The butcher in question dates back to 1885, when August Eeckhout set up shop in Koksijde on the Flemish coast. He eventually passed it along to his son Michel, who passed it to his son Fernand.
In 1989, Fernand’s son-in-law, Rik Debouver (pictured right), took over Slagerij Fernand. As a university graduate with a fresh outlook, he started organising tastings allowing people to sample the best the world has to offer – pata negra iberico, simmental, rubia gallega and dry-aged pork belly.
Rik’s son Jef (pictured left) was also looking to discover new things. At 20, he set out to explore the world and ended up at a cattle ranch in Australia, where he worked as a cowboy, discovering the potential of free-range meat. Last year, he brought his ideas back to Koksijde, and the Gustor Meat Boutique was born.
It’s one of Belgium’s few online butcher shops, and its range includes Black Angus, Holstein Premium Austria, 100% Wagyu and much more. The meat is cut and prepared in the shop and is delivered refrigerated within 24 hours to anywhere in Belgium France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.
“It’s always fresh, we never freeze it,” says Rik. “We don’t do pre-sliced or pre-packed meat, and we only cut what the client needs.”
The meat selection is posted in three languages and includes lamb, pork, beef, game and poultry. Currently, you can get organic lamb chops from the Ardennes and grain-fed Black Angus beef from Australia.
“Choosing, ordering and tasting should be a special experience,” Rik says. “We want to give the customer the feeling of a real butcher’s, even if it’s online, and share our trade and professional knowhow, which we’ve built up over five generations.”
Customer advice is also important, and the Gustor Meat Boutique is available seven days a week for questions by phone, email or social media. “We’re not salesmen, we’re butchers,” Rik says. “Old-fashioned butchers in new clothes, but butchers all the same.”
And should you want to visit in person, Slagerij Fernand is at Zeelaan 308.
Photo: Visit Father and son Rik and Jef Debouver at their shop in Koksijde or order online