Last Sunday and Monday, 1 and 2 December, Wholesaler Claessens organised an Open day, Winter days. During the open days, visitors could take a look in addition to the new assortment; at the new offices, tasting kitchen, Cash & Carry and warehouse.
"We have doubled in surface area," says Julie De Bie about the expansion of Wholesale Claessens. "We have grown so fast in recent years that expansion was necessary to continue to work efficiently." Manager Tom Claessens took over the fruit shops in Antwerp and Brussels from his father 15 years ago and moved to the wholesale market in Antwerp. Since then, the focus has been on delivering to the top and middle segment of the hospitality industry, but also to schools and hospitals. There are now 100 people working who prepare orders day and night.
Manager, Tom Claessens
Always looking for firsts
“We prefer to buy our products directly from the producer. In addition, we purchase at all auctions in Belgium and we get many products from the north of France. We have many demanding top chefs as customers who are always looking for the latest, so we strive to be the first to have new products in our range and to follow the trends well. Around 600 deliveries depart from Antwerp every day to customers in Flanders, Brussels and Liège. In the summer we make an exception and we also supply catering to the coastal region," says Julie.
Cash & Carry
For hospitality and catering business that would like to choose products themselves, Wholesaler Claessens has created a Cash & Carry. "We have around 3,000 different types of fruit and vegetable products in our range and a wide range of specialties and Asian products," Julie continues. “With the construction of the tasting kitchen, we want to inspire chefs with new products and respond to the seasons. Although we already have a fairly large range, new products and concepts can still be discovered and we want to do this together with our customers.”
In order to unburden customers, Wholesale Claessens offers a large range of tailor-made products in collaboration with Gomad.
"We only do things that are tailor-made," says Christophe De Mey, manager of Gomad. “In addition to cutting to size, we also offer soups and sauces; and we pickle and ferment. We also only work with people who have a distance to the labour market. We train these people, give them language lessons if necessary and we offer a permanent contract. In this way we try to do our bit for society. "
Christophe De Mey
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