American Club Brussels
The International social club with an American heart

ACB News Archive

All our News & Updates in one place.


ACB NEWS Archive

  • 18 Nov 2020 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    We are sad to not be able to bring you the traditional ACB Thanksgiving this year - and we are looking forward to its return next year. In the meantime we have put together some suggestions on how to make the most of this holiday. 


    Here are a few suggestions from our community. If you have any ideas for other posts please let us know at info@americanclubbrussels.org.

    Buy the fixings from our newest ACB Partner

    With Thanksgiving around the corner we wanted to introduce you to our newest ACB parter! Welcome to American Groceries Belgium!  They  sell the most diverse and well stocked range of American groceries in the region. To get you Thanksgiving needs met they are offering items such as:

    • Stove Top stuffing in 4 varieties
    • Pumpkin puree
    • Cranberry sauce
    • Gravy mixes

    Read more about this new partner.

    How about a "no cook" option?

    All the amazing food, none of the work! Get your orders in now, for this AMAZING Thanksgiving menu, created by one of our favourite chefs.

  • 18 Nov 2020 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    In this editorial, ACB Member Chair Gwendolyn Bailey spoke with new member Patricia O'Callaghan, who has recently returned to Belgium.


    You say that you “escaped” New York just weeks before Lockdown. That sounds dramatic. How did you manage to plan to come and live in Belgium?  

    Well, in retrospect, I managed to conclude a long career in New York, sell my apartment, and arrive here on 27 February, just weeks before lockdown. Now, I’m enjoying a slower, calmer – and should I say - a more delicious life here in Brussels! For me, Belgium is living up to its reputation as one of the gourmet capitals of Europe.   

    As a dual national – Irish and American – I am grateful to qualify to live in the EU. Memories of student summers in Tournai and Paris are rekindled.  I am glad to now be close to family in Ireland and the U.K.  

    When I lived in New York, I produced a public policy radio show for some years – how we can, and must, actively motivate good public policy still interests me – and Brussels is a good place to experience that.   

    How did moving to America as a college graduate come about – and how would you describe the value of living in America?

    I was quite content to be living in my home town, Cork, working on a daily RTE Radio news show, when “Out of the Blue” I was offered a marketing assignment in sunny San Francisco on a 2-year H-3 visa.  

    I then gained permanent U.S. residence, and eventually U.S. citizenship.   

     “Out of the Blue” is how I describe the many opportunities that would follow.  

    As I was soaking up the sun in California, I thought I should go “global, global, global…”

     “Out of the Blue” I was hired by Transamerica Airlines’ New York base to travel to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, during a 7-year airline career. Our charter flights transported Muslim pilgrims from Nigeria and the Ivory Coast to the Hajj in Mecca. And, whatever the global headlines said  - on Newsweek or Time Magazine – we were there:  transporting Cambodian and Cuban refugees to the U.S. (those were different days!!!) transporting U.S. troops globally (including General Norman Schwarzkopf) and my first trip was to Rio de Janeiro, with a seven-day layover at Carnival time; then a seven-day layover in Seoul, Korea.  Away from home 21 days of the month, we certainly clocked up plenty of air miles!  

    So - America fulfilled its reputation for me as being the "Land of Opportunity".    

    What are things that you like best about Brussels?

    1. La politesse! People here are very helpful and courteous. Belgian family life is admirable.
    2. The food - I LOVE the quality of the food!  Real, honest, seasonal food... I am cooking more (-: 
    3. Eglise Saint-Joseph, Filigranes, streets filled with cyclists, the optimism of the people. 

    In the context of Covid 19, what is the best advice that you find helpful?

    “Count your blessings” is a motto that I always keep in mind.  

  • 18 Nov 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    With Thanksgiving around the corner we wanted to introduce you to our newest ACB parter! Welcome to American Groceries Belgium


    Who are we?

    We are an independent on-line Click & Collect store started and run by a wife and husband team, Kristen Crosson and Christopher Stone. Kristen is American and moved to Belgium in 2016. Chris has lived in Belgium for about 20 years. We live in Corroy-le-Grand with children Nathalie & Saskia (attending Le Verseau Secondary), three dogs, and 11 chickens. 

    Why did we start the business?

    Since moving to Belgium, Kristen was missing many American staples and comfort foods. Searching online, she found some limited products, but the shipping costs were very high and no single store seemed to stock everything. Kristen and Chris thought that there had to be a better way, particularly given the number of Americans in Belgium. The British have their own store, so why not also the Americans? After canvassing many friends and acquaintances, the result was the business plan for American Groceries Belgium.

    What do we sell?

    We sell the most diverse and well stocked range of American groceries in the region. We’re always happy to hear from our customers on what they’d like! Our current groceries include breakfast items, baking mixes, cooking essentials, boxed food, canned goods, snacks and more. Some specific items that or ACB community might be interested in this month include:

    • Thanksgiving foods (but also good year round)
    • Stove Top stuffing in 4 varieties
    • Pumpkin puree
    • Cranberry sauce
    • Gravy mixes

    How does it work?

    We are an online shop with Click & Collect. Customers order online and then can collect their orders at our Wavre Distribution Center or our two satellite Click & Collect locations. Hours vary each day at the Wavre location to allow different customers to come when it’s easiest for them, such as in the morning, early or late afternoon, and evening. Additionally, for those less able to travel, we operate a weekly satellite Click & Collect service in Kraainem (to service Brussels) each Sunday morning and Waterloo each Sunday afternoon. 

    Additionally if there is sufficient demand, we are happy to add more such satellite drop-off locations, perhaps at an international school or a work-place. We are always happy to react to the needs of our customers. 

    Why Click and Collect?

    We wanted to keep the costs down so we can provide the cheapest prices and the widest range of American groceries in Belgium. Shipping and duties are already high, so to avoid high prices we want to keep our costs low and pass on the savings to our clients. We also wanted people to be able to have the convenience of shopping from their own homes, so they can see precisely what is available before taking the time to drive to the store. Most people have access to a car and are able to travel; our Center in conveniently located in Wavre, five minutes from Junction 5 of the E411 and has a lot of parking. For our clients not able to travel, we offer weekly satellite locations for them to come and collect their purchases.

    How has COVID Impacted your launch?

    We planned for a Click and Collect service from the start, to keep the prices as low as possible. Our Click and Collect service is allowed, even in the lockdown!  It allows our customers to order from the comfort of their own home and pick any one of a number of location times and locations to collect their goods. We run full hygenie protocols in our secure Distribution Center, with staff wearing masks and gloves at all times when packing your order. And we do not allow anyone other than ourselves into the packing area; Customers arrive outside and we bring your boxes directly out to your car!

    The saddest thing was that we have set-up a social area for Expats in our Center, with Folgers coffee, films, video games for the kids and even a ‘bring one, take one’ free book exchange! Unfortunately, this social side of our business will have to wait.


  • 18 Nov 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    The ACB pitched in for World Clean-up Day for our event the Brussels Canal Clean-up.


    Thank you to Canal it up for hosting our group of eight intrepid ACB'ers on 20th September for an afternoon of canal cleanup by kayak. It is unfortunate how much plastic trash can be fished out in just a few hours, and a reminder of the systemic changes needed to keep our waterways clean. Registration fees from the event were donated to support ongoing cleanup and advocacy efforts for the Brussels canal.


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