Kv. Åkern

Issue #5

Kv. Åkern

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
 
If I could pass on my own advice it would be: ‘just suck it up, do what it takes and leave your ego out of it’.

INTERVIEW WITH IVAN JURMAN OWNER AND HEAD CHEF OF KV. ÅKERN.

Since opening its doors in February of 2015, Kv. Åkern has built a reputation for exceptional food at an affordable price. We talked to owner Ivan about his mission to breathe new life into the traditional neighbourhood tavern.

What was the inspiration for opening your own restaurant?
Working for other people has given me a lot of ideas and when this venue became available, I decided to refine my skills and open my own place. It used to be another restaurant here, and the whole place had to be redecorated to get it looking the way I wanted, including moving the kitchen, lowering the ceiling and building a new bar. I had an idea of how I wanted it to feel, and thankfully my girlfriend is very good with interior design - all the details in here are her handiwork.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a chef.
Up until the age of 25, I didn’t know what to do with my life. I worked odd jobs as things like a furniture mover, factory worker and telephone marketer before I discovered cooking through an adult education course. I fell in love with it, and contrary to all those other things I used to do, I realised I could work with food and actually enjoy it. Having a late start in my career and thinking other chefs my age were so much better, I knew I had to work hard. In order to gain experience, I offered to work for free at reputable restaurants around town - not a lot of places would turn down that opportunity. The first restaurant I approached was Atmosfär, rated as the 12th best restaurant in Sweden at the time, followed by Smak at Malmö Konsthall. In order to support myself financially, I worked at a place called Pub 25 on the weekends. It went on for about a year and a half and it was hard work, but an invaluable step in my career.

What would you like Kv. Åkern to be known for?
I like what Johan from Solde said in his recommendation, that this is a place with a good atmosphere. I want people to walk by, look through the windows and be attracted to come in and sit down. Naturally, to be known for good food is always important. This is a neighbourhood tavern, which doesn’t always evoke the best impression in Sweden as people often associate it with crappy food, but this is the kind of restaurant I’d want in my neighbourhood.

We heard that you wait tables as well as cooking. How does that work?
It’s such a small place so everyone has to contribute to everything. We can’t have people just cooking, or just waiting. We all have to help out everywhere and do what is needed whether that’s dishes or waiting on tables; it’s a collective effort. Customers like it when the kitchen staff interact with the guests, since we know everything about the food we’re serving.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I don’t get a lot of advice, I must say, I just work hard and I’m not afraid to be humble. During my training, I had to let younger people boss me around due to the simple fact that they knew more than I did at the time. If I could pass on my own advice it would be: ‘just suck it up, do what it takes and leave your ego out of it’.

You recently won an award for the best vegetarian restaurant here in Malmö. What’s the secret behind your vegetarian food?
There’s no secret. I cook as I’ve always cooked, minus the meat. By learning the basics, you have freedom to do whatever you want - it’s as simple as that. Here at Kv. Åkern, we focus on vegetarian food, however, it wasn’t my intention to open a vegetarian restaurant, but rather to open a place that serves good food at a reasonable price. My way of doing that is to serve good food without the excess of expensive meats. I can serve a 4-course dinner for 350 kr and still be able to make a decent margin. It makes it much more affordable for everyone.

This is great. We recently interviewed Saltimporten Canteen where you can get a high standard lunch for less than 100 kr…

...and what they’ve done is to strip it down to the bare essentials. They focus on the food - and in their case the bread - that’s why they can keep the prices down. When places include salad buffets and coffee, the price naturally goes up. More restaurants could be cheaper if they just did what they’re really good at - the plate of food.

This is an evening restaurant, but are you planning to extend the opening hours?
No. I think that would wear a bit too much on the staff, and the place itself, running it from noon till midnight. We don’t have much room either, just seventy square metres, so we have a limitation on how much food we can store, which in one way is good since it forces us to get fresh produce every day.

