Meet Alexandre Helson - the man behind the delicious Maison Dandoy

20.05.2018 - Dries Tack

Rethinking Maison Dandoy was his personal challenge. When young Alexandre Helson stepped in as the new general manager 5 years ago, rebranding was the first thing on his list. Of course, with a name that big and history that rich, the pressure was on. After all, this is a family business in which Helson represents the 7th generation. However, he knew that their past shouldn’t stop them from looking into the future. “The house has an authentic soul, but it had to keep up and step into the XXI century.”

The new vision paid off. Maison Dandoy knows where it comes from and is sure about where it's going. 

Were you born or did you become an entrepreneur?

You know what, I think I was born to be one! It is sort of a given when you're born into a family business. I was always independent but it was clear to me that I wouldn't want to work for anyone else. That is why after my studies I went straight to work. I loved that I could breathe new life into the house. Besides, I love working in a small business. You can still come in contact with every part of the process, work in all sectors... It's great!

Who is/has been your mentor?

I've always been impressed by greats like Steve Jobs, Seth Godin, or Walt Disney. Their entrepreneurial background inspires me.

What radical changes do you expect in your industry?

Personally, for our business, I would love to start using our own-made materials. I think it's very important both for us and our consumers. They want to know where the products come from and how they were made. Also, we work in an industry where companies like ours should lead by example. I think that would be a great one. And, you know, I’d love for us to have our own fields!

What's on your bucket list?

To find the perfect balance between work and private life. To start pacing my work differently. For example, I’d love to have the possibility to leave for two months to recharge my batteries.

Thinking about future in general, I think we all should focus more on the ecology. We as a family and as the whole society as well.

What is a problem you face every day that nobody has fixed yet?

When it comes to our production, there no problem that hasn’t been solved in the past. That is mostly because we work in a rather traditional way. All of our methods have been tested by time. There's a whole art behind it, a lot of creativity that goes into it… and no problems that come to mind.

What is/are your guilty pleasure(s)?

I'm a big fan of cheese. And food in general. I love spending quality time at the table. It's a time dedicated to sharing.

Which Belgian entrepreneur inspires you the most?

Pain Quotidien set up by Alain Coumont is quite impressive. I really admire the level of excellence they have managed to maintain throughout. Pierre Marcolini is also very good, I like his philosophy.

More info: Maison Dondoy
©Filip Vanzieleghem

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