Manchester is set to welcome an exciting new Belgium-inspired sandwich bar, as well as some of the most exclusive Belgian chocolates on the UK market.

Belgian entrepreneur Simon Dasnoy will launch his first artisan sandwich bar and bakery Robert & Victor, in Bruntwood’s St James’ building on Oxford Street this November.

The outlet, which is named after Simon’s grandfathers who were both farmers, will be serving up a delicious selection of seasonal sandwiches, acclaimed home-baked breads from the Lake District, high-quality pastries and award-winning artisan chocolates.

With a focus on natural ingredients and locally sourced produce its motto “Retour à l’essentiel” meaning ‘back to basics’ reflects its ethos for using no additives, flavour enhancers or preservatives in its products.

Customers will be able to choose from a selection of over 15 innovative recipes. Le Louisiane for instance combines homemade Cajun sauce, British chicken breast, cashew nuts, pineapple, carrots, tomatoes, mixed leaves.

Robert & Victor will also be the first UK retailer to sell Belgian pralines from artisan chocolatier, François Deremiens. Hailing from the same village as Simon, Deremiens has established an international reputation for his handmade chocolate and is listed amongst the top 10 chocolatiers in Belgium.

The chocolate and sandwich offering will be complemented by gourmet tea and coffee and a selection of French patisseries, supplied by Didsbury’s award-winning Bisous-Bisous.

Manchester’s booming economy and vibrant food and drink scene inspired Simon to launch his first venture in the city, with the St James’ building proving a particular draw.

He said: “I’m extremely excited to open my first venture here in Manchester. I visited many places in the UK as part of my market research and Manchester really stood out. It’s a dynamic city, full of opportunity, with a huge market for the types of products we will offer.

“The concept is named after my grandfathers, who worked really hard as farmers to give the best products to their family and customers. That’s what I want to do at Robert & Victor. I’m passionate about delivering natural, wholesome and delicious products. We will be serving an amazing array of award winning breads home-baked by Lovingly Artisan in the Lake District. I can’t wait to open the doors and welcome the people of Manchester to come and try what we have to offer. I’m confident they will love our home-made delicacies and it won’t be long until we can expand into other cities.”

Andrea George, Head of Retail Leasing at Bruntwood, added, “We are very excited that Simon has chosen St James’ to launch his very first Robert & Victor site. This brilliant location right at the heart of Manchester’s Innovation District will ensure Robert & Victor benefits from  an eclectic mix of workers, students and tourists alike.

“Bruntwood is committed to supporting innovative entrepreneurial ventures like Robert & Victor – businesses that are vital to the health of our regional economy and to the vibrancy of our cities.”

Widely considered to be one of the finest period buildings in Manchester, Bruntwood’s Grade II listed St James’ building dates back to 1912 and was once the headquarters of the Calico Printers Association. Bruntwood recently unveiled 20,000 sq ft of newly refurbished office space on the ninth floor of the building.


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