People come here for your creative dishes. How do you plan your menus and where do you get your ingredients from?
We take what’s in season and find what works together. Carrot, for example, goes well with sesame seed and smoked butter, then we find a way to incorporate it in a dish. We work a lot with root vegetables, which surprises certain people, since it’s generally considered simple food. Here in Skåne, it's quite common to use root vegetables in fancy cooking, probably thanks to a chef called Tomas Dreijing, who experimented a lot with root vegetables around twenty years ago. He was a great source of inspiration to many chefs and I’d call him something like ‘the grandfather of cooking’ in this area. I haven’t worked for him personally but have worked for people who have, so perhaps some of my style has descended from him.

At Kv. Åkern, we change the menu over a two-week period, which means that there typically is a new dish every two days. We try to get the best we can get for our money from suppliers like Frukt & Grönsakshallen, Bondens Skafferi, Lindegrens and Kongsbak. For more specialised products we use smaller suppliers - our sardines for example come from an excellent supplier of Spanish goods.

You’ve been open for a little over a year. Is there any night that sticks out a bit extra?
Our opening was special, but to be honest I think all the evenings are kind of special. My girlfriend and I have tried to build a timeless place to enjoy for a long time, and I think we have succeeded. Sometimes when I walk back through the door after fetching a bit of air on a busy evening, I realise what a good place this is. The customers are enjoying themselves and it’s cozy and warm - it’s a nice feeling.

Who comes here to eat?
I’d say our average customers are between 25 and 55.  I thought we’d mainly get people in their mid-20’s who live at Möllevången, seeing as our main focus is reasonably priced vegetarian food, but they still haven’t found us. With that said, we’ve been fortunate to have some good press and that goes a long way here in Malmö.

What other place in Malmö would you like to recommend?
There is an excellent restaurant in Gamla väster called Västergatan. The owners Sofie and Olle opened about six months ago and have built a wonderful place - and they serve the best seafood in town.

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KV. ÅKERN
Nobelvägen 73b, 214 33 Malmö

OPEN
Tuesday-Thursday 5pm–12am
Friday-Saturday 5pm-1am

VISIT THEM ONLINE
kvarteretakern.com

Solde Kaffebar

Issue #4

Solde Kaffebar

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
 
People say that Swedish people are unsocial, but in reality we don’t have many forums where people can meet and socialise with strangers, so it’s important for us to provide this.

Interview with Johan Carlström Co-founder of Solde Kaffebar and Roastery.

Having recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, Solde Kaffebar is the closest thing to iconic when it comes to coffee in Malmö. Starting off as a local coffee haunt they soon opened up their own roastery as their experimentation with coffee left them demanding a better cup. We caught up with co-founder Johan to find out more about their story. 

What’s the story behind Solde Kaffebar?
Back in the 90’s, co-founder Jonas and I worked together at a bar in Jönköping called Solde Bar & Bistro. It had cheap beer and was the perfect afterwork place, and the name ‘Solde’, which means ‘sale’ in Latin, originates from there. We had an idea to open something together, but Jonas moved back to Skåne and I moved to Växjö to study. It was there I had my first real encounter with coffee, when the restaurant where I was working part-time decided to open up a coffee bar. It was a great learning experience for me and when I later moved to Malmö, I got a job at Café Nesta, a predecessor to the coffee chains. It was there we decided that we wanted to start something different, a place where you skip the queue and instead hang around the bar. So we opened this place ‘on a dull February day in 2006’, as it says on our website. We got an offer to open at Regementsgatan, which is slightly secluded but it felt good and we decided to run with it. 

How many owners are there today and how did you get to know each other?
Jonas and I own the coffee bar and down at the roastery we have a third owner, a ‘dalmas’ called Dan. He is a real coffee geek who used to hang out at the bar at the previous place I was working. He knew a lot about coffee and was even running a coffee blog, so when we opened up Solde, we asked if he wanted to work for us. In the beginning, Jonas and I worked six days a week, so it was good when Dan came on board to give us a bit of a break.

And in December 2010 you opened the roastery?
Exactly. We wanted to extend our arm and come as close to the coffee as possible. When we opened the coffee bar in 2006, we had a new coffee every month from different suppliers, but figured we could keep the same variation by roasting our own coffee. 

Did you sell speciality coffee before that?
In the beginning, we had a lot of Italian blends, which almost makes you laugh looking back. The development has been enormous in terms of the quality of coffee. There wasn’t much ‘speciality’ back then...rather robusta blends that tasted like wood.  

