What influenced you to change your name to American Groceries Europe?
We were having many people from other countries contact us to see if we shipped outside of Belgium. As our business grew to the point that we now ship to all EU countries, we thought that American Groceries Europe was more apt to reflect our business’ reach.
Why partner with local American businesses?
After meeting other American business owners in the Brussels region, we realized that we had the same client base. We could partner together to inform our different client groups about the other American businesses in the region. It helps all the businesses and creates a nice community with different talents that we think Americans and other English speaking expats appreciate!
Plus it’s fun to brainstorm ideas, tag each other’s businesses; and host joint events!! We are happy to have a strong American business community with Eat Dessert First by Laura, Dooley’s American Smoke House, CHEZWaWa, and Mir Taxes.
We also partner with Belgian businesses – this enabled us to offer Turkeys for Thanksgiving; and we are offering Turkeys and stuffed Turkeys for the Christmas holidays. They can be ordered through our online store.
We’re always happy to talk to other businesses to learn how we help each other to be successful!
What are some of the challenges you have faced running through these changes?
One challenge has been to determine the most reliable shipping partner to ship outside the Benelux region. After trying several providers, we have determined that Bpost is the best partner based on its tracking capabilities and shipment speed and reliability.
Our physical location has also moved from a small distribution center in north Wavre to the central shopping street in the center of Overijise. It’s been a lot of fun running a proper store on Saturdays! We now have a freezer and fridge to offer beef hot dogs, large angus beef patties, plain bagels, and offer Pickup for clients of Eat Dessert First by Laura during peak holiday periods - her pecan and pumpkin pies flew out the door over Thanksgiving!
Another challenge we have successfully solved is the Belgian law requirement to label in local languages – especially since our physical location has now moved from Wallonia to Overijise in Flanders.