BrusselsLife with Jean-Pierre Van Roy

Written by BrusselsLife Team - 14 Nov 2006, 00:00 (Updated: 15 Jul 2014, 07:45)
BrusselsLife with Jean-Pierre Van Roy
Born in Uccle in 1942, Jean-Pierre Van Roy, alias Mr Cantillon, lived the first years of a fairly quiet childhood between Forest and Saint-Gilles. At nine years of age, he moved to Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, a stone's throw from the Forêt de Soignes. For him, that was paradise: still today, he spends a lot of time there to decompress, unwind, get inspiration, and relax.

"Either you take it over, or I'm going close"

A teacher by training, he had a bit of a hard time and ended up by turning his back on teaching... not without having met the girl who was to become his wife, and who was to change his life: a certain Miss Cantillon. He preferred to spend some time at Philips, where he acquired some solid commercial experience. Then came the surprise: in August 1969, in a house set back from Houyet, his father-in-law, a brewer in difficulty, suddenly told him point-blank: "Either you take it over, or I'm going close"... No real option, he took it over. Today, the Cantillon Brewery is running like a charm, thanks to a right balance between marketing development and the tradition of the family brewery. It is so successful that production cannot keep up with demand... But Jean-Pierre Van Roy has not for that lost his cheeky Brussels joker humour. Quite to the contrary, he maintains it and is the happiest of men when he can show off his brewery in the language of Pitje Schramouille. Matthieu Lethé

Tof... or not

Your tof café? The Poechenellekelder, opposite the Manneken-Pis. For the jokey and Brussels spirit of the Patron Saint, St Michel Your tof restaurant? The Saint-Boniface, Rue Saint-Boniface. For its marvellous regional French cuisine and its superb selection of regional wine. Your tof place for enjoying your evening? At home with friends, preferably after a sporting effort. Your tof place for enjoying your Sunday? A good little Union-Saint-Gilloise match under the trees of Duden Park with a unique Brussels atmosphere. Your tof place for developing your culture capital? A walk in the Centre d'Art du Rouge-Cloître. Your tof district in Brussels? The St. Catherine district. If you had to show Brussels off to a foreign friend, where would you take him first? To my home, in my brewery. What is the tof of all in Brussels? What is it that means that you would never move out of Brussels? The proximity of the Forêt de Soignes. What is really not so tof in Brussels? What would make you flee from Brussels? The "Brussels" environment, which no longer corresponds to what I used to know as a boy. Tell us if this idea is tof or not tof: - A swimming pool floating on the canal? Ridiculous - Congestion Tax for cars in the city centre area? Very good. - Non-smoking restaurants and bars? Very good - Banning chip shops? Long live chip shops!

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