Le Glorieux Café Dornonville

Issue #11

Le Glorieux Café Dornonville

Interview by
Mariah Katz

Photography by
Lykke Sjödin


Agnes married Martin. Johan married Madeleine. And so the story begins. This past January, the couples joined forces and opened Le Glorieux Café Dornonville. It is Malmö’s first pink café. On its menu, they sell a mean cup of coffee, classic Swedish breakfast, an exotic açaí bowl, among other treats. We asked how two couples got together and somehow worked seamlessly through a shared vision. It’s not everyday that this sort of collaboration occurs. Johan sometimes takes Agnes and Martin’s kids to the park while Agnes works as the resident barista nearly every day. Madeleine is on maternity leave and hunts for new recipes learning to navigate current trends and restocks items. All the while, Johan and Martin have an interior design company. The couples have a DIY type of work ethic that’s both brave and unusual. Not many people write their own rules in business, especially with their spouse and young kids in tow. They are doing this their own way and it works. Walking into Le Glorieux Café Dornonville, the café is just as unique as its origin story. The furniture has a chic 1970s vibe, there are plants everywhere and did we mention the walls are the colour of a California sunset? They have made a café that looks more like an interior design magazine than a place to eat and drink. After sitting in one of their retro chairs with a tasty latte, Creative Malmö can’t imagine a better, or more stylish way, to enjoy a fika. 

Before we started recording, we were talking about how you all had this café idea for seven years…

Agnes: Yes a very, very long time because I had been working in shops in Denmark and it’s quite a big problem when you have two small kids and you have to be going across the Oresund bridge and commute between Copenhagen and Malmö. So we were talking and talking and talking about settling in Malmö with a café, but we never came to the goal. Then, Johan called me one day about starting a café, and we were like, “Yes! Let’s do it.”

So you both independently as couples had this idea to create a café?

Johan: Actually, no. One year ago, Martin and I started an interior design company called Ranelid de la Cour Studio. It is based here in Malmö. While searching for a bigger office with a showroom, we ran into this café space. After a couple of months, we sat here in the empty dusty room and through lots of weird ideas we decided that maybe we should do a café. Then, I asked Martin, what if we asked Agnes if she wanted to run the café since she was working in Denmark and was going back and forth too much over the bridge. Agnes was willing to do the café idea. 

Madeleine: And so the story begins…

Johan: At this point, Madeleine and Agnes run the café and we focus on our other business. As we move forward, it’s going to be more these two ladies doing the café. Of course, Martin and I also partly own the café but it’s their show, really. They will move it forward.

Madeleine: Yeah, in autumn, when we put our baby in daycare, I am going to be here full time too.

Agnes: We will then expand our opening hours in September. 

You guys have had to create a lot of symbiosis between things: between each other’s working styles, between interior design and café work, and family life and business life. How do you balance all of these separate things together? 

Johan: We don’t. We don’t balance it. If we are going to see some problems that may be it— imbalance. Often, we just go into things if it sounds right to us. We just take it as it comes. That could be difficult in a business. Eventually, we will find our way to do it, and it will drive us forward. 

Agnes: It could be a strength to improvise. Also, I don’t think that so many people have two kids and a lot of things to pay for who suddenly open up a café. There is no rule book for this sort of situation. So, as Johan said, we aren’t thinking so much and that can be a strength but it may catch up with us and be a bad thing. In the end, we have each other and everything has worked out so far. 

Johan: We do think a lot and we have many ideas, but we are guided by intuition and feeling.

So you guys improvise, but it’s always thoughtful?

Everyone: Yes.

What steps did you take to decide your work process? After the initial idea of a café, did you guys start with a casual dinner together or did you immediately lay down very formal plans?

Madeleine: I would say immediately it was very serious. 

Agnes: I actually stopped working right then. 

How quickly did you stop your work after the idea for a café came about?

Agnes: I would say it was not so good. I was very brave. I stopped my job too early I would say. I stopped work in October of 2016 and we opened in January 2017. I thought we would open even quicker. But I made the most of it. I went to Stockholm and studied how to be a barista at Il Caffé. For nine days I studied there.  

It doesn’t feel like I’m going to work, it feels like I’m going home.
— Agnes Ranelid

Were you never a barista before?

Agnes: No, no. I had never done it in my life. 

Madeleine: Neither of us had ever worked in a café. 

