This is the love story of a Russian woman (whose name is not Becky but Julia) and her German husband (whose name is not Mike but Björn) who had a crazy dream: opening a hot chocolate café together. In Brussels. Capital of Belgium. A country known around the world for its chocolate. Right… But as it turned out, their idea was not so crazy after all.
A dream come true...
In 2016, having spent 15 years working in and around the EU institutions in Brussels, Björn and Julia decided to open shop, under the name ‘Mike & Becky’. They started making chocolate and selling it online, then fell in love with a commercial space in the Vanderkindere area that would allow them to fulfil their dream: using the best cacao from around the world to make delicious chocolate, and then selling hot chocolate and chocolate bars at the counter of their shop. With a little help from Atrium, they renovated the place and their dream came true.
This typical Brussels couple doesn’t create fancy pralines: they make chocolate with premium and child-labour-free cacao beans produced in the respect of nature, and harvested by people working in fair conditions. "Chocolate tastes better when your mind is not bitter because of its origins": this is the slow food business, a trend that has become increasingly popular in Brussels.
...in a city open to new savours
The slow food movement has been gaining ground these last few years in Brussels. And according to Björn, "Brussels is like a miniature Europe, a miniature Earth even: there are people from everywhere. That makes the people here really open to new things and new savours". And the slow food business is a market full of potential collaborations, like the one with the bakery that uses Mike & Becky’s chocolate to make their brioches.
Business or not, Björn wouldn’t leave Brussels for another city: "In other big cities I’ve lived in, you will always remain a stranger. It’s easier to feel like you’re home in Brussels: people are friendly and open-minded". The Bruseleirs’ curiosity for new things was no stranger to Mike & Becky’s success: even the most sceptical of their friends were immediately convinced. Well, right after tasting Mike & Becky’s chocolate, of course!