How it started

In 1997, Bernard and Anne went to Japan for the first time. They have been invited by a local contact to open a possible store in the land of the rising sun. Later there will even be a demand to open about 20 stores. The pralines would be produced under license. Bernard and Anne refuse the deal. According to Bernard, the artisanal quality would be compromised and he makes no concessions on this. The Japanese love our Belgian chocolate and love high-quality luxury. It could be a match, but the time is not yet right. The seed still needs to germinate a bit.

“Prince Philip” visits

In 2004, the first store opened in Japan, in the Ginza district, which is Tokyo's 5th Avenue. This store was even visited by the then Prince Philippe, now King Philippe, during the Japanese trade mission in 2005. Two years later we have 2 stores in Japan, 1 in Tokyo and one in Fukuoka.


900,000 chocolates for Japan

During Valentine's Day it's all hands on deck for Japan. From September, 6 people will be working full time to get approximately one million chocolates to Japan. DelReY opens 75 pop-up points of sale across the country for Valentine's Day. Then every week 3 to 4 palettes full of chocolates and pralines are put on the plane to the Far East. Japanese women then give their loved ones chocolate en masse, even their male colleagues. A month later on March 14, on White Day, it is up to Japanese men to spoil their partners with chocolate.

Big in Japan

Everything is produced in the studio in Antwerp, but several times a year Bernard Proot travels to Japan purely for public relations. In Japan, chocolatiers truly enjoy star status. A praline in Japan is an extraordinary delicacy and DelReY pralines stand for pure luxury.

When Bernard visits the branches in Japan during Valentine's Day, they put a large photo of him in the window and the time he will be there. Then people line up for an autograph or he has to give a demonstration of how pralines are made. In the meantime, son Jan has also been able to share in the fame. The craziness is truly unprecedented. Bernard and Jan do not like the spotlight, they prefer to be in the studio in Antwerp, but for the Japanese, the fact that you come to them means that you respect them. Their presence gives sales a huge boost. On Valentine's Day 2019, DelReY reached 10,000 hits on social media in Japan. A model promotes our diamonds on a banner 6 stories high. And it's not even our banner but an advertisement for the Chocolat Promenade during the Valentine's Day period. DelReY has a stand on the Chocolat Promenade where Bernard has to sign hundreds of boxes of pralines.


Christmas 2022

This year our Japanese colleagues were allowed to choose the names for the new Christmas stumps. They became “Osaka”, “Nagoya”, “Hakata”, “Kyoto”, “Sapporo” and “Ginza”. The first 5 are cities in Japan and Ginza is the upscale neighborhood in Tokyo where we opened our first store. They were guided by the appearance of the new Christmas creations and which city it reminded them of.

It is something different from the Christmas box “Moose” or “Santa Claus”.

Delrey Japan