Tournai, with a population
of 70,000 and located a half-dozen miles from the French border,
gets to call itself Belgium's oldest city. That explains the
magnificent Our Lady's Cathedral dominating the city's skyline.
Cookie maker Desobry's head office/factory lies about a mile
from Tournai's city center. Desobry was founded in 1947 and moved
to its current site in 1970. Back then this was the boondocks
and there wasn't much around. Now, the factory/head office is
completely hemmed in by residential housing and apartments.
On one side of the two-story building is a large construction
site and it looks like the factory is being expanded. The reception
area is very tiny with two chairs. Two glass displays are filled
with company products and I note the bowl of cookies for visitors
to sample. I explain myself to the receptionist and how I mailed
a letter of introduction more than five weeks ago to General
Manager Thierry Huet. In a few minutes I'm meeting with Pio Stevens,
who's business card reads " International Business Development".
About 260 people work here in the head office/factory which,
by the way, doesn't have an elevator. Employee parking is free
and plentiful with those riding their bicycles to work enjoying
covered parking. Smoking isn't allowed in the workplace, there's
no formal dress code and no onsite recreational facilities. It's
a mile to the nearest freeway, 60 miles to Brussels airport,
there's no company cafeteria--though there's a break room. Any
employee perks? Employees enjoy a 25%-30% discount when purchasing
cookies from the factory shop.
GM Huet occupies a second floor, middle office with a view of
the factory. How do Desobry cookies taste? I don't know as Stevens
lets me leave empty-handed. However, later in the day I stop
by a supermarket and buy a box containing an assortment of Desobry
cookies. The verdict? Two thumbs up.
Company website: www.desobry.be