Agnes: In the end, I should have stayed at my other work longer and saved some money, but we managed between the kids and business. Somehow we made it. I thought to myself, what the hell have we done? There wasn’t much of a plan. But everything has been so smooth and so good, I think it will only get better, especially when Madeleine starts.

So you all have this new-found passion for coffee and brewing it. Has it been a struggle to find interest in coffee or was it love at first sight?

Agnes: First off, I think the whole aesthetic, the rooms and the decorations, we have here are so nice. It doesn’t feel like I’m going to work, it feels like I’m going home. Everyone coming in here comments on how nice it is because it’s cozy. It is the whole atmosphere that makes me happy. It is the physical café and the coffee that make me so interested. But in the beginning we knew very little. So, Johan and I went on Google [laughing]. The first place we went to is Monteriva that is owned by Oscar Berg, and we talked to him and got to know the coffee. We knew it was the coffee we had to have. I initially wanted the Italian coffee I worked with in Stockholm at Il Caffé, but they exclusively sell to them. We went with Oscar’s brew instead and it’s been great. 

Johan: None of us are big coffee drinkers, especially Madeleine who doesn’t drink coffee (sometimes a cappuccino). Me and Martin prefer filter coffee. 

Agnes: I love coffee, I still don’t know everything about it, but I love it. 

Madeleine: Our idea for a café didn’t begin with food or drink, it began with the atmosphere. We wanted it to feel warm and welcoming. It is a place to go to feel good. We don’t just want the best coffee or the best sandwich; we want the place to be amazing too. It’s the whole package. 

Johan: None of us are experienced baristas, so we don’t have that background. When we started the café, we thought a lot about the aesthetic. As for the food and drink, we knew we wanted it to be local. Maybe we don’t sell the best objectively, but we choose what we personally like and think is the best. We personally believe we have the nicest atmosphere and some proper coffee and food. 

Agnes: A lot of the time, we think what we would want out of a café on a Sunday morning. There isn’t a place in Malmö that I truly love. My kids want to go to Espresso House. That’s not our scene. So, we wanted to create our own place. We made this café just as we want, including the food and coffee. Everything we have here we like ourselves. It’s the things I like and Madeleine likes and Martin likes and Johan likes. Our açaí comes from Lotta Love, we get our cheese from Bengtson’s Cheese, our tea is from Tea Junkie. I actually had a delivery of cardamom buns from Stockholm that I loved and I went around trying to find someone to replicate them here. We now have St. Jakobs Stenungsbageri do them—they are famous in Skåne for their cardamom buns, cinnamon buns and other pastries.

Johan: Our cardamom buns from St. Jakobs turned out better than the ones from Stockholm.

Your café definitely looks like an interior designer’s café rather than just a foodie’s café. That is what is so unique about this place: you walk in and it has a ‘wow’ factor. It looks very designy. It is unique and curated, yet each piece comes together. You can tell someone really has an eye and worked hard on the interior. Usually, food comes first and design second. Though we just tried your latte with Oatly, and it’s very good too. Rich, nutty and not too acidic. You have both a good interior and a good cup of coffee. But since you define yourselves by the aesthetic, do you feel like you are outsiders in the restaurant/café scene here in Malmö? 

Agnes: I think we are outsiders. To be honest, we don’t know so much about things. The cool thing about us is that we stand up for what we believe in. We didn’t create this café to please the masses. We like it this way. We also always try out things together, we always innovate. We don’t work like other restaurants because we don’t have the same set of knowledge or strict rules. People are liking our new approach and find it refreshing. We have a relaxed environment and I try to include everyone in a conversation who come in here. By not knowing so much, we are carving out our own style of café. 

Johan: We have all the ideas of how we want the place to look and the feeling we want people to have when visiting. If we start with the feeling of the café and how people react to it, we will always be mindful of their business and their time spent at the café. In the meantime, we just hope to get better and better at running a café and all it entails. We have high standards even if we aren’t typical café owners and baristas. People haven’t complained…yet [laughing]. After our first quarter, we hope to have even more people coming here. 


Why Malmö? Why is it both your home and where you chose to have your café?

Agnes: I was born here forty years ago, but when I was ten my family and I moved to Stockholm. I moved back to Malmö at twenty-four after selling my apartment. One year after, I met my husband, Martin. Every year, our whole marriage actually, he has wanted to move from Malmö to another country. Malmö can be boring, but it can also be really, really good. There is a lot happening if you look for it. We are now settled here. Martin has also settled in more now that we have this café and he and Johan started the interior design company. Since Martin works with such a close friend it helps him love this city more. We are all adding something to Malmö with this café. Malmo needs a pink café. Everything looks the same here. We have H&M, Gina Tricot and Espresso House at every corner…everything is the same here.   

