There'd be no Brouwland without Frans Balis: an enterprising pharmacist from Brussels with a passion for wine. Homemade wine, that is! He loved to share that passion with others by offering a mini-range of winemaking tools & accessories at his pharmacy in Beverlo. And one thing led to another: “Farma Import Wijnartikelen” expanded its range with tools for making wine, beer, liqueur, juice, dairy, canning, etc. He distributed these tools not only in Belgium, but also far beyond its borders.
Thank you, Frans!
A family affair
You can immediately tell that Frans Balis was a real entrepreneur. And the second generation that took over in the 1980s had the same genes. To the sound of Abba, Bowie and Queen, the store became a retailer and wholesaler with an ever-expanding warehouse, which today covers no less than 6,400 m2. How can we sum up Brouwland's next adventures? Difficult, but we’ll have a go! His son Bart took over Lick, concluded exclusivity contracts with Blichmann, Five Star, Muntons, Weyermann and launched an online shop with more than 9,000 products. And more and more are being added!
There would be no Brouwland without a close-knit team of proud Brouwlandees. There are now around 80 employees; a team characterised by its diversity and inclusiveness. At Brouwland, everyone gets a chance. Brouwland talks the talk and walks the walk and collaborates with the sheltered workshop Bewel and Cellmade, who employs prisoners. Brouwland was recently even rewarded for this with the 2021 Inclusive Company Reference Certificate. The fact that Brouwland has a vision for the wider environment is also reflected in its social commitment and support for various charities. Although Brouwland may be a European star player, it is still anchored in the neighbourhood where it all began.
Sustainability is also a priority at Brouwland. It goes without saying that Brouwland is committed to the Voka Charter for Sustainable Enterprise, meaning we handle energy and waste economically and responsibly. The well-insulated buildings run on green energy and solar panels meet all of our energy needs. How cool is that?
Work hard, play hard
The coronavirus pandemic didn't get the better of our resilient team, either. On the contrary, Bart sees more opportunities than problems. It's no surprise, then, that Brouwland’s values, such as ‘solution-oriented’, ‘driven’ and ‘respectful’, can also be found in Bart’s DNA. Part-time work, working from home and job satisfaction are now receiving even more attention. Fancy an online after-work chat, escape game or tasting of our own home brews? Why not? There is also an active party committee that puts together an enjoyable activity every month. An ice cream cart on a summer’s day? A European Championship game? Or a Secret Santa gift swap? They don't rule anything out.