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You name it, Vanuxeem can supply it. In the Vanuxeem warehouses you can find the correct beer glass for every brand, gift baskets, packaging, crisps, coffee creamers, beer kegs … In short, everything an on-trade business needs!
Vanuxeem is the biggest independent distributor of beverages in Belgium and buys its beers in large volumes directly from the breweries. This way, Vanuxeem is able to continue to guarantee its independence. Vanuxeem also distributes French wines, spirits and soft drinks under its own label.
“Retailers, bars and restaurants can count on us for correct, quick and no-nonsense service with a smile. We even bring the beverages to the cellar! An order placed before 12 noon is guaranteed to be delivered the next day.”
Vanuxeem conquers the world
Vanuxeem is not just the first reference for beverage distribution on the Belgian market, but is also active in the export market, where Belgian beers continue to be sought after. From Ploegsteert, a unique product range of over 1000 different beers is distributed globally across more than 50 countries. This family business will continue its activities over the coming years and keep on promoting Belgian beers locally and internationally.
A remarkable beer story
Founded in 1906 as a brewery, Vanuxeem evolved into a beverage distributor. Current managers Alexandre and Arnaud Mahieu took over their great-grandfather’s business in Ploegsteert in 1987. At the time, the company had just three employees, a 150 m² liquor shop, a 300 m² warehouse and a turnover of approximately € 300,000.
Vanuxeem Brewery currently employs 120 people and has a total surface area of 43,000 m², including a shop, offices, warehouses as well as loading and unloading bays. In 2016, Vanuxeem achieved a turnover of € 86 million.
The Vanuxeem offices are located above the liquor shop in Ploegsteert, which attracts many customers on a daily basis. A parking spot is often hard to come by. Customers can also make their purchases at a second, smaller liquor shop a short distance away in Warneton.
Once Alexandre and Arnaud Mahieu had become the managers, the company’s brewing activities were restarted in 1987. Nowadays, Vanuxeem once again brews its own bier, Queue de Charrue (French for ‘plough tail’), in 5 different varieties: brown, Tripel, blonde, red and amber. Queue de Charrue has won several World Beer Awards over the years.
All commercial activities are centralised in Ploegsteert. However, various breweries produce Queue de Charrue beer for Vanuxeem under contract according to Vanuxeem’s secret recipes.
Vanuxeem makes the difference
Vanuxeem’s motivated team includes in-house drivers and substitute-drivers operating 22 company-owned trucks as well as employees who process and prepare orders in line with the guidelines they receive from their commercial colleagues. Vanuxeem strives for a personal approach, close contact with customers and the best and most extensive service in the beverage industry.
Managers Alexandre and Arnaud Mahieu are a perfect example of servant leadership. At his office, surrounded by his commercial team, Alexandre takes care of the commercial aspect of Vanuxeem. His brother Arnaud and his team are responsible for the correct logistical handling. You will often find him driving a forklift truck and putting together orders.
The secret to Vanuxeem’s success?
“There is always room for improvement! We continuously invest in our company while closely monitoring market developments. We evolve, we grow, we deliver. Our advisors from Titeca Accountancy are our eyes and ears in the marketplace in terms of fiscal and regulatory requirements. Titeca Accountancy provides well-substantiated advice to help our company grow further.”
The managers and their colleagues always have their finger on the pulse of the market and are open to improvements and suggestions. “Our company has grown organically; we did not have the ambition to become the market leader, but we have always strived for growth. With over 1000 customers, we aim not to lose a single one! If you think you have reached your goal, it is too late. We constantly invest, for instance in trucks complying with the Euro 6 standards, in solar panels, etc. We also invest in our customers, for instance by supplying new on-trade outlets with refrigeration installations. Vanuxeem has an excellent reputation! And we work hard to maintain this reputation every day. Our motto: ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ are free.”
"Our advisors from Titeca Accountancy are our eyes and ears in the marketplace in terms of fiscal and regulatory requirements. Titeca Accountancy provides well-substantiated advice to help our company grow further.”