+75 years of craftmanship

Our history is as rich and varied as the foods and meals we create.

It all started in 1948

Francies Coopman was a Belgian butcher who dared to dream big. Determined to offer top quality fine meats at affordable prices, he launched his own modest production facility which he proudly named ‘Ter Beke’.

The name referred to the brook and street where the facility was built, right next door from the Coopman family home.

The best salami in town

Ter Beke quickly became a national success – and the preferred partner of butchers all over Belgium (and soon beyond). Especially the Coopman salami was extremely popular. “We want more,” butchers said. To keep up with the growing demand in fine meats, Francies’ son Daniel built a second facility in 1960 not far from the first one. Today, both facilities together still form the heart of our fine meats operations.


Delivering tasty and healthy products with a focus on tradition and craftsmanship, and produced according to today’s standards and trends, is what we stand for every day.

Daniel Coopman

Ter Beke goes public

In November 1986, Ter Beke made it to the Brussels Stock Exchange. We have been pursuing an active and transparent policy on good governance ever since, with 70% of shares remaining in the hands of family owners.

Vamos a la Playa

Fast forward to 1994. ‘Vamos a la Playa’ is the summer hit of the year, when a small company – not coincidentally called Vamos – catches our eye. The reason? Their home-made lasagna with fresh bolognese and creamy bechamel sauce. Irresistible! So much so that we acquired the brand and made fresh ready meals a part of our core business.


Pizza, Pronto! Come a casa!

Pronto, leading the Belgian market in fresh pizza, lasagna, and other deliciousness, joined our family in 1996. Come a casa was soon to follow.

Spoiler alert: since then, Come a casa has become our most famous brand, which we have been selling in no less than 11 countries. Fresh ready meals became our second passion.

Slices of heaven

1996 was also the year in which we added service slicing to our offer, enabling supermarkets and butchers to sell freshly packaged slices of meat without having to invest in their own slicing department. Following Heku in 1996, and Langeveld / Sleegers in 2005, our acquisition of Berkhout Verssnijlijn in 2007 made us one of the largest service slicers in Europe.

We slice our own fine meats as well as those of other producers, in addition to advising retailers and customers on their charcuterie assortment, and taking care of uniform and efficient packaging.

Hammmmm …

Meanwhile, we had grown into quite a charcuterie specialist, which made our 2006 merger with Pluma Vleeswaren – another specialist in the field, famous especially for their cooked ham – a very natural step to take. And tremendous potential emerged from our complementarities indeed. 


The more the merrier

Our lasagnas and pasta meals proved such a hit that we joined forces with Stefano Toselli and Pasta Food Company in 2011 to further expand our business. South, Central and Eastern Europe, here we come!

Across the Channel and across Europe

2017 was the year when we finally crossed the English Channel by merging with KK Fine Foods, offering tasty trendy ready meals to British consumers.  

We also solidified our ambition to become a household name for cold cuts in the entire Benelux by buying Offerman, a Dutch fine meat producer and slicer for the retail and out-of-home market.

So far, our impressive 75-year heritage has enabled us to sell our products in 37 countries, always taking into account the local needs of the consumer.


Delicious and plant-based 

In the last few years, our focus has been on sustainability through innovation both internally and through partnerships. We are determined to give plant-based foods a bigger stage, in the shape of both classic and trendy dishes – from vegan mac & cheese to ramen. 


What's next?
Day by day, cooking up a better world  

Leading the market in fresh savoury food and Italian ready meals, we feel it is our responsibility to help protect our planet. Our new name – What's Cooking? – reflects our ambition to boost responsible food choices by sourcing our ingredients even more carefully, improving the nutritional value of our products, and by continually reviewing our processes to ensure they are as safe, qualitative, green and sustainable as can be.