After graduating as a pastry chef from COOVI in Anderlecht, Brussels, Jan Andries decided to pursue his career of maître-pâtissier and chocolatier by earning his spurs in several apprenticeships and collaborations with renowned chefs. In 1992 he finally set up shop in the village of Meerbeke (Ninove). Due to Jan’s passionate commitment and catchy enthusiasm it soon became known as a secret paradise for chocolate lovers and fine pastry afficionados.
Jan and his wife Karolien are truly dedicated to their incessant quest for innovation and perfection: improving traditional techniques as well as exploring new horizons are key elements to their business philosophy. Because Jan believes he has never finished learning, he frequently attends various masterclasses on fine bakery and chocolate in Belgium or abroad to keep up with the newest trends, innovative techniques and the latest array of pure chocolates on the market.
Karolien, on the other hand, runs the shop. The result of her passion and care shows in the elegant design, exquisite presentation and tasteful gift wrapping. Together with their devoted team they ensure each creation meets the highest standards of the fine pastry and chocolate craftsmanship.
Jan Andries firmly believes an abstract but elegant form is the best expression of a pastry’s gastronomic subtlety. That is why every pastry is a like a little gem, harmoniously unifying aromas and textures. In his search for purity, Jan always works with seasonal ingredients and avoids over-sugaring as this blurs the raw materials’ authentic aromas.
Jan’s respect for the pure taste of the raw materials is at the very base of a vast array of expressive flavours and delicate perfumes. It’s surely this sophisticated attention to detail combined with the sheer elegance of Andries’s creations that results over and over again in a true feast for the eye as well as for the palate.
Jan’s first love is chocolate. That is why he solely works with the finest pure chocolates available on today’s market. To ensure the authenticity of the crude chocolates, Jan always goes to great lengths to determine their identity, paying attention to the whereabouts of the plantations, the question whether they are grown ecologically and whether the cocoa farmers receive a fair pay. Apart from this relentless pursuit of these qualitative and ethical standards, it’s his ambition to discover as many different varieties of cocoa beans as possible because virtually every variety has it’s own unique characteristics and typical flavour range.
In 2010, Andries’s idea of transparency in every step of the production process from cocoa bean to delicious artisanal chocolate was translated into a brand new atelier where everyone can admire the magic of their chocolatiers at work through the large window next to the shop entrance.
Thanks to their exceptional taste and elegant design, Andries’s chocolates are now even much sought after in Japan. Since 2006 they are available only during the Valentine’s Day period through exclusive concept stores in Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Tokyo.