Malmö has something no other town in Sweden can offer.
— Johan De La Cour
Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 11.03.03.png

It’s true, small businesses are the jewels of every city… 

Agnes: Yes, and we need to be here to have this café and add something nice.

Madeleine: Also, Malmö has a reputation of being rough, but there are actually so many good things happening here. People want to contribute to the city and do nice things to it. We want to show the better side of Malmö. I was born a bit outside of Malmö, but now we live in Malmö. I moved to Malmö when I was about 20 years old. Johan and I have lived all over the city. I love this city and I love the beauty and the roughness. We are working for a better Malmö. There are more cafes and small shops opening everyday. 

Agnes: I think people are also struggling and really trying to do something different. There are people doing urban farming or opening companies. All sorts of things. There are people coming in our café and having meetings. So we even overhear how things are happening. 

Johan: Martin and I are born and raised in Malmö. I’m from one side of the city and he’s from another side. I’ve only ever lived in Malmö, with the exception of six months when I was working in Jönköping. It wasn’t great at all, so I moved back to Malmö. I think there is too much focus on the bad things in Malmö. People outside of Malmö are the ones really giving this city a bad reputation through misinformation. It really isn’t as bad as people say. Malmö is super nice. That’s why I came back to it. 

Madeleine: It’s a small big city.

Johan: Malmö is also quite trendy and up-and-coming. Speaking to people from Stockholm, they are realising that Malmö has something no other town in Sweden can offer. I’m always going to love this town and I will do what I need to do to help it. If I tell outsiders I’m from Malmö, they always cite the violence. But look at the violence in Stockholm. There is violence in Gothenburg. There is violence everywhere. If you look outside our Swedish borders and compare, Sweden is, despite everything, still one of the safest countries in the world. Malmö is friendly and open. I’m quite tired of hearing from people that have never been to Malmö that it is bad.

Have you gotten regulars since you opened?

Everyone: Yes!

Madeleine: Actually, a lot of regulars. It’s really nice. We have all different ages come in I’ve noticed. Young and old. 

Agnes: Everyone is welcome. 

Madeleine: For older people, they recognise our retro furniture from their heydey and for the younger people they love to Instagram our unique interior.

Johan: Actually, the first week we had older people come in and then more young people have come into the mix.

Could this be considered a café to work at as well? Is there wifi for those interested in bringing their computers? 

Agnes: Yes, we have wifi. We actually have quite a bit of people who drop off their kids and then come here to work on their laptops. 

Johan: This is also like a café you would want to bring a first date. We hear that a lot. In our ears that sounds really good. 

Madeleine: It makes our café sound intimate. 

Johan: You always want to impress on a first date, and this café does that.

What are your bestsellers here at the café?

Johan: We sell the most units of coffee, of course. 

Agnes: Then it’s the açaí bowl and the avocado sandwich. So many of our recipes come from Instagram. 

Johan: But the idea for a classic Swedish breakfast came from me. Martin and I are traditional and old-school, so we wanted Swedish food. We are like two old men who think we know everything. But then Agnes and Madeleine have brought a lot of modern and trendy ideas, it’s helped us sell a lot. We are traditional but with a twist!  

You are not only small independent business owners, but parents and half of you are women. Mothers are not typically small business owners. Madeleine and Agnes, what advice would you give to mothers interested in opening their own café or shop?

Agnes: You need to be brave. If you want to do something, do it. Money is not the most important thing, I’ve noticed. It shouldn’t drive you, your aspirations should. 

Madeleine: I’m also thinking along the lines of teamwork. Be a team with your partner and co-workers. Help each other out with work and help each other with your kids. 

Agnes: I’ve offered to watch their dog last week and recently Johan offered to take my kids to the playground. We always help one another, otherwise this wouldn’t work. 

Is that the same advice you would give to a couple who are looking to open their own business? 

Everyone: Yes.

Johan: 100%. Collaboration and communication between everyone involved is key. We can speak about everything together and we understand each other even when we argue.

Agnes: It helps that Martin and Johan have known each other for decades. But I haven’t known Madeleine for very long at all. We all had to become close very quickly. Maybe we only understand each other one time out of ten, but we discuss and work things out. We have been angry at each other but we move forward quickly. 

