Van Lys Chocolaterie

Well, I show up at Van Lys Chocolaterie's head office/factory in an industrial park on the outskirts of Ieper (population 35,000) only to find the place closed. I mailed my letter of introduction to Managing Director Marcel Real more than a month ago. How much effort would it have taken to send an e-mail letting me know they'd be closed for vacation?

The one-story, dull-looking concrete slab of a structure looks like it was built in the early 1970's. I spot a car in the parking lot so I look in a side window and see a women sitting in front of a computer. I tap on the window to get her attention and we meet at the front door. Yep, the place has been closed for two weeks and won't open for another week. The woman helps takes care of the computers so she can't help me though I do learn Van Lys does quite a bit of business with Wal-Mart.