How it started

In 1997, Bernard and Anne travelled to Japan for the first time. They were invited by a local contact to open a store with pralines produced under license. Bernard and Anne believed that the artisanal quality would be lost, and that is precisely the crucial element. Since the Japanese love our Belgian chocolate and love high-quality luxury, they knew that their Japanese adventure was not over yet.

Visit of the Belgian Prince Filip

In 2004, DelRey's first store opened in Japan. It is located in the Ginza district, which is Tokyo's 5th Avenue. This store was even visited by the then Prince Filip, now King Filip, during the Japanese trade mission in 2005. Two years later DelRey has 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 to February, 6 colleagues work full-time on producing 1 million pralines to send to Japan. During this Valentine's period, DelReY opens 75 pop-up sale points across the country. During that time, 3 to 4 palettes per week are sent by plane to Japan.

The Japanese tradition tells that the Japanese women overload their husbands or male friends and colleagues with chocolates. 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 atelier in Antwerp and shipped to Japan. Bernard Proot travels several times a year to Japan. Funfact: 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 atelier in Antwerp, but for the Japanese, the fact that you travel to Japan shows 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. An advertisement with the size of a six story building for the Chocolat Promenade promotes our diamond pralines. DelReY has a booth on the Chocolat Promenade where Bernard has to sign hundreds of boxes of pralines.


Christmas 2022

In 2022 our Japanese colleagues could choose the names for the new Christmas stumps. They chose “Osaka”, “Nagoya”, “Hakata”, “Kyoto”, “Sapporo” and “Ginza”. The first 5 are cities in Japan and Ginza is the upscale neighbourhood in Tokyo where we opened our first store. Our colleagues were inspired by the appearance of the new Christmas creations and which city it reminded them of.

Delrey Japan