Today Thursday 22 September CRU opens its new location in Dilbeek, on the site of the old gueuze and lambic brewery Eylenbosch. The new experience market is 565 m² in size and houses 10 traditional business lines. CRU Dilbeek focuses on an intense experience of the crafts in combination with practical self-service. In addition to the market, which is open every day, customers can also visit eatery Cuit on Fridays and at the weekend from 30 September for breakfast, lunch and an aperitif. With its 255 m², Cuit offers plenty of space for relaxed dining.
The fourth CRU market is located in the former gueuze and lambic brewery Eylenbosch, a historic building with character on the busy Ninoofsesteenweg. Jo Spiegeleer, business unit manager of CRU is enthusiastic about the location: “The Eylenbosch site was one of the first locations that CRU had in mind at the start in 2014. We had to exercise patience for a few more years before the future plan for the entire site was developed and afterwards the renovation of the 19ecentury brewery complex takes some time. Now that we have moved into our long-awaited residence, we are very proud to be a part of this iconic site.”
During the renovation, the historic character of the building was therefore preserved as much as possible and the market was classified according to the individuality of the building. The car park is located on the ground floor, the experience market CRU and the eatery Cuit are just above it and open onto a central courtyard, where you can relax on the terrace of Cuit. Other liberal professions will settle in this courtyard and the 40 apartments of the site will also have access.
The fact that the Eylenbosch site in Dilbeek is located along the busy Ninoofsesteenweg and can be seen from miles away is an additional asset. “Just like CRU Overijse, CRU Dilbeek will be a passage location close to the Brussels Ring”, says Jo Spiegeleer, business unit manager at CRU. “In this way we are easily accessible to a very diverse audience. We are convinced that there are many potential customers in the outskirts west of Brussels.”
Customized 19e-century building
CRU Dilbeek has been designed as a market, with 3 different zones, which follow the logic of the historic building. Customers enter with the smell of freshly baked bread and pass first by the bakery. In the central room with lots of light, customers will find a wide selection of seasonal vegetables and fruit. The ‘cold’ room contains most of the products and products that require more refrigeration, such as cheese and charcuterie, meat, fish and a choice of preparations from our own kitchen. From there it goes towards ‘pantry’ and customers end up with original drinks, chocolate and flowers.
The circuit is designed in such a way that customers can see the craftsmen and women at work. Experience manager Marina Bockstal explains: “We want to create more feeling with the crafts. People are attaching more and more value to fair and sustainable products. At CRU they discover that letting nature do its work, in combination with craftsmanship, results in extraordinary flavors. For customers who are already familiar with our products, we are focusing even more on self-service so that they can move through the market smoothly.”
In the meat, fish, cheese and charcuterie métiers, service will be available from 10 a.m. on Monday to Thursday, and service is possible from 8 a.m. on weekends and Fridays. “In this way we can offer our customers the highest quality service at times when they want it, and at the same time it is a way to deploy our staff smartly”, tells Experience manager Marina Bockstal.
Search for employees
The search for employees did not go smoothly. Experience manager Marina Bockstal explains: “The tight labor market, which is felt in all sectors, did not make it easy for us either. For a market such as CRU, we are looking for professionals who already have mastered the craft as well as all-rounders who are passionate about ‘good’ food and who want to know more about multiple business lines. Our greatest assets are the stable hours with a fixed closing time at 6.30 pm, the planning that is fixed 3 weeks in advance and the job security. That means that we have received a lot of applicants in recent weeks and that we can open CRU Dilbeek with a team of 28 people.”
The team currently consists of 19 permanent employees, 5 colleagues from other CRU markets or internal services who temporarily assist and 4 people who see the ideal flexi-job in this. In addition, there are also a number of job students that experience manager Marina Bockstal can count on. “I am very happy with the last-minute influx and the extra helping hands, but we are also still looking for new CRU colleagues, both for Dilbeek and the other markets.”
Child of the region
For the selection of its range, CRU is looking for partners with the same philosophy about the product, the ingredients and the production process. Some of those like-minded souls are even from the area. For example, the Eylenbosch Gueuze, with roots in the same building, could not be missing from CRU’s range. Eylenbosch Brewery closed its doors in the 1990s and stopped producing its gueuze and lambic. A few years ago, the iconic beer was recognized by the 5the generation of the brewing family brought back to life. Of course, the ‘new’ lambic will be brewed according to their traditional method and recipes.
The lamb comes from Maarten Michiels, a sheep farmer in Ninove who lets his sheep and lambs run outside as much as possible. Gin, pastis, brandy and other spirits come from De Cort Distillery, a farm distillery in Pepingen that makes their spirits with everything that is grown on and around the farm in Pepingen and the surrounding area. The coal and pumpkins come from Monique and Jos Vandersmissen’s organic farm in Halle. The potatoes also travel a short distance, they come from Hoeve Lemaire in Oudenaken.
All these products are available every day, because CRU Dilbeek is open 7 days a week, including on public holidays, from 8 am to 6.30 pm. Eethuis Cuit is open from Friday to Sunday, also on public holidays, from 8 am to 6:30 pm. Customers can enjoy breakfast, lunch or an aperitif.