Johan: Listen to your colleagues. I’m not saying I’m perfect at that, but you have to learn how to listen and be able to realise when you’re wrong. 

It’s pink, it’s warm and we talk to people.
— Madeleine De La Cour

Are there any plans brewing that we can expect from you in the future? Any additions to the menu? Special events?

We eventually plan to make this more than a café. We want more events. Like hosting book releases or special speakers.

Agnes: We would also like to have artists display their works on our walls.

Madeleine: But the menu will not change too much.

Agnes: Just small additions and tweaks.

Johan: But like Agnes said, we want this to be more of an event space. We want to publicise that this space is available to rent for events. In the past, we have had someone rent it out.

What is one word that you would use to sum up this café?

Madeleine: It’s not one word, but a phrase: ‘The Pink Café.’ 

Johan: This colour is actually what people talk about most. Everything we have done here to get the right colour was very intentional. Martin and I sat for many nights trying at least 50 to 100 different colours. When it came to making the interior of the café, we put maybe the most time into getting the right colour. It took many hours to find the right furniture as well. But the colour was by far the most difficult part. Pink can be really pink as well, which means overwhelming. We went for the classic California pink, less in your face.

Agnes: We are the proudest of the interior because no one else’s café looks like ours. It’s all uniquely put together. We don’t want to be original, that isn’t our mindset because it would come off as contrived. We are working with our individual preferences and desires. This all happened organically. 

Johan: When I met my wife and also when I met Martin, our philosophy was always about doing something together. It was about the ‘we.’ It was about coming up with something totally our own.

Agnes: We could have easily made a café in Stortorget with 100 chairs. Now we are talking money. It would have been so easy. But what we made is not so easy. We are putting in so much effort into something that is independent and unique, not for the masses. 

Johan: It cost us a lot of money.

Agnes: If you make something with 100 seats and fast coffee all day long, I think there is no heart or soul in it. For us, it is a lot of effort behind all of what we are doing here. We may seem chill and calm but we are constantly thinking of what’s next. I’m even on the phone with Madeleine everyday. 

Madeleine: Yeah, and I send inspiration and photos to her all the time. Instagram photos and recipes. 

Agnes: Anyone can open a café, but to make something special it takes effort. I try to strike a conversation with everyone in the coffee shop. People have a need of talking. A lot of people come here alone. There was one man who was seventy and we ended up talking for two hours. He told me everything about his life and his daughter.

Madeleine: You may have heard that Swedes are very closed off or don’t talk to people, but this café is trying to go against that. It’s pink, it’s warm and we talk to people. 

Agnes: People find each other here. I’ve seen people exchanging cards and numbers. 

Madeleine: We’re going to change the world [laughing].

Le Glorieux Café Dornonville
Stora Nygatan 42, Malmö

Mondays 11-15    
Tuesday-Friday 8 – 15    
Saturdays 11 – 16

Facebook: Café Dornonville
Instagram: @cafedornonville


Issue #10


Interview & photography by
Lykke Sjödin


On a dark winter’s day in St: Knut, Lua, Amanda and Caroline opened up Mineral’s doors for the first time on December 16, 2016. Since taking over from previous occupants, Kiez Wine Bar, the new owners have retained the venues soul but added their own distinctive touch. Some of the changes at Mineral include an enlarged selection of wines, and the addition of vegetarian lunch and dinner. Its interior has been repainted with a noticeably warmer tone coupled with the addition of plants throughout. "It feels like coming abroad to a warm country," said one customer upon entering. The warmth is also thanks in large to the owners’ welcoming nature. Mineral leaves you with a sense of escaping into a new and inspiring world, a moment's respite from the noise of the city.

It helps that we complement each other and really love what we do, it’s great working together.
— Lua Morena

Where does the name Mineral come from?

We wanted something that felt organic, simple and a bit rough. We thought about something related to minerality in wines, and then we just thought what about Mineral? It felt right from the beginning!

How did you end up opening Mineral at St: Knut?

Lua: It was when we saw that Kiez was for sale. It was our favourite bar in Malmö. We just decided we were gonna get it and we did. Then things moved really quickly and here we are! We are self-employed and have support from our friends and family. We had a good plan before on how to setup a restaurant from our work experience and studies. Because of that we were able to embrace the challenge and jump right in. Previously, we have all worked together at Kafé Rotundan in Halmstad. Amanda and Caroline started there in 2011. We love working with food and love to work with each other. 