It’s been ten years since you opened up. Has the coffee culture in Malmö changed much during this time?
In one way it has, but to be honest it has always been strong here in Skåne. It probably has to do with Aldo Castiglione (owner of Da Aldo in Skanör), who is like a godfather when it comes to coffee in the region and who competed in coffee contests early on. But even though the interest level has been high, a lot of things have changed when it comes to traceability and origin, as well as the actual roasting. Right now light roasted, fruity coffees are very popular, and as you know, Scandinavians always go ‘all in’. 

Looking at your media material and work uniforms, it’s clear that you have a very distinct style here at Solde. Who comes up with all these creative ideas?
Jonas is the most creative one of us when it comes to our marketing, which is an important thing while building a company. We have never paid for advertising, we are self-promoting, mostly through social media. 

What’s the thought behind the green coats?
First of all they’re very practical. But they look nice as well, they’re like old workshop coats…

You usually have art exhibitions on the walls. Who do you collaborate with?
We have exhibitions every month in the coffee bar. Mostly the work of regulars, or people who contact us. It has become a very fun element of what we do, and we don’t take fees. Galleries nowadays have such high demands, but we think it’s a great use of our walls and all the money goes directly to the artists. Right now we’re booked all the way until August 2017. 

How many places in town sell Solde coffee? Any other collaborations?
I’d say around 20 places. A couple of offices, some other coffee bars and restaurants, and we also sell a fair amount to private customers. In the coffee bar we serve bread from Saltimporten Canteen. They are great friends and kind of our ‘allies’, we have the roastery near them and eat lunch there often. We try to support locals as much as possible. 

What signifies the Solde coffee?
We want Solde coffee bar to be a meeting place, and coffee is naturally an important part in that, since that’s what we do best. The place is built around a bar, which means that people don’t build up barriers that tend to exist when you have lots of tables. Here you can hear each other’s conversations, and pitch in when suitable. People say that Swedish people are unsocial, but in reality we don’t have many forums where people can meet and socialise with strangers, so it’s important for us to provide this. 

When it comes to coffee, we always want to develop, but still remain close to people. It’s easy to run away with speciality coffee and follow the trends in light-roasting and fruity flavours, but we also want to do what regular people like. We want to do both extreme coffees as well as something people will drink at home on an ordinary Saturday morning. Of course, you can do this with extreme coffees as well, but everyone should find something they like with us in one way or another.

So, you have four different house blends?
Yes, and these are our four characters. ‘Brors’ and ‘Bodils’ are our filter coffees, one a bit more fruity and one more robust. Then ‘Mästers’ is more of a fruity espresso and ‘Veras’ a robust espresso. 

How did you come up with these names?
The actual characters are from a photo album that we bought at a flea market in Berlin. We don’t know who they are and how they are related, or if they’re related at all. But we have a whole album with them. Then Daniel Andersson, an artist who also runs Musette coffee and bike shop, made drawings of these characters, which we used on our previous logos. Three years ago, we got in touch with an American artist who re-painted Daniel’s old sketches into the logos you’ll find on the coffee bags today. 

Does this mean your characters are German?
We don’t know. We came up with names we thought suited them. The whole thing is definitely a little bit ‘Turkish Yoghurt’. Maybe one day someone will come and claim them... if they’re still alive. With us they’re definitely alive and well!

Back to the coffee, as the product in your bags. Do you run direct trade with coffee farms?
We’re actually going to Kenya in March to meet some farmers, so we try to work with them as closely as possible. Most of the time we use ‘traders’, like Nordic Approach in Norway and Trabocca in Holland, as they’re down there all the time. We can go there as tourists, but we don’t have 100% control, so it feels safer to work with traders. There are so many good coffees to work with and we receive samples all the time. We test and pick coffees according to taste and price, which almost always go in tandem. Good tasting coffee always grows under good conditions, it’s as simple as that. And naturally, we wouldn’t want to do business on someone else’s expense. 

