A story full of interesting twists and turns
After having spent some time in Rwanda, working as nurses in a hospital, Stefaan Deraeve and Katrien Steeman returned home with the ‘recipe’ for their own veggie burger business. Throughout the years the company became a reference in the field of tasty and fresh vegetarian products. All our creations are made with vegetables, seeds and organic legumes. For our company flavor and quality are our top priorities.
1981 - Stefaan and Katrien leave for Rwanda
At the end of the 1980’s Katrien Steeman and Stefaan Deraeve, who both just graduated as professional nurses, decided to do their civil service in Rwanda. They were both used to eating in a traditional way and were not at all prepared to settle in an environment where vegetables were scarce and meat was even harder to find. It didn’t take them long to start to cultivate their own organic vegetables. Along the road they learned to combine all types of vegetables, grains, peas and beans.
1983 - Return in Belgium, from Rwanda
1996 - Move to Sint-Michiels, Bruges
1999 - Launch of the seasonal burgers
1992 - Start of La vie est belle, in the marital home of Stefaan and Katrien
Back in Belgium Katrien perfected her recipes for organic vegetarian burgers. And it was her creativity that formed the base of what later would grow to become the family run business of La vie est belle.
2011 - Launch of Tartin'O, the first spread of La vie est belle
2016 - Launch of the Kinowa burger, with a base of Belgian quinoa
2010 - The company moves to the current production location in Oostkamp
2015 - La vie est belle 2.0: With Nele, Karel and Lieven three of the four siblings get engaged and carry responsibility in the organization
Creative cooking is also a passion of Katrien and Stefaan’s son, Lieven Deraeve. He is a chef of education and is – since a few years – taking the lead in the lab kitchen of the company. In this test environment Lieven can ‘go all in’ in the quest to develop a delicious and complete end product. It is only in a later stage that the ‘feasibility’ of the product is investigated and tested in the production area.
2017 - Kinowa elected as 'Favorite vegetarian product' by BioForum + Launch of the first international cooperation with a fairtrade agriculturral project in Java, Indonesia
La vie est belle believes in a bright future
La vie est belle believes in the growth of the company and the further development of the market for organic vegetarian products. People are more conscient about their food, and that will cause the market for organic and ecological products to grow. And La vie est belle is more than dedicated to contribute.
The products of La vie est belle are all organic, made without the use of any preservatives nor additives, and – if possible – contain seasonal products from local producers. Sustainability for La vie est belle is a process in which the company constantly challenges itself on all levels, and raises its own standards to optimize its internal functioning.
At La vie est belle it is all about the team
At La vie est belle every employee is equally important. Take a look at our values, under the tab Dedicated and Sincerity.
Our collaborators support the mission and values of our company:
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