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Get to know the plenary speakers! Part 3: Dries & Yuri

03.09.2018
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Before the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018, discover the plenary speakers in a series of mini-articles. Today we invite you to meet Dries Henau and Yuri Vandenbogaerde. The least you can say of Dries & Yuri, the inventors of the WASBAR & Chez Claire concepts, is that they have a non-conformistic way of viewing things. They’re always on the hunt for new trends and flows in retail. In this inspirational keynote they will show you how they managed to add uniqueness to two rather mainstream products. Disruption is only one step away. The only thing you’ll have to do is to step out of your box. If you’re curious, make sure to attend the morning plenary session, from 9:20 to 10:45!

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Dries (30) and Yuri (26) studied in Ghent, met in that city and continued to stick together after their studies. They combined a job in media and marketing with their own creative agency and were living in 40m2. This experience made them discover by themselves the need for order and cleanliness if you live in a small space. They learned how to cook and sought a solution to do their own laundry in a fun way. That’s how they came up with WASBAR, the solution for people without a washing machine. In “Take your plan in 50 steps” they continued looking for solutions to everyday problems when you live alone. With “Love your ways”, they tried to remind everyone that life is so much more fun when everyone does his best.

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Picture from Wasbar – Wasbar Kortrijk

In 2012, Dries and Yuri participated in the Topstarter competition on channel Een, where their entrepreneurial talent was rewarded with the first prize and the title Topstarter of the year. Shortly afterwards, Dries and Yuri got another award together. They went from the Best Idea of the Year 2013 to Belgium’s Brand of the Year 2015.

In 2015, Dries and Yuri sold their WASBAR concept to Top Brands, which also has Pizza Hut, Ellis Gourmet Burger and Boulangerie Paul under its wings.

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Picture from http://dejongens.eu/

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2018 was the year of Dries & Yuri’s new brainchild: “Chez Claire”.

Chez Claire focuses on one product: éclairs, in 12 variations, from the classic Madagascar vanilla to mango-passion fruit, cheesecake or salted caramel. Our maître patissiers make the eclairs according to the classic recipe, tweaked to 12 different versions. The pudding, ganache and topping are unique for every different taste. The first Chez Claire store in Antwerp opened its doors in March 2018. Soon a second shop followed in Ghent. In addition to eclairs, Chez Claire also sells its own home champaign “Cuvée Claire”, good coffee, and in the summer Shake Claires, which are milkshakes based on full eclairs!

About WASBAR

WASBAR® transforms the routine of waiting for your clothes to be washed in a neon-lit laundry and turns it into a social happening. In WASBAR you can meet up with your friends, around a nice coffee or aperitif. With their 3 branches in Flanders (Ghent, Antwerp, Kortrijk) they have become a fixed value in the Flemish retail landscape. Dries and Yuri are currently considering plans to further expand WASBAR at home and abroad. Learn more at www.wasbar.com.

Awards

– Winner – Topstarter, Channel Een
- Idea of ​​the Year 2013 – Night of the SME
- Shortlist – Shop Concept of the Year
- Nomination – Bar & Restaurant Design Awards
- Silver Medal – A’Design Award
- Ghent Entrepreneur of the Year 2014
- Belgium’s New Brand of the Year 2015

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Picture from Chez Claire

But Dries and Yuri are also travelers who traveled around Europe without any plan and shared their tips and reviews on www.trekjeplan.com. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, they will give an ‘out of the box’ session, talking about their experiences as young entrepreneurs. They will give tips on how to develop a business and keep it running, and most of all they will show you how fun it can be to do business.

Make sure to attend Dries & Yuri’s presentation on 27 September at 9:20-10:45! The full conference’s programme is available here.

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