Rumour has it that some famous people that have fallen in love with your coffee. Can you tell us the story about Depeche Mode?
That was a fun Monday. It was about a year ago when Depeche Mode’s manager came in here after visiting the swimming hall, like he does in all cities he goes to. Swimming, good coffee and good food - those are the things he does everywhere. So we started talking and he asked if we wanted to come to the concert later that evening, and naturally we said yes. They used to be great idols of mine, and I had posters of them on my wall as a kid. Once we arrived, we received  VIP-treatment and were invited down to the ‘catacombs’ of Malmö Arena after the gig together with the people from Noma, where they band had been eating earlier. Later that evening, I got talking to Martin Gore, one of the band members, who turned out to be a real coffee geek. After our conversation, he decided to order our coffee to have on their bus for the rest of the tour. 

So, this is an ordinary Monday at Solde?
A little less ordinary than usual. It’s hard to beat that one. 

‘On a dull February day’ and ‘on an ordinary Monday’...
We like the everyday life. We didn’t open to work ourselves to death. We want to have a good time without the stress of looming deadlines. The everyday life can be a wonderful thing. We have time to pick up our kids from daycare and we’ve all been an paternity leave over the past five years, one after the other. It’s an important part of life. 

To wrap this up, which place in Malmö would you like to recommend?
I really like Kv. Åkern, near Möllan. It’s a fantastic venue with a wonderful atmosphere. Ivan, the owner, is a really nice guy and expert in the kitchen. It’s a veg friendly place, that uses quality ingredients, and is a wonderful meeting place. 

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SOLDE KAFFEBAR
Regementsgatan 2, 211 42 Malmö

OPEN
Monday-Friday 7:15am–6:30pm
Saturday 9-4pm
Sunday 10-4pm

VISIT THEM ONLINE
solde.se

Saltimporten Canteen

Issue #3

Saltimporten Canteen

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
 
The most important thing is that you have fun while working. That’s better than any recommendation.

An interview with Ola Rudin, co-owner and chef at Saltimporten Canteen.

Nestled away in the old industrial area of Frihamnen is the not-so-secret spot for one of Sweden's best lunch destinations. When entertaining guests in our beautiful city, Saltimporten has been our safe bet for an impressive lunch, and the critics agree. We talked to co-owner Ola Rudin about the secret to Saltimporten Canteen's success.

What’s the story behind Saltimporten Canteen? Why did you decide to start in the first place?

From the very beginning, Sebastian (co-founder) and I were running a fine dining place called Trio, which we sold in 2011. During that time, we were asked by some international food journalists to do cooking events after opening hours and we needed a new place. We started out by renting a gallery space at the old salt import building in the harbour, an industrial space under construction to become office spaces. It was during one of these cooking events that we were asked by Jonas Lindvall, one of the designers and business owners there, if we were interested in running a restaurant in one of their spaces. The initial idea was to have cooking events and catering for functions, but then the whole construction process was delayed by a year and we were thinking about what to do in the meantime, so we said ‘let’s do lunches for people in the building to introduce ourselves’. We got to borrow one of the empty spaces and managed to get a cable through a hole in the wall with an extension cord to our warm water bath for our 'meal of the day'. We did our preparations by the race tracks in Jägersro and went back and forth every day, which was exhausting but fun. And that’s the story of how we became a lunch place in addition to the other events. We went from 20 to 150 people a day and then we got a review in Sydsvenskan, and have been moving forward ever since. 

When was this? When exactly did you open?

We opened for real in March 2012.

The restaurant is quite far off for people who don’t work in that area. So how many people actually make it out there for lunch?

It depends on the season. During summer time it’s a lot more people biking or walking, which adds on a little extra, but it’s somewhere between 150 to 250 per day. 

How do you plan your weekly lunch menus?

We start with the ingredients. We have close connections with local producers, with good quality meat, fish and vegetables. We start with what’s available and of high quality, and then we write the menu. Not the other way around. 

What’s on the menu now?

July and August up until December is the best season in Sweden, when you can get pretty much anything. During the winter season, from December all the way to April - May, cabbage and kale are wonderful ingredients, together with root vegetables. We try to follow the seasons as much as possible and only cook with local ingredients, with what’s available and best at the moment. 

