Commenced as a cottage industry November 1989, by Igor Van Gerwen, who came to this country from Belgium.
Anvers Confectionery. In 1991 Igor was approached by a Japanese businessman who ordered a one of order of 3000Kg of truffles. As Igor did not have the facility to produce such a big order, the Japanese Gentleman paid the order in advance so that a proper factory could be build and staff trained. This was the major break Igor had been waiting for and Anvers Confectionery is now a flourishing small business. Products now range from hand made chocolate truffles, chocolate oranges, fudge to moulded pralines.
During his six years as a student at the Institute of Foodstuffs (translation) in Antwerp, Belgium and by working for some of the finest patisseries in the Flemish and Walloon regions, Igor learnt among other culinary skills, the art of handling chocolate. Igor was trained by Roger Geerts, the world renowned confectioner and author of "Belgian Pralines".
To guarantee the quality of his products, he not only has to painstakingly train his staff in the art of manipulating chocolate, but it also is a continuous exercise in sourcing the finest ingredients. Not only does he use fresh Tasmanian cream, pure butter, exquisite liquors and natural flavours, but also the world's finest chocolate. The dark chocolate has a cacao content of 64% and the milk 35%, and is conched to a very fine stage.
Igor has found the Tasmanian Cream and Butter to be the richest in flavour of any in the world, ideally suited for truffles and fudge. He believes the reason for this that the pastures in Tasmania's pure environment stay green almost all year round, eliminating the need to feed dairy cows on grains.
Igor's meticulous research and artisan skills ensure that his product matches the best in the world, the following awards won by Anvers Confectionery over the years, vouch for this:
1990: Australia's Best new foodservice award.
1991: Tasmania's Young career achiever Award (Igor Van Gerwen)
1993: Silver at the Sydney Salon Culinaire
1996: Finalist at the Tasmanian Telstra Small Business Awards
1999: Winner of the Tasta Tasmanian Small Business of the Year.
1999: Nominated for the Tasmanian New Exporter Award.
2001: Food Safety accredited: HACCP and SQF2000
2003: ITOT Best New Retail and Tourist Attraction in Tasmania
2003: Finalist Employer of the Year category of the Tasta Training Awards.
2003: Webster Award Winner for Food Processing and Manufacturing.
2003: Tourism Tasmania - Highly Commended Significant Regional Attraction
2004: Rotary International Pride in workmanship Award
2004: Family Business of the Year Award Winner. (1st Generation)
2004: Tasmanian Tidy Towns - Commerce & Business award
2005: Finalist Employer of the Year category of the Tasta Training Awards.
2006: Tourism council of Tasmania and Cradle Coast Authority's people choice award.
After successfully marketing the Anvers range in Tasmania, we are increasing our market share in the states of Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland and are now exporting to Shanghai. Our products are available in all major department stores Australia wide and some of our customers are some of Australia's top chefs; Stefano de Pieri, Marcus Moore, Walter Wagner, Christian Heidenreigh, Mejitte Boughenhout and Troy Baggett.
Igor's wife, Jocelyn, manages the Anvers Confectionery retail shop in Devonport. During the years many of the visitors to our small retail outlet asked if they could view the chocolates being made. As the previous manufacturing set-up was not suitable for visitors due to the health and safety issues, a new exiting venture has been developed: Introducing The House Of Anvers.
A vision and dream of Igor is now fulfilled. The House of Anvers opened on the 28th October 2002. Just in time for the extensive Tourism season the new Spirit of Tasmania I& II brought.
The House of Anvers is a real chocolate taste sensation. It is located in the property formerly known as Wyndarra Lodge, a stylish house which was built in 1931 and which is set in 1.12 hectares of old tree gardens. Anvers has viewing windows installed for visitors to see the factory in action. People can see our qualified confectionery staff tempering, moulding and enrobing fine couverture chocolates, truffles, pralines, fudge and more. There is no charge for viewing, except for organised tours with personal commentary from Igor, the proprietor. The only deal is that if anyone gets to see our secret recipes, they will never be allowed to leave the premises.
Also a small museum on the history of chocolate is incorporated to add to the excitement. This takes you on a time line from the Aztec Indians through to when chocolate was consumed only as a liquid (1700s) and to the chocolate we know today. Our coffee shop of course specialises in chocolates, hot cocoa in many flavours, chocolate desserts and..more chocolate. Belgian breakfast and light Tasmanian fare lunches will be served and a range of teas and espresso coffees for the morning and afternoon break. Our new liquor license allows people to enjoy a fine Tasmanian wine, sparkling wine or beer inside or outside in the gardens.
The retail shop provides tasting and sales in our fine Anvers Confectionery products such as Truffle D'Anvers, Fudge D'Anvers, Praline D'Anvers and much more.
The position is on the direct traffic route between Devonport and Launceston and is situated to capture most of the travellers to and from Tasmania's two main ferries and Devonport Airport.
Signage near the road is very clear and attractive and ample parking is available.
The House is open 7 days a week from 7am - 6pm. During daylight savings and 7am-5pm during winter months.
Visitor numbers are exceeding 120,000 per year which include over 65,000 interstate and overseas visitors.
Breaking news: From February 2008. the house of Anvers will be open from 7am-7pm!!!