During our Brussels Exporters Days event, Johann Domas-Conzemius, CEO of the Maison Guérin-Boutron made everyone swoon by offering a fair-trade, refined chocolate to the international network of hub.brussels.
Originally, Guérin-Boutron chocolate was a luxury brand from Paris. Closed because of the war in 1942, the business was bought 74 years later by Johann Domas-Conzemius who wanted to make it the first hand-crafted chocolate company in Belgium to combine French lifestyle, Belgian expertise and societal impact from the Ivory Coast.
Conscious of the realities affecting cocoa producers in that country, the new owner is determined to make this illustrious company a fair-trade, solidarity brand.
So many beans for roasting
Only ten days or so after forming his company, Johann attended the 2017 Brussels Exporters Day, mainly out of curiosity but also in the hope of reaching out to our network with regard to his exotic project with its melting centre. Visualising a Belgian praline with its roots in the Ivory Coast, our experts for Sub-Saharan Africa licked their lips and invited him to join them on a trade mission to the Ivory Coast to establish local contacts.
Thanks for the chocolate!
On 7th June 2018, Johann and his new associate, Raphaël de Macar , confidently entered the Plaza Hotel, where the last Exporters Days event was taking place. Following their mission to the Ivory Coast, they had joined forces with Chocofair and “Maison Tafissa”, two collaborations that would allow them to initiate organic certification in south-eastern Ivory Coast (Sanwi) by putting a very strong societal action in place.
At the conclusion of this latest event, their tour of Africa, which had also expanded to Asia, left open the question regarding future export projects… Russia maybe?
“The Brussels Exporters Day is a real springboard. As well as meeting a rich network of contacts there, you quickly embark on some promising projects. At the 2017 event, I thought that my business was too new and without Carole’s encouragement, I definitely wouldn’t have taken part in the trade mission to the Ivory Coast.”
Johann Domas-Conzemius, CEO of the Maison Chocolat Guérin-Boutron