We heard you sourced some of your vegetables from Rosengård…

Exactly, it’s called ‘Odla i Stan’ (‘city grown’), which is a group of people who grow vegetables in an unused space in the Malmö area. We get local produce from people we know, and it is for great cause - I think it’s a wonderful thing to support.

You have a very local focus. Was that intentional, or did it just happen?

We started to think like that when we had our previous restaurant, and then we built a big network with producers and it just felt natural for us to keep going. We sometimes add Asian or Mexican flavours, but we use the local ingredients as much as possible. 

We’re quite curious about the decor of the place. Who in Malmö do you collaborate with?

We like to work with like-minded people, who have the same aesthetic feel in the things they’re doing. The plates, for example, are made by a ceramicist recommended to us. We went there with a plate and said ‘we want something that looks kind of like this, and a little like that, but a bit more natural’. She ended up making a hundred handmade plates for us. That became a big signature for Saltimporten. And now, for good or bad, half of the city use similar plates. 

What is the thinking behind the style of the place?

We want the style to be a reflection of our harbour surroundings, so no fancy stuff that would feel out of place in an industrial canteen. The main focus is the technique and the quality of ingredients on the plate, and then the rest is just clean, simple, minimalistic and industrial. We think about the canteen as a living space, where we can add things as time goes on, which opens up the door for collaborations with other people. If someone we like comes up with a good idea, we say, ‘go for it’. There is a lamp in the corner for example, made by a guy who's a regular and asked us to exhibit the lamp. It’s always nice to get in contact with creative people, learn new things and appreciate what other people are doing.

What’s the daily schedule at Saltimporten Canteen?

On average, we have between two and four events every week, on top of our lunch service. There are a lot of preparations with the bookings and the events throughout the year - next summer is already fully booked when it comes to weddings. This means long hours, but we’re used to that from our previous jobs. We’re trying to get more staff involved, but there is always a startup process when you open a new place. 

What’s important when building your team?

The most important thing is that you have fun while working. That’s better than any recommendation. People need to share our passion for food. 

Who decides what the food is going to look like? How does it end up like that on the plate?

We have a basic idea when we plan the week, then we try to make it look as natural as possible. This is quite the opposite to some fine dining restaurants that work with straight lines and small dots, but nature really is a great source of inspiration. On our plates you’ll get a natural feel, both in look and taste. 

...and still at quite a decent price.

That goes hand in hand with how we want it to look and how we want it to feel. The main focus is the main quality ingredient of the dish, then the rest is just extra. We put all the money into the ingredients and the rest is presentation. 

Are there any more opportunities for you to branch out?

We get asked a lot about opening new places around Malmö, but a lot of them require heavy investments and we’re not quite there yet. For now, we want to focus on Saltimporten Canteen. 

What other place would you like to recommend in Malmö and why?

Solde Kaffebar. It’s one of the first quality coffee places in Malmö that is still going strong. We’ve known them for a long time, they have wonderful coffee and they’re doing great things in the city. 

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SALTIMPORTEN CANTEEEN
Grimsbygatan 24
211 20 Malmö

OPEN
Monday-Friday    12AM–2PM

VISIT THEM ONLINE
saltimporten.com

Artisan Coffee

Issue #2

Artisan Coffee Store

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
 
S:t Knuts is one of those places you can go and be yourself; where people meet from different backgrounds to just hang out.

An interview with Christopher Da Silva, co-founder of Artisan Coffee Store.

S:t Knuts is fast becoming the hub for all things artisan, and coffee is well represented. Along with popular local coffee shops Cafe No.6 and Uggla Kaffebar, Artisan Coffee Store looks to meet the growing demand for speciality coffee for the home. Christopher Da Silva was kind enough to make us some coffee and share his vision for Artisan.

What inspired you to open Artisan Coffee Store?

My business partner Mattias and I were initially thinking of starting a wine business, but decided that coffee is way more fun - and healthier. When we officially started Artisan in the summer of 2014, we were mainly selling other people’s quality coffee, but it didn’t take long before we thought we’d give roasting a try ourselves. In order to showcase our products, we decided to open a place at S:t Knuts in Malmö where we could meet people and talk about our coffee. 

