Starting in 1865, the Coticule stones became famous outside their region of Belgium where to this day they continue to extract this famous whetstone. Several generations have worked the Coticule stone to make it famous as it is today. One of them is Maurice Celis, the founder of Ardennes-Coticule.
In 1998 he decided to pursue the business full time alone and, like his ancestors, the recurring theme throughout his career is to work very hard to keep the Coticule stone well known throughout the world and to promote the uniqueness of him. To keep the business running, he had to come up with a plan to sell other products from the quarry to industry and consumers. He discovered that the Blue Cloaks had almost the same qualities as the Yellow Coticule. This is the time when he developed the Belgian blue whetstone.
Mr. Celis decided to personally address new potential clients, he decided to participate in trade shows in Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy. Mr. Celis had close personal contact with the end users of the products he sold. He demonstrated how sharpening stones should be used and gave personal advice on which stone would be perfect for a specific tool. The target audience were and continue to be users of shaving tools, wood carvers, carpenters, furriers, butchers, cutlers, nature explorers, cooks, and everyone who values artisanal natural products.