Hear hear, we have a BIG announcement to make! We are happy to introduce our first keynote speaker at the European Conference in Bruges in 2022. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Dominique Persoone! Dominique is the most famous chocolatier – or as he likes to dub himself : Shock-o-latier – in Belgium and he will kickstart our conference in June 2022!
During the upcoming European Conference we will tackle several subjects concerning food. That is why we have interviewed Dominique Persoone in our podcast series ‘Food For Generations’. Listen to the episode via:
A little boy’s dream
During the interview Dominique tells us how he fell in love with chocolate in the kitchen at a very young age. That’s why he decided not to start a restaurant but go all in with chocolate. Since then, he has used his extraordinary creativity to make innovative chocolate products such as chocolate lipstick and his ‘Tree to bar’ expedition store. And right now, 30 years later, he has created a chocolate empire with his company The Chocolate Line. The Chocolate Line is a family business: behind this great Shock-o-latier stands a big boss lady – his lovely wife Fabienne – and his talented, creative son Julius. Together with his dream team, Dominique believes they can change the world.
Dominique believes it’s everyone’s responsibility to preserve the earth and environment. “If it’s game over for the environment, then it’s game over for all of us”. Chocolate harvesting and production has a bad reputation concerning labour conditions and sustainability. That is why The Chocolate Line only buys cacao beans from farmers they personally know. They also have their own cacao plantation in Mexico. With this approach he ensures that the local farmer gets a fair price for his hard work. The farmers also get a better price if they improve the quality of their cacao beans.
Dominique cares about the world. Literally. That is why The Chocolate Line has created the ‘WE CARE’-logo and the WE CARE Foundation. The logo ensures that all resources are sustainable , biological and all products have biodegradable packaging. With the foundation they use their profit from their spice and ceramic skulls sale to support schools in Mexico and animal welfare such as the spider monkey asylum. They also built a factory with Prince Emmanuel de Merode in Virunga. All the profits go to the preservation of the Virunga Park and its animals, a fair price for the farmers and support for the local community. Last but not least, Dominique is also a bee keeper and a ambassador to preserve honey bees. “If you go for positivity, positivity comes back to you.”
Chocolate, does it really make you happier?
During our interview, Dominique explains us why chocolate makes us happier. “Chocolate makes you happier and chocolate makes you hornier.” Because cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, releases endorphins: ‘the happy hormone’. That is why chocolate makes you happier and gives you energy! “And if you eat a lot of chocolate, your heart starts beating faster. And when your heart beats faster, your blood also flows faster and … I’ll explain the rest at the conference”, Dominique jokes.
Shock-o-latier at JCI EC Bruges 2022
During the upcoming European Conference in 2022, Dominique will tell you all about his life story as a Shock-o-latier and will give the audience tips and tricks how to run their business. Dominique already likes to tease all the entrepreneurial jaycees among you: “If you start your business: don’t go for the money. Money is boring. Go for your dream, go for your passion, follow your heart and you can do amazing things.” The perfect example? He made a ‘Chocolate Shooter’ for the The Rolling Stones’ birthday party: a device that shoots ‘sniffing chocolate’ in your nose. Despite warnings from colleagues, he went ahead with his idea and invention. Today, The Chocolate Line has sold 25 000 Chocolate Shooters.
Dominique is looking forward meeting you all at the conference: “Chocolate is rock ‘n roll, I’m waiting for you at the European Conference in 2022 in Bruges!”