Why did you choose to open a coffee store at S:t Knuts?

I have lived in Malmö on and off for about nine years and I really like what’s going on in this city. When we first thought about opening a coffee store in Malmö, Mattias asked me where I thought we should get a place. I immediately said that S:t Knuts was the only place I’d consider and that ‘we either get a place here now, or we wait’. As it happened, we ended up getting this place within a couple of weeks. Different places in Malmö attract different crowds, but S:t Knuts is one of those places where you can be yourself; where people meet from different backgrounds to just hang out. I also saw this as a neighbourhood associated with quality, with places like Uggla, Spoonery, Saiko and Kiez. It’s possible to create something here where people appreciate high quality and a warm atmosphere. 

What’s the story behind the ‘S:t Knuts’ coffee?

When we decided to open a coffee store at S:t Knuts, it was natural to name our first line of coffee after the area. It’s a fun name, it works internationally and it doesn’t have any negative associations. We’ve only been roasting for a couple of months, but it’s spreading fast. We’re already in a lot of retail stores and are represented at NK, which is regarded as the fanciest shopping mall in Sweden. 

What is the great thing about your coffee?

We buy the highest quality of beans, called ‘speciality coffee’, which is the coffee that is graded the best in the world. We purchase high quality coffee from small producers, with a commerce that is socially, ecologically and economically viable. As a matter of fact, these small farmers don’t have the funds to be eco-certified, but still grow their beans biodynamically in high altitude and hand pick the beans themselves. It’s important that the coffee is traceable in order for us to be transparent. So it is kind of going ‘beyond eco’, and we are paying a lot more than the average price coffee, to make sure that they can produce the quality year after year. We know what we are serving, and we know that the taste comes from coffee picked by people who are equally committed to the process of harvesting the best quality beans. We then roast it to the best of our capacity in the philosophy that we have, in producing a full flavour without any bitterness or burnt taste. A lot of people perceive coffee to be that bitter taste they’ve been taught to drink, but coffee is so much more than that. With good quality beans, a light roast can achieve a very rich coffee without burning the taste. Coffee is also about freshness, so we roast our coffee in small batches every Monday. To roast micro batches is a key for what we’re doing. S:t Knuts coffee will always be fresh. 

We’ve heard rumours that you’re doing a thing called ‘cupping’. What is that?

The concept is quite easy. That’s what you do when you’re in a producing country or when you’re buying green beans to test the quality. You have ground coffee in a cup, pour some water on it and then leave it for a while before taking away the crust that forms itself on the top. Then you slurp the coffee with a spoon that is slightly bigger than an egg spoon. The idea is to analyse the aromas and tastes. The vastness of aromas in coffee is enormous and it takes a long time to learn all the different layers, but it get easier the more you do it. It's the same principles as wine or beer tasting. You can cup a certain roastery, to try to understand the philosophy behind a certain line of coffee, or cup different rosteries to compare them. Cupping events here at Artisan will be announced on Facebook and Instagram, so stay tuned! 

When is Artisan Coffee Store open?

I'll be making a flag to hang when I’m here for people to check when it’s open. That’s a thing that everyone does on this street. When the flag is up - it’s open, like it used to be in the old days. It’s a rare and very beautiful thing that is happening here, with so many small shops running in such a small area. It goes back to a saying that my Australian friend uses: ‘Vote with your dollar’, meaning that if you like quality, then buy it and support something that you believe in. By coincidence that friend is now the Swedish Barista Champion… Our concept is always evolving and with the return of the light we'll be more active and open.

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

I have to recommend Saltimporten Canteen. That is the best lunch place in Malmö, possibly in all of Sweden. Whenever I have international guests arriving in Malmö for the first time, I take them there. The location, the atmosphere, the food - it’s just amazing. 

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ARTISAN COFFEE STORE
Hantverkaregatan 20, 211 55 Malmö

OPEN
Check Instagram

VISIT THEM ONLINE
artisancoffeestore.com

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.

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UGGLA KAFFEBAR
S:t Knuts Torg 16
211 57 Malmö

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

VISIT THEM ONLINE
facebook.com/ugglakaffebar