History

1979

Mr. Antoine De Keyser, the father of the current Managing Director, Ivan De Keyser, establishes the BVBA Vleeswaren Antonio (Antonio Meat Products), together with his former partner, as a secondary activity of St. Pierre Butchers of Ghent. The first studio is established in an old farm house in Eke-Nazareth, a small-scale start.

1988

Upon completion of his studies and military service, Ivan De Keyser immediately follows in the footsteps of his father Antoine, and based on the father’s expertise and the son’s ambition, a meat products plant is constructed in the Gavere industrial zone.

1989

In February, the company is opened with a solemn ceremony. Father and son De Keyser employ only 2 workers, but growth is quickly achieved.

1991

Ivan De Keyser becomes the founding chairman of the ‘Tasty from East Flanders’ association, a group of East-Flanders foodstuffs manufacturers bundling forces in promotion of their products based on ‘cross-pollination’. Collaborating with a number of celebrity colleagues quickly leads to awareness of the importance of brand policy. In the same year, the brand ‘BREYDELHAM’ is registered with the Benelux Trademark Agency. In the fall of 1991, father Antoine’s condition is diagnosed as terminal and the company’s business management fully transfers to the son, Ivan De Keyser. The company by now has six permanent employees.

1992

Where does the name ‘Breydel’ come from? In 1302, Flanders was occupied by the French. King Philip IV, nick-named the Beautiful, needed money to pay for his army, so the French introduced a tax on salt (a vital food preservative at the time). Bruges was a leading trading city at the time, and revolted against the French occupier and the new tax. This revolt was led by Jan Breydel, the leader of the Bruges butchers’ guild, and Pieter De Coninck, the leader of the weavers’ guild. Both gentlemen can still be admired at the market in Bruges, where they were honoured with a statue. The revolt they led went down into history as the ‘Bruges Sausage War’ and was the direct precursor of the ‘Golden Spurs Battle’ of 11 July 1302. Contrary to what many think, Breydel has nothing to do with Breughel and his vernacular paintings.

1993

Between the various food crises, healthy growth is gradually realised. Ivan puts Master Rudy, one of the very first employees, in charge of production. In the food sector, the term HACCP is introduced, aimed at providing a complex production inspection system that would quickly become mandatory for all food-related companies in Belgium.

1994

Ivan and sixty peers in the meat products sector, at the initiative of the sector board, start a two-year training course to achieve the HACCP production inspection system and if required, achieve the ISO-9000 quality standard. Anja is recruited as the quality coordinator, working on the internal quality sector with a high ambition level.

1995

Antonio is one of the first 5 companies to be awarded the ISO-9002 certificate in the Belgian food sector, gaining overnight credibility as a small market player. The brand BREYDELSPEK (Breydel Bacon) is registered.

2000

Steady growth since 1989 necessitates the first extension of the production spaces, and construction of the ‘right wing’ is started.

2001

In April, the extension of the buildings is completed, allowing for permanent visiting opening hours for groups.

2002

Johan Deboeverie is recruited as the culinary advisor, in charge of marketing towards the culinary world. The firm’s ambassadors increasingly are master chefs: Felix Alen, Peter De Clercq, Peter Van Asbroeck.
In the same year, Antonio (Breydel, more precisely) gets its first awards: at Tavola, the Golden Tavola is awarded to the ‘Breydel Bacon Chips’, and Ivan receives the first nomination for East Flanders at the Hermes Awards Ceremony. Ivan is also mentioned during the LVZ award for Independent Entrepreneur of the Year for the Oudenaarde region.

2003

A new and more incisive quality standard, ‘BRC at a higher level’, is achieved. The second extension of the buildings is realised by buying the building opposite, allowing for executing various renovations in the existing plant halls in order to significantly increase production capacity. Meanwhile, the company’s sales doubled between 2000 and 2003.

2004

For as long as we can remember, we can count on a team of highly motivated ladies and gentlemen in the weekends supporting our sales in shops with sampling stands. These sampling events are very important. Our sampling teams bring our Breydel products closer to the consumers by giving them a taste, and help promote sales in your shop. So don’t be shy if you meet one of our ladies or gents in your familiar shopping place, and do not hesitate to taste our products!

2005

The first edition of the annual Breydel Feasts is organised with great success at the market place in Gavere at the occasion of the summer fairgrounds.
Production of certain basic products is transferred to a different location due to lack of space.
The company’s sales exceed the 5 million euro mark, and it employs over 30 people.

2007

A new plot is purchased in view of constructing a brand new production plant and the Breydel brand gets a complete make-over.

2008

Breydel builds in Gavere!
In June 2009, Breydel moves into the new building at the corner of the industrial zone and Stationsstraat in Asper. Not so far from the old premises, but a major change nonetheless. Thanks to EDV engineers, the building incorporates a package of energy-saving measures and environmentally friendly systems. The new construction is also significantly larger with a surface of no less than 3,000 square metres. The architect of the multifunctional complex is Mr Paul Kindt. Thanks to a perfectly equipped demo kitchen and reception space, Breydel will be open to the audience at large from June 2009 Continued...

2009

A turbulent year - highlights:

  • Relocation to our brand new multifunctional building.
  • Launch of the recipe site www.kokenmetbreydel.be
  • Establishing the Breydel promotion centre.
  • Certification of Breydel Ham as a regional product.
  • Being awarded an A Label during the BRC Audit.
  • Being awarded the Environmental Charter.
2012

We achieve the IFS certificate (International Featured Standards).

Breydel has supported a development project since 2012. We have partnered the Belgian NGO Trias, mainly supporting agricultural and economic projects in the South. Breydel selected the long-term project Conpapa in the Andes range in Ecuador.

The revenue of our Breydel Feasts, among others, is donated to Conpapa. This donation is raised by a factor 10 using the leverage system. This allows us to help the local population professionalise their small-scale potato crops.

2013

Breydel Bacon is certified as a regional product in June 2013.

2014

Breydel celebrates in 2014:

  • 35 years of traditional craftsmanship
  • 25 years established in Gavere
  • 10 years of Breydel Feasts
  • 5 years established in new building in Gavere
  • 5 years of Breydel promotion centre