Tell us a little more about your backgrounds, what you have done before?

Lua: I studied gastronomy in São Paulo before and I’m a qualified sommelier from International Sommelier in Barcelona. In Barcelona, I learned all about the restaurant business. Now I have lived in Sweden for four years and met Caroline and Amanda in 2012. 

Amanda:  I'm from Halmstad and came to Malmö in 2009. I have studied fashion design for many years. In 2011 we took over Kafé Rotundan in Halmstad and developed it into a very popular vegetarian lunch and fika place where you could also enjoy free culture events all summer long. 2014 me and Caroline started Butik Fabrik. A small shop full of vintage and hand made home decor. 

Caroline:  I moved to Malmö in 2012,  before that I lived in Milan and worked within fashion and the bar world for three years. Stopping in Halmstad for a while back in 2011 I took over Rotundan and run it since. Here in Malmö me and Amanda opened our shop once we found the right space, but actually in the beginning we had planned to run a vegan fast-food restaurant somewhere in town.

What is the concept for your menu at Mineral?

We serve lunch and dinner. Lunches vary depending on the vegetables we get. The dinner menu is more fixed. For lunch, we always have soup and something in addition, you can also order "combo" to get a little of each. We buy fresh vegetables everyday and don’t throw anything away, it has happened that the food sometimes runs out. The kitchen is tiny but to maintain the quality of the food we think it’s fine for what we currently do.

I think it would be hard to go back to being an employee now that we have experienced this freedom.
— Amanda Liedman

What are your favourite wines?

Right now, in this very moment, La Lunotte Les P’tites Vignes from the Loire valley, but I feel we have some new favourites coming in very very soon. One Slovenian sparkling that is a real killer, to mention one.

What was your inspiration for the interior design of Mineral?

Lua: We wanted to have lots of plants! It creates a cozy and organic feeling when you come in.

Caroline: Mineral is more refined in its décor style than Butik Fabrik, and what we have from there are the self-dyed cushions and macramé plant hangers. 

Amanda: We wanted to keep the roughness and mix it up with some nice pink and plants to make it feel relaxed and effortless. We really loved the foundation of the place already. We chose to have both vintage scruffy tables and odd chairs and then mix it up with hand made tables from our friend Der Bubbat, who can make the most beautiful furniture out of wood.
, who can make the most beautiful furniture out of wood. But it comes together in harmony. Everything has soul. 

Had you been self-employed before?

Amanda: We had regular jobs before, but we felt that this was something we wanted to do independently and so it’s the first time we're all fully self-employed. I think it would be hard to go back to being an employee now that we have experienced this freedom. I always had a project next to my studies and work, I guess I just want to have it that way.

Caroline: No going back now really.

What have been the biggest challenges with Mineral?

Lua: It helps that we complement each other and really love what we do, it’s great working together. The biggest challenge is always be able to renew our menu and continue the good quality of the wines as kiez had before, but it's also part of the big fun.

How was it to take over from Kiez?

Lua: Kiez was my favorite bar and the place had a good soul before.

Caroline: Many customers were curious and a little worried. Some came to Butik Fabrik to tell us that they had read that we would take over and asked what we planned to do. Many customers were probably afraid that it would not be a wine bar anymore.

Are we ever creatively satisfied? I believe the process is never ending!
— Caroline Carlsson

What place does art have in Mineral?

Amanda:  A big part of Mineral’s vision is to highlight culture as we love working with the arts. For example, we have art on display in our toilet that is rotated every couple of months. In May, a new artist will take over and change the look. The toilets are different from the rest of Mineral, they are very colourful. Visiting the toilet is almost like the feeling of stepping into a church with their high ceilings. In addition to artwork, on the walls we also offer free tampons for those that might need them. Mineral’s idea is also to highlight new music, and Moto Boy has already booked the venue for the release party of his new record.

Are you creatively satisfied after opening Mineral?

Caroline: Are we ever creatively satisfied? I believe the process is never ending!

Do you have a lot of regular customers?

Amanda: We have many new regulars beyond our friends which is great fun! It's okay to sit here with your computer and work, so we have many that comes here to study during the day.

Lua: We have many dog regulars like Daisy, Jules, Peggy, Bertil, Arne, Muffin... And last but not least our house dog Figo that is actually my dog. We expect that even more people will visit when it gets warmer and they can enjoy the outdoor terrace.

What other places would you recommend in Malmö?

