When Lambert Matheï founded a small confectionery for his children in 1930, he could never have imagined that the company would make such headlines in the year 2015. Alfons, one of his eight children, learned the trade as a confectioner in Liege at the Confiserie Le Vinqueur. “Le Vainqueur” was the inspiration for the name of their own confectionery “De Palm” (referring to the palm leaf awarded to the victor). The company was established in the centre of Bilzen at the Kattebroekstraat 1. The product range initially consisted of all kinds of artisan-produced sweets such as drops, liqueur chocolates, gums, marshmallows, cuberdons etc., until the production was focused on hard confectionery in 1965.
In 1973 Alfons took over the company from his siblings and bought the first fully automated lollipop production line. In 1977 he handed over the confectionery operations to his sons Lambert and Paul. In 1983 the firm was converted into a limited company and at the end of the year 1988 Paul sold his shares to his brother Lambert and his wife Daniëlle Brepoels. They founded the NV Confiserie De Palm.
After the partial takeover of the machinery of Lemco in Rotterdam, the company suddenly experienced a rapid development. The building in the Kattebroekstraat became too small and the supply of electrical energy became insufficient. A remove to an industrial premise urged itself. A new building of 1200 m² was built in the industrial area Spelver in Bilzen. In 1988, the company settled there in the Spelverstraat 26a.
From that moment on, the product range and turnover made such a growth that it became necessary to enlarge the company’s premises in the year 2000 up to a total production facility on 4.150m². The organisation might be small but has a highly professional level, thus guaranteeing flexibility and service. Utmost personnel safety is not the only point of interest, the strongest demands with respect to food safety are also constantly being met. The HACCP standards are being applied since 1977 and since December 2004, the company is yearly awarded the IFS Higher Level certificate. Despite the introduction of the most modern machines and cooking techniques, the traditional sugar craft is still being fully maintained and cared for.
The Matheï family can proudly claim that they have upgraded the production of lollipops to a real piece of art. This is reflected in many of their products such as the unmatchable Salmiak lollipops, filled with salmiak powder, as well as the Ghost Pops with a spicy flavour. Under the expert guidance of Lambert Matheï and his son Johan, countless new ideas are constantly arising in the lollipop kitchen, resulting in products adding new dimensions to the lollipop range. Many of these ideas are partly instigated by the international business as, supplementary to the standard products, each country has, its own variants based on local taste habits, varying from extremely sweet or sour to especially salty.
The company’s international orientation required an international name. "The Palm" was not considered as such in many countries. After a brainstorm, a new name, matching all criteria, was found:
In 2008, the production equipment of Confiserie Weyn in Sint-Niklaas was taken over for the expansion of the product range with lick shells and drops. In January 2015 Cand’Art acquired a series of lollipop machines as well as the brand and the lollipop brands of the company Hirsch in Germany. 2015 was a year of celebration. The 85 years of existence of Cand'Art were awarded on April 23 by the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid.
Cand'Art will continue the long tradition of the confectioning craft with greatest care: production and sale of lollies, especially to wholesalers and importers, anticipating market trends and customer needs, constantly taking into account environmental, health and ethical considerations. The family Matheï is still prominent in the leading positions of the company and ensures that the Cand'Art employees are adequately trained and given proper guidance. The responsible persons all hold the relevant expertise to ensure the best quality and food safety to strive for continuous improvement.
So be smart, choose Cand'Art