Bustling Berchem: local and sustainable shopping in the trendiest neighborhood around
Updated: Jan 7
The neighborhood between Berchem Station and Stadsbrouwerij de Koninck, including the Groen Kwartier, is a vibrant district to be in. Those who want to look a little further than The Jane, Pakt and the Black Smoke - some of the top locations in the area - have come to the right place. The hidden gems and personal favorites turned out to be more numerous than expected. In this series we therefore start with local and sustainable shopping in this hip breeding ground for creative talent. Welcome to Berchem!
Walrus en Vlinder
Walrus and Vlinder is a toy store where you, as an adult, like to come and hang around for a while. The range of original and sustainable toys is quite unique. From the most beautiful picture books, to the most original party games to the finest dolls and jewels. My eye even fell on an Indonesian board game. I went outside with a pattern book to make kites from exotic bird prints and an ingenious marble trail with obstacles. You know, the type of toy that your son, grandchild, and baby-girl will love for hours on end. Ipad? Youtube? What do you mean digital addiction?
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 6pm.
Talent in De Buurt
"Talent in De Buurt" is a platform for local designers and creative souls alike. They once started with 7 creatives from Berchem and now represent more than 100 artists and resourceful entrepreneurs from the area who alternate the shop offer regularly.
This store is, as it were, a gathering place of original finds and creations sprung from the brain of local talent. New creatives are added every week! Originality and sustainability are the main key words. Every product is in fact organic or made from renewable or recycled raw materials. You also support the local economy with every purchase. The money that rolls over the counter here is, after all, invested locally. Guilt-free shopping here we come!
A birthday gift with a great story is easily scored here. These products are often handmade and offered in small quantities. They concretely implement the promise of an 'original gift'.
Moreover, the majority of the profit goes directly to the talent, unlike a normal store, where a designer or maker often only gets a fraction of the total sales amount.
Open Friday from 10am until 6 pm and Saturday from 10am until 5pm.
Helios is the kind of local convenience store that completely lures you in; if you walk in here, you are guaranteed to come out with full hands. Praline Easter eggs with coffee liqueur? Honey from the local beekeeper? A last minute birthday gift for your sweet tooth aunt? Check! At Helios it is difficult to choose between all those goodies. You would almost forget that you can go here for freshly ground coffee beans.
Helios started out as a coffee roasting company in 1925 with a wide range of tea, cocoa, chocolate and confectionery. Gradually sweets, jams, christening sugar, cookies and Italian specialties were added. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but almost all products are made in Belgium - except for the origin of coffee and tea, of course. Think of the chocolate from Starbrook, Weyn's honey, Joris sweets, Roodhooft candy, etc ...
Juliette and Feliciano are already the fourth generation of coffee makers. They love to make gift baskets with the star product of the house, namely the freshly roasted coffee, made the traditional way of course! Your cup of coffee can't be more local than this! It goes without saying that Helios is more than just coffee.
Open from Monday until Saturday from 9am until 6pm
Host... What's in a name? When you walk past this concept store, the homely character just sucks you right in. The range of sustainable wear consists of a selection of decoration and lifestyle items, complemented with some greenery to take home. In addition, part of the furniture is also for sale.
The fashionista who prefers slow fashion to the disposable character of mass market fashion also finds sufficient inspiration for her wardrobe here. The selection of accessories just scream 'gift ideas'. Can't choose from all the pretty goodies? Enjoy a freshly made cup of coffee first or indulge in a fresh piece of apple pie. Hmm!
The two Antwerp sisters behind HOST try to extend that sustainable, green leitmotif in several areas. Products must be made with respect for other people and their environment. Recycling is also part of this. By also offering a platform to creative like-minded souls, they reinforce the name of the store: from time to time they organize workshops, lectures and exhibitions with partners here.
Open from Wednesday until Saturday from 10am until 6pm.
Those who miss the heydays of tv shows such as Miami Vice and Magnum should definitely drop by at Tangerine Sunshine. The idea behind the clothing collection of the same name signed by Katrien, the owner of the store, is simple. Think sunset, a cool beach party, pumping music and a time machine that would take you back to the 80's. What are you wearing?
The collection includes a number of limited edition T-shirts and sweaters for both men and women where fun, minimalism and a big nod to the 80s are the key words. All screen-printed prints are also drawn by hand.
Tangerine Sunshine also welcomes other designers who have a nice story to tell and where local anchoring is essential.
They sell jewelry from NimZu in Antwerp, super detailed ceramics from Shu & Mi and tote bags from Jozien Kennes. The range changes every few months. So keep an eye on their Facebook page is the message!
Open from Tuesday until Friday from 12pm until 6pm and Saturday from 11am until 6pm.