Les Découvertes d’Adrien, Courcelles
Faced with a growing number of orders, the Courcelles family company, specialised in traditional waffles, has high hopes for the future: new production machines, extension of the premises and exports.
PPascal Vandercappelle has become head of the company despite himself. After having been a sales representative for biscuits, waffles and crepes for a number of years, he decided to produce his own waffles, his most popular product, following his supplier ceasing to trade. On his own at first and then supported by his son Adrien Vandercappelle, he founded the company “Les Découvertes d’Adrien“.
Granny’s recipe revisited
“To develop the flavours, I followed my grandmother’s recipes. We then adapted the process according to market demand and raw ingredients”, explains Adrien Vandercappelle. Based on a 4/4 recipe (eggs, flour, butter and sugar), he selects the ingredients, primarily the least processed and from Belgium.
He doesn’t add additives or preservatives to the recipe. “This explains the freshness of the product, but also the shelf life of the product”, explains Adrien Vandercappelle.
Depending on the customer, mainly professionals and supermarkets, and their request (price, quality, quantity, etc.), Adrien Vandercappelle adapts his recipes. He developed a recipe with top-quality pure butter and another with rapeseed oil, as second choice. “The increase in the price of butter has considerable repercussions for the cost of our products, unfortunately”.
Efficient and profitable craft
Far from industrial processes, the company produces 350,000 waffles per month, or 1,000 per hour. “We automated a large part of production but we obviously needed qualified employees whose expertise is vital for production, from making the dough to the packaging”. In this 440 m² building, we find a robot that mixes the dough, another that pours and moulds the waffles, as well as a 48 m conveyor belt that cools them all.
In addition to these machines, a baker looks after the dough. Workers remove the waffles from the moulds and package them. Two other people look after deliveries. “In the future, we are intending to have a new machine to make the waffles: so we would go from 8 to 16 moulds”.
Condiments adapted to different distribution contexts
The waffles are currently distributed in 8s in a plastic box or in a bag. They are delivered to professionals or to boulangeries.
PTo satisfy the main customers (children and older people), Adrien Vandercappelle adapts the packaging format which always guarantees freshness: from large quantities to packets of 1 or 2 waffles sold individually. These individual packets are practical and easy for children to take to school.
A while ago, we invested in a machine to package 1 or 2 waffles, depending on demand.
This individual packaging will also attract a new type of customer. “This responds to the demand of operators with vending machines or at fuel pumps”.
Well-located production premises
Last but not least, Adrien Vandercappelle set up the business in the Courcelles business park in Courcelles. “I wanted the workshop to remain close to the workers, I wanted to have enough space and that it would be in Charleroi Métropole. I found this space which completely met my requirements”, he explains. In this square industrial building, we find a friendly, family place, conducive to a traditional workshop.
Despite these promising beginnings, Adrien Vandercappelle knows that he still has a lot to do with his father. The family company would like to optimise the production process, develop new flavours, improve communication and packaging, find new customers and in particular, to export. A professional challenge which Adrien Vandercappelle is looking forward to tackling in the coming years.
Adrien Vandercappelle : +32 (0)473 89 06 34
Pascal Vandercappelle : +32 (0)475 27 82 26
Rue de Charleroi, 11