MEET THE TEAM
   

Hilde Verbergt & Wim Verellen
Bram Verellen & Sam Verellen

 

   
HISTORY

 

Joenit was founded in 1988 by Wim Verellen and Hilde Verbergt. The company started as a specialist retailer of electronic components, it also had a division specialising in the design and production of electronic equipment for medium to large industrial solutions. The design of printed circuit boards, assembling and J.I.T. delivery of electronic components to clients such as NMBS (Belgians railway company), Electrabel (Belgians electricity supplier), Procter & Gamble and many others.

Our love for music led us into the distribution of quality Hi-Fi products starting in 1991 and that year we designed and built large premises in the heart of medieval Mechelen city. These comprised 3 demonstration rooms, an electronic workshop and a large showroom.

True love for the sound of vinyl led to our first contact with a British manufacturer, Rega, back in 1993. We discovered that Rega not only built excellent turntables but also produced high quality amplifiers and loudspeakers. We became the distributor for Rega in the Benelux countries despite their apprehension that a company based in one country could successfully service three countries. Today with its proven track records Joenit’s blueprint is used by other Rega distributors world-wide.

In 1995 on a visit to the CES Las Vegas Joenit representatives met the renown Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer Totem Acoustic and were immediately bowled over and totally consumed by the accuracy and warmth of such products as the Model One – how can it be posible that a small mini-monitor produces such a huge sound? – it was love “at first sound”. Joenit currently imports a container of Totem loudspeakers every month and not only supplies the Benelux countries but also distributes the products into the U.K. and France.

Back when Joenit started trading we stocked 3.000 different electronic components and by 1992 there were more than 15.000 but since the year 2000 the electronic business started to decline, as a result of increased CE regulation, miniaturization and large imports of Chinese made computers and at the end of 2007 after all most 20 years it was decided to close the department. With big increase in our Hi-Fi division by the year of 2000 our building in the centre of Mechelen had reached capacity and we decided on a brand new purpose built headquarters. The building took 1 year to complete and gained awards for innovation and architecture from the city of Mechelen and even today people can be seen taking photos and discussing this fine building. As you can see on the pictures it is on three floors with large airy showrooms, offices, and demonstration suites plus underground storage and workshops. All in all its a lovely place to work from and a really nice life experience.

Bram Verellen, the son of…, joined the company in 2006.  His primary responsibilities were mainly to set up dealer contacts and to organize shows.  That same year, his younger brother, Sam Verellen, also joined the by then very literal family business. The idea to create a new independent brand came up in 2007, beChocolate was conceived.  That whole year was concentrated on the creation of beChocolate. beChocolate got introduced to the press and the public, during the twenty years jubilee of Joenit in 2008.
Since 2008, Sam Verellen represents Joenit in France and Belgium on a full-time basis.  Bram is active in Great-Britain and in the Netherlands. Joenit was very present at all the biggest European hi-fi fairs of the last couple of years.

2011 became the year of innovation; the slogan with which it all began in 1988 got blown new life into: “young, fun and dynamic”. Peter Verellen joined the team in the fall as the logistics manager.
Joenit became member of CEDIA (Custom Home Theater Installation Contractors) in 2011.

In 2011 a new subsidiary has been founded in France: Joenit SARL.

Nowadays, Joenit distributes its products to approximately 120 specialised hi-fi stores located in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Great-Britain and France.  Joenit has become a byword for an excellent after-sales service