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.