Lua: I worked at FYN before, and I think that their food is fantastic. Everybody who works there is very passionate about the business. I must say that Rosforth & Rosforth is a favourite in Copenhagen, it’s under a bridge in Christianshavn. Go there on a Friday night for their tasting. During the summer they also have food and you can sit by the sea. Super cool place to visit.

Caroline: I like Söderberg & Sara and all their projects are unique and i admire how they work. They have their own farm where they live and grow vegetables they later use in their dishes. On their farm in Österlen they serve wonderful pizza in a old barn.  They have a good eye for composition, colors and furnishing and it’s very casual and rustic. 

Amanda: In Malmö I would recommend Mitt Möllan's Food court where you can have fresh noodle soup, crazy sandwiches and Malmö’s best pizza at the same time. And of course, a vegan ice cream from Köld afterwards. Copenhagen has a lot of really cool bars and micro breweries. Two of my favourites are Rosforth & Rosforth and Manfreds, where you can also have really nice plant based food that changes every day. Now that we are working so much, I really love to just make big dinners at home as well. 


S:t Knuts väg 13

Tuesday-Thursday 12:00 - 23:00
Friday - Saturday 12:00 - 23:59

VISIT THEM ONLINEö-349409048727522

Blå Båten

Issue #8

Blå Båtan

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
It’s satisfying to stand aside as a host and see a hundred people experience a highlight of their year.
— Valle Westesson


Blå Båten is one of the more unique cultural venues in Malmö; in fact, until its recent relocation some considered its berth a secret spot. The boat is the vision of kindred spirits Linus and Valle, whose mission it is to create an unforgettable night for every guest who steps aboard. We sat down with the captains of the ship to get a better idea of its origins and chartered course.

What´s the vision behind Blå Båten?
: It’s a venue for cultural experience. We open up our stage for all types of shows, it can be anything within art, film, music, poetry, comedy, theatre, as long as it’s something special and something we like. 
Linus: The idea we had from the beginning was to create a platform for bringing people together, facilitating all different types of cultural events, as well as hosting private events and conferences. 

You’ve been running this ship since 2014. How did it all get started?
: I’d been running another boat called Tintin for the past four years, and that’s where I met Valle. He was inspired and thought it would be great to have his own boat, so when the former owner of Blå Båten retired he asked us if we wanted to buy it and ‘continue the legacy’. We immediately said ‘let’s do it!’, and thought we’d at least try to run it for a year to see how it goes. It turned out to be a lot of fun. 
Valle: I was working on a book called ‘100 balla ställen i Skåne’ (‘100 cool places in Skåne’), and went to Tintin to check it out. I was really impressed with Linus and his business, and ended up spending a lot of time there, so much so that my wife got sick of me talking about ‘Linus and his boat’ all the time. Eventually she said: ‘just buy your own boat and stop talking about it’, and we literally had an offer to do so a few days later. My father used to be a sea captain, and when he passed away I received an inheritance that made the purchase possible. It felt right to use the money to buy a boat. 

What did you work with before getting into the boat business?
Valle: I’m a comedian and writer that had been working with TV, radio and stage performances for 15 years. 
Linus: I worked at various newspapers from 2001 and started freelancing in 2008, all the while writing and doing photography on the side. Then I approached the bank about granting me a loan to buy a boat. I’ve always felt that boats are magic places where you want to hang out and spend time, so I decided to create that kind of environment with my first boat Tintin, combining it with a cafe business. The rest as they say, is history. 
Are there any special challenges in running your business?
: A big challenge is the ship itself, as it’s more than 120 years old. The hull is made of clinched steel, which rusts and every now and then and we have to take it to the wharf for repairs which is an expensive exercise. 
Linus: The continuous maintenance is a financial challenge. However, if it was too easy then there would be room for complacency. It’s the challenge that keeps us on our toes. We could do this on land, but that wouldn’t be half as fun. We don’t focus on maximising our profits, we rather aim to develop our vision for the boat. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s worth it. 

How much has Blå Båten changed since you became owners?
: We continued the idea of picnic shows and private events, but also felt the need to make it our own place. We redecorated it to try and emulate the feeling of a Parisian theatre from the early 1900’s, which is an ongoing project. We have more in the plans but it’s a process.
Linus: We both have an unhealthy habit of hanging out at auctions and flea markets...
Valle: ...and finally we have a place to stuff all the things we buy.
Linus: We also revamped the programme and variety of events taking place. The former captain had almost only music events, but we've made a broader program by including more cultural arts. We have a great mix of shows, the only prerequisite is that you perform something that’s your own, or something you’ve transformed. We don’t book cover acts. 

