Rum rocks

The shape of the Rocks is obtained in exactly the same way as they were previously produced from the end of the 1950s. With a natural aroma we obtain the recognizable taste of the past.

Buche Coco

The Buche Coco was created in 1958 in Niel.

Grandfather Frans Nauwelaerts developed the recipe together with his good friend and pharmacist Jef Wege.

The Buche Coco owes its name to the tree trunk-like shape or the previously known product Bûche de Noël.

ABOUT US

The Nauwelaerts family is now in the 3rd generation of confectionery makers.

 

Our vision of the future?  We bring grandfather's authentic recipes back to life and guarantee a superior taste experience, all wrapped up in a fresh, stylish packaging.

Rum rocks
Rum rocks

Rum rocks

Discover the delicious natural flavors of the past in a trendy packaging of today

Buche Coco
Buche Coco

Buche Coco

Discover the 5 original and natural flavors of the one and only Buche Coco

History

1944

It all started in 1944 when grandfather Frans Nauwelaerts founded the company together with great-grandfather Theofiel. However, it didn’t last long, because shortly after the founding, the liberation came. In September 1944, the allied armies passed through the municipality of Niel.

1945

Then activities were resumed, and the company could once again trade in the Rex lemonade that had been taken over at the time and sell beer. Frans was a baker by profession and after his day's work he would bake waffles at night or early in the morning, which he could then sell during his daytime rounds.

1947

Supplies and sufficient sugar were available again, so the confectionery range production was launched. The very first products that the confectioner brought onto the market were marshmallow “bacon”, nougat, and liqueur pralines. The white and pink marshmallow “bacon” (then also known as meskesvlees) was the most popular item.  These were the first steps by confectionery Nilona. The name Nilona came from "Nil" as an abbreviation of the municipal name; "na" as the first two letters of Nauwelaerts and this was coupled with the "o". The brand name "Nilona" was born.

1953

Nilona was damaged by a severe fire that caused major destruction just in the peak season. With the help of all the employees and thanks to their determination, they managed to carry out all the preliminary repairs within eight days, so that production could be resumed.

1954

The first car of Confiserie Nilona.

Frans was able to provide his salesmen with transport that allowed both sales and deliveries to grow.

1955

The Snowballs were added to the range.

These were first of lesser quality until “uncle" Pol Aerts brought a recipe from a fairground in Herentals. With a few adjustments, we were able to offer the best snowballs on the market.

 

 

1958

The confectionery business received a new boost with some new top products such as the “Buche Coco” and the “Rum Rocks”. Together with another manufacturer from Ekeren, we were the only ones distributing these products on the Belgian market.

These successful products also meant that the production area had to be rebuilt.

 

At the end of the 1950s, Nilona was able to start buying and selling confectionery products from other manufacturers. For instance, Nilona had the exclusivity on Tarzan's chocolate cigarettes from Marseille.

In order to further sell their own and other products, representatives were employed to prospect the entire country.

 

1960

Further growth was achieved by the super wholesalers of the time and export sales also increased gradually. As a result, the factory was enlarged two years later by building additional warehouses.

23 December 1960, fate struck: Pol Aerts, brother-in-law who had helped Nilona to flourish and the right-hand man of Frans Nauwelaerts, died in a crash in Herentals as a travelling salesman for the firm.

1964

A new line for the production of snowballs was added 

This new production line proved to be very profitable as Nilona then became the market leader in snowballs and “negerkoppen” for the next 25 years.

1972

The expansions didn’t stop there, as another warehouse had to be added this year. And this is the year that father Theo Nauwelaerts joined the business, taking care of sales.

3 years later, the production of biscuits and nougat was discontinued, the focus remained on the top products such as Snowballs, Buche Coco and Rum rocks.

1989

The sale of by-products became more and more part of the organisation, the new market of cardboard-top candy packaging emerged, and so Nilopack was founded.

1992

Export also becomes increasingly important and due to this growing turnover Theo Nauwelaerts founded Candytrade which could export its products to 20 countries.

 

1996

The confectionery was sold, grandfather Frans was then 73 years old and needed a well-deserved rest. Production was then continued by Ark Royal where it was sold again a few years later but by the early 21st century, Nilona products had disappeared from the scene.

At the same time, the production line of fellow manufacturer "Brigitte" from Ekeren was sold to a confectionery chain from the Netherlands, after which the Buche Coco and the Rum rocks disappeared from the market.

2020

In 2020 Bart Nauwelaerts took over Confiserie Feliz where artisanal sweets were produced After more than 20 years of experience in the confectionery sector, Bart Nauwelaerts and his wife Christel Grijseels joined forces. We saw an opportunity to offer the products of the past again and to revive Confiserie Nilona.

2021

With the move to a new production location in Puurs - St. Amands, Bart and Christel are ready for the future. The new site meets all requirements, which is one of the reasons why we were able to obtain the IFS certificate in 2021.

The new production line will help us to process the volumes for both the Belgian and export markets.

1944

2021