Chocolate in Maasmechelen?
Then, you certainly have to see Bart Janssen, a passionate chocolatier. I learned the chocolate trade at my mothers knee, he laughs, while as photographer Marieke, his wife, focusses on him: fully occupied in their workshop. My father used to be a baker in Kotem and he loved making chocolate delicacies, it was his hobby. When I was a teenager, he made a 4-meter-high Easter egg in chocolate, which even made it to the front page of the newspapers. Nowadays, I could not do such a stunt, as I do not have the time for it.Bart may well be cut out to become a chocolatier, in the meantime, he has been in the business for 20 years now. I learned the trade in the bakery school in Antwerp, not to take over my fathers bakery, because that was not what I wanted, neither to obtain a bakers diploma,but to become a chocolatier, my dream ever since childhood. I did not know any better. I grew up on chocolate, still the original Belgian Chocolate of Callebaut. My father already used to work with it in the past. Except for the Koetjesreep, I never tasted any other kind of chocolate. I consider it to be the best chocolate.His store rolls in chocolates. The best chocolate?Undoubtedly the praline with freshly grilled nuts, it is really delicious. Chocolates sell well year after year, a very good reason for people to pass. Especially chocolates with fruit fillings, such as strawberry, banana or raspberries are in vogue right now. On top of that, we offer, of course, seasonal products, following the holidays, sch as Christmas, Valentine and Eastern, but also special moments,such as the end of a school year. We notice that people like having something special, something for them personelly. A real topper: chocolate with a provided picture on it. We print it on chocolate edible colourants. If you like something exclusive, you definitely have to ask at B-art Chocolates for the Chocolates Pumps distinguishing Bart in the world and industry of chocolatiers. I started two years ago pouring these highheeled shoes and it grew into an immense success, even leading to interest from abroad. A typical Maasmechelen chocolate has not been created yet. Unfortunately not, I regret it. In the past, the idea of a typical Maasmechelen chocolate was put forward, but the plan never got realized. You know, I certainly want to do something with this idea, but I cannot do it without an external partner promoting and commercializing the chocolate, because I do not have the time for it. Anyway; it is certainly an opportunity with quite some potential, as some many spots in Maasmechelen can lend themselves as inspiring to that effect. What is Barts favourite spot? Two spots… Going for a walk with my family on a Sunday afternoon in Connecterra. And as I just said, I have been brought up in Kotem, so the villages and the Meuse certainly attract me, just by childhood nostalgia. And a Meuse chocolate? Yes sure, it has to be possible, he smiles.