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Crunchy, delicious, and indistinguishable from their fresh counterparts: the frozen waffles produced in Davy Van Poucke and Ellen Tournois’ factory are a true labour of love. Together with their team, they have successfully steered Dely through some serious challenges to become a major player in freezer fresh waffles. “We’ve turned the company into a competitive and attractive firm.”

Dely’s freezer-fresh Belgian waffles are a treat for the world

From ice cream to waffles

The story starts all the way back in the 1960s. Back then, the company was called Myrfan and operated as a trader of hundreds of frozen products such as ice cream, french fries, vegetables and waffles. It was Davy and Ellen who, in 2001, decided to shift the focus towards Belgium’s favourite treats and start Dely. ”Waffles are quite difficult to produce,” he explains, “but we had the necessary machines and knowledge to create a truly delicious product.”

It wasn’t until the production site moved from Adegem to Eeklo that Dely really took off. “We visited lots of food fairs and got in touch with hundreds of retailers. Over the years, we grew from selling our products at 150 stores to more than 1,800. Of course, marketing played an important role: our most famous product, the Toaster Waffle, received an enormous sales boost after it appeared on the Flemish TV show ‘De Verhulstjes’ in 2020.” 

“Our Toaster Waffle got an enormous sales boost after it appeared on a Flemish TV show.”
Davy Van Poucke, co-founder of Dely Waffles

The rocky road to success

Dely’s story might sound like a fairy tale, but the company definitely had its share of hurdles to clear. “After we moved our production site from Eeklo to Moeskroen, a destructive fire in 2018 demolished our whole factory and forced us to relocate once more”, Davy continues. “It was a devastating blow, but our team and partners pulled off an enormous feat by building a new factory in Estaimpuis in just one year. It gave us the opportunity to once again become one of Belgium’s most successful waffle factories.” 

“It’s amazing to see how fast we got back on track after a fire completely demolished our factory.”
Davy Van Poucke, co-founder of Dely Waffles

The key to Dely’s success? Apart from their own name brand, the company primarily creates custom-made waffles for retailers and food service companies all over the world. “Our R&D department has a waffle-tasting area set up, where international prospects can immediately indulge in a developing product”, says Davy. “Some of them have very specific demands: clean label, special ingredients, different oils and fats, gluten-free… We have all the necessary machines, from waffle irons to viscometers, to create a product on the spot that can go into production in no time.” 

There’s basically no limit to what’s possible with custom-made waffles. Davy: “We’ve created recipes according to certain diets, like keto and paleo. In the United States, those waffles are bestsellers. We also offer halal, kosher and organic options. Some of those markets are still small, but we see them grow every year.” 

“We create tailor-made waffles according to very specific client demands.”
Davy Van Poucke, co-founder of Dely Waffles

Eco-friendly, please

“After the fire, we wanted our new production site to be as ecologically friendly as the previous one. In addition to installing solar panels and charging stations for electric vehicles, we’ve also incorporated sustainable solutions into every stage of our production process. For example, we reuse the heat that’s produced by our cooling plant as underfloor heating. We work with the highest insulation standards. And of course, packaging also remains a strong focus. We try to work with recycled cardboard wherever we can, and use the most sustainable plastic films available. It’s a story of continuous improvement.” 

A worldwide adventure

For Dely, the future is not restricted to Europe. Davy: “Right now, people are enjoying our waffles all over the world, from Canada to Guatemala, from Japan to Malaysia. A product’s popularity depends on many factors, even cultural aspects. In the United States and Canada, for example, the ‘breakfast waffle’ has been a favourite since the 1960s. Even though those markets are saturated with lots of waffle options, we’re still trying to claim our share with a product that’s truly high end. Other than that, we’re always exploring new markets, like the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region.”  

“For Dely, there are still huge opportunities for growth”, concludes Davy. “Right now, we’re producing about 700,000 waffles per day on two production lines. We’re using about 7,000 square metres of an 18,000-square metre surface. There’s plenty of room to expand! Even after the fire and a global health crisis, I believe in a bright future for our company.” 

“We’re producing about 700,000 waffles per day, and there’s still plenty of room to expand.”
Davy Van Poucke, co-founder of Dely Waffles