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Happy Birthday to us: We’re 11 years old

July 8, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Happy Birthday to us: We’re 11 years old

Back in July 2007 when we were busy painting the walls of what was to become our little ScandiKitchen café, we didn’t realise just what a journey we were about to go on. London didn’t have a Scandinavian food scene, there was no Nordic food buzz. We’d never run a café before.  We were about to step into a lot of unknowns.

Firstly, we didn’t quite expect to become parents for the first time in the same 24 hours we opened our ScandiKitchen cafe & deli. Of course, it wasn’t a complete surprise, but still, who has a baby on the actual due date, that is also their own birthday AND the opening of their first café? We do, apparently (Astrid will also be 11 this week, the same time as the café – and her mother will age another year, too). Since 2007, we get to celebrate three birthdays the same day every year.

Let’s step back a little bit. We, Bronte and Jonas, decided to set up ScandiKitchen because we missed food from home. Being Danish and Swedish, we decided to make it Scandinavian and include Norway too – and eventually Finland as well. We poured in every penny we had (not a lot, actually) – and borrowed a bit too (thanks, Mamma) – and managed to open up on an absolutely shoe string. It took us a good year to make it happen – and a lot of good will from people around us, amazing friends and a Russian builder who called himself George.

Did you know that 2/3 of all new food businesses close inside the first two years? Of those that stay open, 2/3 of these die inside another year. The stats were not in our favour. We were terrified. We had no safety net. After we’d been open for 1 ½ months, the 2007 recession hit us with such devastating force we thought we’d surely had it. We’re not going to lie: It was a pretty tough few years. There were tears and a lot of sleepless nights, and that was not just because of the baby!

Still, here we are, 11 years old, and we’re still full of energy. Still 100% independently owned and still trying to get to our big vision of making sure Scandinavian food finds a permanent place on the British dinner table. Through sheer determination and stubbornness, we’re alive and still doing it. And just look how far we’ve come in our quest: The Scandi food wave happened, people opened their minds to pickled herring and salty liquorice – and now, well, we’re under way to complete our quest. Throughout it all, the idea really was about bringing Scandinavian food to the UK – and making sure we had a nice time in the process.

Jonas with 16-hour old Astrid on 11th July 2007. We still managed to open on day 2! (don’t try this at home, kids!).

This is what we look like in 2018:

Café & Deli in Central London – our deli serves open sandwiches and lunches 7 days a week and we stock 600 food products in our shop area
Online web-shop with 1200 Scandinavian food products, shipping to all of the UK and also most parts of the rest of the EU
Own label products – from beetroot salads and sauces, with more set to come in 2018
Specialist Importers of Nordic foods and suppliers to shops, restaurants and companies across the UK
– Supplier to UK supermarket chain from our certified huge 120+ pallet warehouse in Park Royal, West London.
Agents for many Scandinavian brands wishing to launch in the UK with a specialist dedicated sales force
– Authors of six books about Scandinavia

– Proud to have 25 amazing people on our team

And some other stuff, too… Phew. We have been quite busy, but we have loved it all – mostly because we have been so very fortunate to work with THE most amazing bunch of people over the years. People from all over: from Scandinavia, the UK, Poland, Hungary and further afield. Without our people, none of this would be possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll say it again because we can’t quite believe it ourselves: This week, we’re 11 years old. Thank you everyone who has supported us over time – and thank you to our wonderful, amazing team at the café, office and warehouse.

We will be doing lots of give-aways this week to celebrate – follow us on Instagram to be in with a chance to get 11 x of your favourite products!

Bye for now

Bronte & Jonas x

Cafe in 2007 and Cafe in 2018:

 

Breakfast of Champions – Support Magic Breakfast

September 14, 2016 | Leave a comment

Magic Breakfast Charity – Start your day doing something good

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Don’t go to school on an empty stomach.

With school having started again, it is time for a re-run of a cause close to our hearts and bellies.

  • It’s a very sad fact that 1 in 3 children in England go to school without having eaten breakfast. Even worse, that for one in four kids, the school meal at lunch is the only proper cooked meal they will have that day. Yes, you read that correctly.

The charity Magic Breakfast works with schools in deprived areas to ensure that children who most need it will get breakfast before the school day start. They provide porridge, bagels, toast and cereal – and the kids can then start their learning with full tummies. Because how can you learn anything when your tummy rumbles?

Since February 2015 we have been working with Magic Breakfast by donating one breakfast to a child for each bowl of porridge sold in our café. You get breakfast, they get breakfast. And in August this year, our head office joined in on the fun by setting up a penny jar – we encourage each other to do a weekly penny dump into the jar – the contents will go in their entirety to Magic Breakfast.

Every time you buy a bowl of porridge at our place, we will donate one breakfast to a child via Magic Breakfast.

Just like that. A bowl for bowl.

So, when your mother told you porridge was good for you, well, little did she know it was also going to be good for someone else, too.

We hope to see you all to pop by for our delicious oat and rye porridge with lovely toppings, such as nuts, seeds, fruit, honey, cinnamon – or maybe try one of our Guest Porridges that visit from time to time. Not only is porridge quick and easy in a hectic morning – it is also wonderfully warming and nutritious, and can be tailored to your taste and needs. Feeling fruity? Have yours with fresh berries. In need of a hug? Add a sprinkle of cardamom and lots of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Want it creamy? Cook it with milk.

We really want to continue supporting Magic Breakfast as much as we can. So please help out – pop by and eat porridge at ours and feel full and happy in the knowledge that someone else will be, too.

You can read more about Magic Breakfast right here

Thank you all for your continued support in this – we feel very passionately about full bellies, about children’s right to learn. About child welfare, in general. Together, we can make a bit of a difference.

Lots of love

The Kitchen People

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PS: Like the look of that lovely porridge? Find the recipe in our first book – the ScandiKitchen Cookbook.

Tuborg Julebryg J-Day London 2014

November 4, 2014 | Leave a comment

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Every year in Denmark when the Christmas beer ‘Julebryg’ is released, people flock to the bars, wearing blue santa hats. This celebration is known as J-Day (Julebryg-Day). Did you know even though Julebryg is only available 10 weeks of the year, it is the 4th best selling beer in Denmark?

Our J-day is a bit later than in Denmark (but only by one week). Join us for our own traditional London J-day on 14th November at the cafe – from 18:01, we will we celebrating and allowing ourselves to feel the first of the festive cheers.

We have limited spaces – it is first come, first served for the guest list so e-mail names to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk

We will also be selling Tuborg Julebryg by the case in the cafe as well as online. Please note, we may well sell out so it is absolutely advised that you stock up early to avoid disappointment.

Oh, and if you see any homesick Danes along your merry way this Winter, to let them know about this: they will appreciate it, trust us.

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