"My father had realised in the Ter Duinen hotel school that he would have to work at times when everyone else could go out," says Stephan Destrooper. "That's why he started a textile company. He saw a future in that direction for me too, just like my brother who studied engineering. But after I had seen the film 'Hector', I wanted to become a baker like Urbanus. My father agreed, on condition that I first did a summer job at a bakery. And what came of it? Not only was it just what I was looking for, but my impatient nature, which had been something I struggled with at school, turned out to be a great asset here when it came to producing a large volume of products."
Make more to earn more
After a training in Ter Groene Poorte, Stephan Destrooper worked as a pastry chef for three years in renowned companies in Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels. After that, he spent four years learning the finer points of entrepreneurship as production manager in his cousins' cookie factory. On his 27th birthday he was ready for his first bakery. "In Beveren a/d IJzer I took over a bankrupt village bakery with my wife. After a few years, however, we got the feeling that it wasn't growing quickly enough. After all, in our sector earnings are limited by production. Because we doubted ourselves and our product, we bought pies and pastries in all the bakeries on the coast for comparison. Then we learnt that it wasn't the quality of our product, but only our location that was slowing down growth."