What does Blå Båten add to the city of Malmö?
: Apart from being a place where you can bring your own picnic, it's also an alternative cultural venue. A state owned cultural house isn't allowed to have ‘dirt in the corners’, either in the venue or in the programme. Since this is our own, personal cultural house, there are no restrictions. 
Linus: It’s a playground for the cultural arts. The low stage creates a rare intimacy where the audience and acts come together, which is the best way to experience live culture. It helps the performer feel like an old school rock star, even if they’re a poet.
Valle: There’s no fence or line in between the artist and audience, they sit in the same boat, literally. You come together in another way, which is exactly what we want when guests walk over the gangway. 
Linus: It's like the same feeling as inviting people into your tree house, they think ‘Oh my God, I’m climbing up to a secret spot with all these people’. We might not have a tree house...but we have two ships and a bus. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about running your business?
: I enjoy the feeling of prep work: booking the artist, doing the marketing to let people know that this great performance is going to happen, and even those hours before the show when we are stressed out making everything ready. When people arrive you can sense anticipation rising, but we can relax knowing that all these guests are going to have a great night. We’ve never had a show that’s been a failure, and the response is almost always positive. It's satisfying to stand aside as a host and see a hundred people experience a highlight of their year. 
Linus: It’s the same for me; it’s all about creating an ambience, from the interior decoration to facilitating the performances. I’ve been running events on Tintin as well, but it’s even more fun to do it with someone else where we can bounce new ideas of each other. Valle had a wild idea recently to extend the entrance and make it round to create more space and it turned out great! It can be a fantastic party downstairs, but some people just want to hang around the entrance talking, so long as people come together it's fine!

What’s the weirdest event you’ve ever had here?
: We can’t tell you, haha. We promised it has to be a secret, which is a pity - it’s such a great story. What’s the craziest thing we can tell? Malmöfestivalen last year was, maybe not the weirdest, but we had 30 acts in 8 days, and we counted 5000 coming through and watching new shows. Not that weird, but it was a circus. We had the comedian Jesper Rönndahl doing a show where he planned to show funny pictures from his vacation. We had a limit of 150 onboard, and another 100 people on deck, but the boat filled up an hour before, and the whole queue was full of people wanting to join the show, so we decided to bring out some big speakers to include them as well. He had to explain the pictures to the people outside before making a joke, which only added to the comedy. After everyone had left, there was a desert of empty crisp bags and beer bottles. 
Linus: We’ve also had some great cultural acts, not so weird but great. For example, the poet and musician Mattias Alkberg did an exclusive show for us merging his two art disciplines. It encouraged us that we could dare to approach and invite bigger and more well-known names like Mattias. 

What kind of people come here to your boat?
: People of all ages. The heritage from the former owner was an ageing crowd, fifty or older, and a lot of them still come. Then we’ve been attracting an audience our age which has created a great mix of generations and backgrounds. A lot of people make new friends onboard. 

What type of acts do you have here? Are there generally locals?
: Half are local, from Malmo. The rest are mainly from Sweden, but with that said, we actually had a French jazz band playing Orleans jazz here recently, and a Danish blues band. 
Linus: As long as we can work it with their tour dates. Most venues don’t do things on Tuesdays, which makes it easier to book people. 

You run the event ‘Tisdagsklubben’, a Tuesday night event. What’s the idea behind this?
: We started in February, and will start again on September 27th after a summer break. 
Valle: The idea was to take the most boring day of the week and make it the most fun and affordable night for everyone. The entrance fee is 100 sek, with bread included. There is a Roman expression ‘Bread and circuses’, which is this theory that if you give people food and entertainment they can put aside politics and enjoy themselves. You can trick people into anything if you give them these two things. That’s what we give to the people.


Hjälmarekajen, 211 19 Malmö

Check website for current program


Uggla Kaffebar

Issue #1

Uggla Kaffebar

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
[S:t Knuts] is beginning to bloom again after a long period of inactivity.

An interview with Johanna Lindskog, co-founder of Uggla Kaffebar.

Uggla has fast become a hot spot in Malmö, thanks largely to its friendly and welcoming atmosphere as much as its stellar coffee and baked treats. Founders Johanna Lindskog and Ajje Ljungberg opened the doors of Uggla in May of 2014 and have since won recognition from Sweden's White Guide as 2015's 'Rising Star' at their Café gala in Stockholm. We asked Johanna to tell us more about Uggla's story.

