjep and Mayo occupy the jealous space of Dijon mustard at your table. The Mostoed was therefore launched, in January 2015, following the tradition of the recipes of Ghent, and followed by Cowboy, in January 2016 (a bit early for barbecue season… but you never know with Belgian weather).
Responding to requests but also following a logical progression, our sauces now form a family that should please all different preferences. Until the next creation!