On 8 August 1885, a young baker named Jules Destrooper opened a bakery in Lo, the most carefree city in Flanders. He also was a colonial trader, peddling exotic wares from Africa and Asia in his shop, such as coffee, tea, tobacco and chocolate.
He started to use the exotic spices in his shop in a razor-thin Almond thin which he used to offer to his customers as a business gift. One of his customers was Hotel Teirlinck's owner, who served the biscuits to her British customers. They soon came back for more and the orders started to roll in. From then on, Jules Destrooper decided to dedicate himself to the production of these tasty biscuits
Buoyed by his first success, Jules Destrooper added a second biscuit to his range in 1890. The Butter Waffle or "Lukke" is a West-Flemish natural butter waffle that is traditionally baked around the New Year and is supposed to bring good luck. Jules decided to bake them in waffle irons with diagonal diamonds, which he had adapted to his own technical requirements. Every week, his wife, Felice Verweider, would visit the market to carefully select only the best natural ingredients for his biscuits. Even today, genuine, natural ingredients continue to be one of the company's main concerns.
The biscuits were such a hit with French customers that he soon received his first international award. In 1911, Jules Destrooper won a gold medal for his almond thins at the prestigious food trade fair in Paris.
That same year, Jules Jr took over at the company's helm. The biscuits became ever more popular and renowned. The Biscuiterie was expanded, although Junior tended to still do everything alone. He prepared the dough and baked the biscuits, transported them to the shops and even repaired the baking machines when necessary. As was the case during the previous generation, his wife was in charge of purchasing the ingredients, of the administration and HR. Jean and Hubert, their two children, were involved in the company's operation from a very young age.
Jean and Hubert took over the company as of 1956 and further developed the distribution side. They added new classics such as the Butter Waffle and Caramelized Biscuits. They also introduced new technologies. As a result, the biscuits could be preserved longer, paving the way for global exports.
The fourth generation of Destroopers is equally dynamic. Patriek and Peter Destrooper acquired the Biscuiterie in 1984 and worked on expanding and automating the original factory in Lo. In 1986, they opened a second factory in Ieper. A number of acquisitions led to the further expansion of the company's range. Biscuiterie Jules Destrooper celebrated its centenary.
In the new millennium Jules Destrooper became an official supplier to the Belgian Court, an exclusive honour for suppliers with an impeccable reputation.
In 2015, the Vandermarliere family acquired the independent, family-owned company. However, the company continues to bake biscuits according to the secret family recipe developed by Jules Destrooper.