What inspired you to open Uggla Kaffebar?

I’m relatively new in the coffee business, but previously managed a place called Rosie’s Coffee and Wine in Slottsstaden. When it shut down, I knew I wasn’t quite done with food and different kinds of flavours yet. And that’s a great thing with coffee - there is always more to discover. Then I met Ajje, who runs Möllans Eko, at an after-work and we started talking about doing something together. When I later saw a corner shop available to let at S:t Knuts, we said: ‘alright, let’s do this’.

We opened the doors the 17th of May 2014. It was 3pm and we weren’t ready at all. But all the machines were installed and the coffee tasted good. Apart from that, the decor was simple and sparse, which turned out quite nicely since everything else was able to emerge slowly .

Why did you choose the area S:t Knuts?

I live here and I love the area. It used to be a busy place decades ago, but for a long time not much has been going on at all. Now, however, it is as if the area is beginning to bloom again after a long period of inactivity. The same year as us, Kiez and Spoonery opened across the street. The amazing sushi bar Saiko has been here for a little longer and on this street we also now have the bakery Söderberg & Sara, an art gallery, Artisan Coffee Store and the amazing flower shop Florera. And we are good neighbours, we help each other and borrow things from one another. There is a great atmosphere of community here.

What kind of atmosphere do you want to create with Uggla?

I want it to be a familiar place. A place you can come to without an appointment, but where you’ll always meet someone to talk or listen to. It’s like a creative and flavourful lounge where you can socialise without strings attached, or just relax in a corner if you choose to. In Swedish we have this expression ‘gå och uggla’, which means that you can just relax by yourself like an owl. We have many regulars who have become good friends just by sitting next to each other in the bar. That’s actually one of the things we thought of while designing the bar, that we wanted to create a ‘diner feeling’ where someone stands behind the bar and people easily can initiate a conversation by sitting next to each other.

What can always be expected at Uggla?

Great coffee, naturally. That is an essential foundation for a coffee bar. Then maybe something unexpected like the possibility to order a tray eggs. Something else we value highly is that most things we serve are organic. Other than that, one can always count on a slightly messy but very familiar environment.

What coffee is served and why?

Our house coffee is ‘Coffee Collective’, a roastery I fell in love with at first taste. I’m fascinated with their way of roasting and their playful way of bringing out flavours. They roast their beans lightly, in a way that brings out those strangely delicate flavours such as a fruitiness with a hint of marzipan and a nutty aftertaste. Their espresso bean is our coffee of choice and most popular on our coffee menu. Apart from them, we also welcome 'guest players'. Since the start, we’ve had ‘Drop Coffee’, ‘Solde’ and ‘Per Nordby’ and we’re planning on having ‘The Barn’ and Artisan’s ‘S:t Knuts’. It is great fun both for us and our 'guest players' and one should always ask what’s in the brew. Then we also have our ‘Snutkaffe’ (cop coffee), for those who want a real punch in the face of good filter coffee.

A wonderful thing that happened after we received the White Guide prize is that we now have a couple from an elderly home who regularly travel here to drink our ‘kokekaffe’. Pour over coffee, that recently has become very hip again, is actually a very old way of making coffee. I guess it reminds them of the good old days, so they come here to drink their coffee and eat caviar sandwiches.

Why the name Uggla?

It’s always difficult to choose a name and we had many different working titles that we tried to choose between. However, what happened was that as we were about to open, tons of pigeons sat above the door and I bought an owl statue in order to scare them away. This made us think: ‘why not Uggla?’ (owl in Swedish). I like the Swedish expression: ‘let’s go and owl a little’ and in addition to that, the French word for owl is ‘chouette’, which means that something is pretty damn good. Since our opening day we’ve received so many gifts in forms of various owls. The other day, a friend of mine came with a box of 250! We receive gifts almost every week and usually I name the owls after the giver. At the moment, I have 13 owls in here and 250 waiting to find a place.

So if someone gives an owl to you, it will be named after that person?

Of course!

What other place would you like to recommend here in Malmö?

The first person that comes to my mind is our neighbour Christopher who runs Artisan Coffee Store, a newly opened coffee store here at S:t Knuts. Be sure to ask him about ‘cupping’, a great way to experience the wide variety of tastes that coffee has to offer.


S:t Knuts Torg 16
211 57 Malmö

Monday-Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm