Jurgen Koens, Chef at Barry Callebaut's iLab in Zundert (NL)

Decorating the world - from the heart of Vincent van Gogh's birthplace

In the Southern Dutch village of Zundert the Barry Callebaut Group not only produces a wide range of chocolate decorations. Van Gogh's birthplace is also home of a special Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy™ center, the so-called iLab. Come and have a look!
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890); Source: Flickr, Kevin G. Frank

From wherever direction you enter the sleepy looking village of Zundert you cannot escape them: the small flags alongside the streets hinting to one of the world's famous painter's birthplace and childhood home. On March 30, 1853 Vincent van Gogh first saw the light of day in today's 20,000 inhabitant strong Dutch city.

Flower and chocolate power!

Today, Zundert is also famous for being one of the capital cities for the typical Dutch flowers - culminating in the Bloemencorso early each September. But we also see many chocolate experts making a pilgrimage into Zundert these days. Their destination? The Decorations Inspiration Lab - or in short iLab!

A decorations' land of milk and honey!

"We have more than 100 customer visits here at the iLab all year round", says Jurgen Koens, Chef at the iLab. "Together with them we deep dive into our portfolio of over 2,000 decorations - be it chocolate and sugar decorations, deco printings, sprinkles, cups, pencils and the many seasonal decorations we offer. We live and breathe decorations here, we are the land of milk and honey when it comes to decorations if you want!"

Inspiration Day at iLab, Barry Callebaut's Chocolate Academy center in Zundert (NL)
Inspiration Day at iLab, Barry Callebaut's Chocolate Academy center in Zundert (NL)

Let the experts inspire you!

Every other month, the Barry Callebaut decoration experts open the iLab's doors for some special events, the Inspiration Days. Customers from all over the place - be it owners of a small chocolate shop up to large food manufacturers - are presented the latest trends in chocolate. During a half-day session, they can also follow live the tips and tricks of Barry Callebaut's Chefs. "It's all about how to best apply our products and offer a forum to ask questions or discuss solutions how to overcome day-to-day production challenges", says Jurgen Koens. He and his team for example also demonstrate how to easily apply Barry Callebaut's latest product development, the FullFill Factory concept.

Made with the finest - sustainable - Belgian chocolate

Barry Callebaut is also known as a specialist in the production and sale of chocolate decorations. Most of these products are made in the factory in Zundert, only a five-minute walk away from the iLab. There, all products are made with Belgian chocolate. And: All the cocoa used is sourced sustainably.

Cocoa pod
Raphael Wermuth

Raphael Wermuth

Working as the Head of Digital Media & Publishing at in the Corporate Communications team of Barry Callebaut. Married. Father of a son. Loves outside sports such as running and mountain biking - sometimes also a pool swimmer. As a social media affluent living extensively both on- and offline. Find me also on www.about.me/raphaelwermuth.

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