Ieper during the interwar period
In 1929, Robert Sweertvaegher established himself in Ieper as a pastry chef. He had just spent some time working as a pastry chef on cruise ships after his training in various reputed shops in Brussels. It was also in Brussels on the Louizalaan that he learned the secrets of the chocolate making process from a Swiss chocolate maker.
In his own shop in Ieper, he started to experiment with chocolate quite early. His first pralines gained huge support. Ieper loved them, even though chocolate was a luxury product at that time, usually reserved for the well-to-do of larger cities like Brussels, Antwerp or Ghent.
His success in Ieper continued to grow
Supported by his mother in 1933, he decided to go for broke, gave up the pastry shop and concentrated entirely on the chocolate shop. The first chocolate specialty shop in Ieper was a reality as well as being one of the very first in the province.
His fame spread quickly, and in 1946, he opened a shop in Kortrijk. Still today you can admire the original interior there. After Ieper and Kortrijk, it was the turn of Bruges in 1950.This first Bruges chocolate shop rang in a new tradition, and even today Bruges has more than 60 similar specialty shops.
Renewal in 1976
In 1976, Jan Verougstraete ensured the necessary renewal by taking over a number of tasks from Robert Sweertvaegher. In 1980, the founder retired and handed over the business entirely to Jan Verougstraete.
Verougstraete continued the quality tradition and success formula, and chose Antwerp to open a fourth shop in 1990. And so it has been proven time and again that new generations fall for the unique taste of Sweertvaegher pralines. Their story is far from over!