The brand “Les Tartes de Françoise”, renowned in Belgium, has developed its activity while remaining true to its origins: sweet and savoury tarts that are both hand-crafted and delicious.
Visit of the company’s main workshop in Seneffe, in the north of the city, and a workshop in Gerpinnes.
“Despite our success, we respect our core values: hand-crafted produce and the quality of the raw materials,” specified Xavier Scheuer, marketing manager for the company, whose offices are in the main workshop in Seneffe. “Over 250 people work here daily. They roll the dough, prepare the cream, cover the tarts in fruit and vegetables, melt the chocolate, etc.”
Each at their workstation, the workers concentrate on certain specific tasks. In the main kitchen, some fifty doughs, of different shapes and sizes, are arranged: the first cook adds the courgette-based preparation; the second adds the sauce; the third adds the salmon rolls… Everything is very precise. The result is mouth-watering and promises a delightful tasting moment.
Just like a homemade tart
A little further away, the ovens are running at full speed: the caramel is being prepared, the chocolate is melting… It is taken away by a baker assigned to making the molten chocolate cakes. Next to him, another employee is making cheesecakes, one of the brand’s specialities. He is mixing the creamy lemon mixture and spreading it over the speculoos biscuit base.
A beeper sounds: the quiches are ready and need to come out of the oven. About ten of these scorching hot dishes give off a delicious smell around the workshop: the temptation to taste one is strong!
It will soon be time to put the apple tarts in the oven: they will come out fondant, golden and caramelised… in a nutshell: delicious!
Freshly prepared products
The pastries are prepared in this main workshop: sweet and savoury shortcrust pastries, pastries with almonds, crusts, etc. Some of the sweet and savoury mixtures are cooked here. Many will be distributed to the brand’s partners, such as Exki restaurants, the Pairi Daiza park or Sodexo.
The rest of the quiches and tarts are made directly in the regional workshops, which receive daily deliveries of raw materials, mixtures, and pastries.
The bakers make the tarts in the morning to sell them directly in their shop. “Every morning, we beat the cream, decorate the preparations with fruits or vegetables, we cook the meringue… We sometimes prepare the same tart at different times throughout the day in order to guarantee freshness and reduce waste,” explains Camille, chef at the Gerpinnes workshop.
Grandmother’s cuisine revisited
Over thirty different recipes are available to our clients. The range includes sweet tarts, such as fruit tarts (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry… depending on the season), the “merveilleux” or molten chocolate cakes. Savoury tarts, such as the “sun-dried tomato and kofta” tart or the “chicken, coconut and ginger” tart, are also available. Finally, quiches such as the “aubergine and basil”, “brie and spinach” or the classic “Lorraine” fill the stalls.
The recipes, developed by a chef, change according to the season, and are suggested to the bakers in each workshop. The brand would like to make the quality and freshness of its preparations its trademark.
“Clients tell me that the tarts remind them of tastes from their childhood, or that they feel like they were homemade. This type of feedback truly adds value to our work. I love making the tarts while thinking about those who are going to enjoy them. I feel a certain pride.”
Prepare your own tart
Eventually, the brand would like to branch out. It now offers a delivery service, and is looking to export to France, without forgetting its origins and the importance of local roots in its model.
A box project is also underway: clients will be able to select a box and receive all the ingredients and the recipes at home and be able to cook their own tarts and quiches themselves.
Les Tartes de Françoise
Atelier de Gerpinnes
Rue Neuve 3
+32(0)71 22 07 42