Jeroen Martono Janssens

Bast Barbecue | Jeroen Martono Janssens


Bast Barbecue

Jeroen Martono Janssens first came across coconut ‘charcoal’ in 2013 . He was celebrating his honeymoon in Indonesia, the country of his birth, when he noticed they did not use the familiar charcoal to fuel the barbeque, but coconut bark.

This has many benefits. Coconut bark burns a lot longer, more constantly and produces less smoke, flame and ash than traditional charcoal. Another important advantage is that coconut bark is considered a waste product in Indonesia, so it is freely available as a raw material. In contrast, many trees are being felled in Africa to produce charcoal.

Social and environmental goals

On his return to the Netherlands Jeroen decided to do something with the product here. It turned out that coconuts are hardly used outside of Indonesia as fuel. Time to bring about a change! And so BAST Barbeque was born.

Jeroen sees imports as a means to achieve an environmental goal and also serve a social need. There is still widespread poverty in Indonesia so he works closely with local entrepreneurs who generate income by burning and packaging the coconut bark briquettes locally.

Jeroen spent the whole of 2014 researching laws and rulings, tracking down suppliers and findingthe first clients. In 2015 he decided to take a gamble and ship his first container full of coconut bark briquettes to the Netherlands. Potential customers were approached personally and in this way his clientele grew. A lot of briquettes are sold to the retail sector, both national chain stores and independent shops. A great deal also goes to a specialist online shop for barbeque enthusiasts, and the catering industry also uses coconut bark briquettes.

BAST 2020s

After a few years Jeroen decided to transfer the business to two friends to take BAST Barbeque to the next level and making it a serious player in the world market for barbeque fuel. The supply chain has since been optimized. Steps have been taken to substantially increase online growth to position BAST as a premium A-brand. Plans are in place for active collaboration with various international sales platforms such as Amazon and Orderchamp. Meanwhile, because charcoal is used in wider industrial applications, this aspect of the market is also being explored.

The ultimate ambition is to become the biggest and most sustainable distributor of coconut bark briquettes, starting in Europe then moving on to the rest of the world. 

Export countries: Belgium, Germany