Geneviève Lanoy & Bernard André Club Ketjep
Geneviève Lanoy & Bernard André
Owners at Comptoir Africain

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
We came to a point when we both decided that enough was enough and that we wanted to do something useful and meaningful. Geneviève had spent her life administrating companies while I had been working in the telecoms industry for the major part of my life, managing companies in Africa and fighting for employees welfare and social projects, applying telco’s in rural areas, not to create new needs but, instead, to address existing ones.

How has where you come from shaped who you are?
We have travelled all over Africa, in small villages where people are happy with what they have and don’t make themselves unhappy with what they don’t have. This mentality is an eye-opener. We are definitively not in line with multinational companies offering low-quality products made by underpaid staff, at expensive prices.

How would you describe your attitude to work?
Which work? We don’t actually work; we spent our lives having fun doing what we were doing. You know, when you wake up every morning and you feel happy because it’s going to be another day doing what you like, working on great and interesting projects the way you like it and with people you appreciate, it doesn’t feel like work anymore.

On a personal note, what would you say you’re the proudest of?
Two things: my three sons, and being loved by my wonderful wife.
And from a professional point of view, the fact that our customers really appreciate our project for the quality, freshness and correct pricing of our products as well as our very good service also makes me particularly proud.

To you, what is a Ketje?
A Ketje is this typical “Brusseleir” boy, who (excuse my French) doesn’t take any shit from anybody and has pride in what he does and the way he does it.

What do you think distinguishes Belgium, and its people, from the rest?
In my opinion, we do have something that distinguishes us from our neighbours: we don’t take ourselves seriously and we are able to laugh at ourselves. However, we take what we do very seriously. And, cherry on the cake, we are very friendly and welcoming.

If you had to nominate three people that, to you, best symbolised Belgium in its full glory, who would they be?
Jacques Brel
Arno
Jaco Van Dormael

If you had to take visiting guests out on a Sunday tourist trail, where would you take them and why?
I would take them on a typical circuit: Grand Place, Petit Sablon/Kleine Zavel, Marolles and Place du Jeu de Balle/Vossenplein. Not that it’s be my favourite walk but these are the not-to-be-missed spots.

Sauces, in Belgium at least, are intrinsically linked to French fries. What’s your combination of choice?
I really enjoy the Mayo from Brussels Ketjep, but if there is some Dallas around, I just can’t resist.

First time you discovered BK sauces? Where and which one?
I first saw them in a grocery store in a small village, where they also resell our peppers, spices and mixes. So it must be a very good address!

Why do Belgians do it better?
Belgians do it better simply because they are the best, that’s a no brainer!