Discover the history of Valcke Group.
The early years
Like more South West Flemish companies, the roots of Valcke are also in flax. In the mid-60s, when the glory years of flax were over, Lucien Valcke looked for an alternative to earn a living. In 1966 he opened his own bowling: "Bowling Kentucky", a reference to the popular name that the corner across the street had been given. Due to the continued success of Bowling Kentucky, Lucien was happy to welcome son Luc to the store. The young Luc Valcke immediately broadened the activities when he bought his first container of bowling shoes in 1976. Full of youthful enthusiasm, he laid the foundation of the company as a bowling supplier, which was baptized in 1978 Valcke Bowling Service.
Under the impulse of Lucien and Luc, the family company opted to provide bowling services to third parties in the mid-80s. This meant that anyone who wanted to install bowling from now on could use the services of Valcke. In addition to installations for third parties, over the years the Valcke’s have started various in-house bowling companies, including Bowling Themis in Mouscron.
The big jump forward
The 1990s were marked by "the big leap forward" when in 1992 the company became the exclusive distributor of all Brunswick Bowling equipment in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the French overseas territories and part of Switzerland. In 1999, under the impetus of Luc Valcke and his wife An Maes, the ever-growing company shows its first major foreign ambitions and starts building its own bowling center in the Norman Grand Quevilly, Rouen. It will be a grand state-of-the art complex with no fewer than 28 jobs. In 2004 and 2007 the Plaza Bowlings in Saint Maximin and Reims Thillois followed, together accounting for 28 and 22 jobs.
The third generation
The third generation made its appearance in 2005: sons Laurent & Henri Valcke were involved in policy and operational management. Laurent Valcke looks after the operation of the own centers, while Henri Valcke takes care of the sale of bowling equipment and complete installations. Because the company wants to continue to profile itself as the norm in bowling, the prestigious Brunswick Euro Challenge bowling tournament will be brought to France in March 2008. In their own "Plaza Bowling Saint Maximin", Valcke and Brunswick once again make their name strong. The tournament has since grown into the largest European bowling tournament. Brunswick saw that it was good and in 2010 transferred the entire organization to Plaza Saint Maximin.
Building to the future
Valcke also took his first steps on the African continent and in 2009 built a new bowling in Casablanca, the first Brunswick project in Morocco. A step that clearly tasted more, since a center was also built in 2010 in Dakar. In the same year 2010, Valcke Group also acquired the exclusive distributorship for all consumer & after-market products in the Netherlands and can now also offer the complete package from A to Z on this market. The fact that the company is not yet sitting still testifies to the acquisition of the exclusive distributorship for the Life Fitness brand in France and the sale of 60 GS-X Pinsetters to the Dutch group Klaare in 2011. Every day a group of motivated employees is committed to upholding Valcke's motto: "Passion is the foundation of our business & we want to reflect that passion in everything we do!"
And then the fitness came in...
In 2011, Valcke Group took another dimension and opened a second division by becoming a Life Fitness distributor. Since then, we became a fitness supplier for France.