Address: Postweg 2, 1602 Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. | Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The outlet is open during the lunch hour.
All major credit cards accepted
For chocolate lovers the world over the name Neuhaus brings up images of exquisite chocolate from one of Brussel’s oldest confectioneries. For chocolate lovers living in Brussels these exquisite chocolates are available for bulk purchase at discount prices at the Neuhaus factory outlet store in Vlezenbeek.
The outlet is a no frills shop: just chocolate and lots of it. It carries Neuhaus’ signature prepackaged gift boxes, but they are the same price as at a Neuhaus store. The real reason to go to the outlet is to buy chocolate in bulk.
Sampling the chocolates
In one area of the shop is a table with 1 kg boxes of pralines stacked up to 10 boxes high! You can circle the table and sample again and again until you decide what to buy. The price is 20 € for one box or 3 boxes for 40 €. Other bulk options are the bags of one-bite chocolate squares.
This is a great place for presents. You’ll soon find that you’ve picked out several shopping bags of chocolate. Be sure to purchase some of the empty tins they often sell so you can make your own assorted packs from your bulk purchases.
There is plenty of parking for small and large groups. However, check-out can be slow since there is only one woman working at the register.
Bags of chocolates
It makes sense that Neuhaus would lead the way with one of the first chocolate factory outlet shops; Neuhaus has always been a leader in chocolate innovation. Jean Neuhaus came to Brussels from Switzerland in 1857 and opened a pharmacy with his brother-in-law in Europe’s first covered shopping gallery, the trendy Galerie de la Reine, still an elegant shopping area today just down from the Grand Place. Neuhaus began by making pharmaceutical confections for coughing and stomach ailments. His son Frédéric joined his father in the business of making confections and eventually the business transitioned from a pharmacy to one of Brussel’s finest confectioners. In Belgium, there has always been a close connection between chocolate and health.
Frédéric’s son Jean Neuhaus Junior took over the business in 1912 and created the first filled chocolate, which he named “Praline.” His wife, Louise Agostini, was equally creative and invented a decorative rectangular box for her husband’s pralines called a “ballotin,” which is still the praline box design favored by Belgian chocolatiers. Neuhaus is one of the Belgium chocolate houses known the world over with shops in most European capital cities, the United States, Canada, Japan, Colombia and Guadeloupe.
Upon leaving the outlet and having sampled every kind of chocolate on display, one might wonder if it’s possible to eat too much chocolate at one time. Mais non! We’re in Belgium where chocolate is a way of life. Besides, the average Belgian eats 49% more chocolate than the average American so you probably have some catching up to do. Bon appetit.
[Last Updated: March 2010]