When we opened the bakery back in November 2015, we were proud to be introducing a little bit of Danish culture to Cardiff. We‘ve made a lot of new friends since then and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many people and exchanging stories on all things Danish. But we’re also aware that we weren’t necessarily the first Danish business in our capital city. There are a few who were here before us, and while they may be varied in nature, they all seem to share common traits; a commitment to design and functionality coupled with some neat Scandinavian innovation.
Did you know that the name Lego derives from the Danish ‘leg godt’ - play well. It seems to sum it up perfectly. I’m sure many of us have spent endless hours - whether as a child or grown-up - using our imagination and some clever interlocking plastic bricks to build all manner of structures and stories. What started in Ole Kirk Kristiansen's carpentry workshop in Billund in 1932, is today a major international company - and now owned by his grandson, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. Their headquarters remains in Billund, where you’ll also find the original - and dare we say - best Legoland. For a fix closer to home, pop into the St Davids Centre.
If you haven’t discovered already, ecco make some of the most comfortable shoes around - just ask our owner Betina, she swears by them! Established in Bredebro in 1963, the family business is incredibly proud of its Scandinavian heritage. Famed for the quality of its design and for its leather - produced at its own tanneries across the world - these are simple, stylish shoes, built to last.
Flying Tiger (formerly just plain old Tiger)
A new-ish arrival to Cardiff, but a long standing favourite back home. Just because the goods are smaller and cheaper doesn’t mean they can’t be well designed, so its a great place to discover all manner of handy new products, all delivered with a dose of Danish style. Along with our own pastries, these are probably the most accessible Danish design in the Cardiff! You’ll find them in the centre of town (and also at six other locations in Wales).
Bang & Olufsen
There’s design and innovation, and then there’s B&O. To say their products are crafted would be a real understatement. When two young engineers, Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen established the company in 1925, they set off on a journey that sought to combine artistry with engineering, first with sound, and today with vision and multimedia too. Safe to say they succeeded, and are now on everyone's ultimate wish-list. Today, you’ll find them in Cardiff's beautiful Morgan Arcade.
So, just a flavour of a few Danish companies here in Cardiff. We’re proud to be doing our bit for the Dannebrog (you’ll have to look that up!), and take great inspiration from the many Danish companies who've gone before us. Who knows, maybe we can have a history as long and successful as some of these great companies. Something for us to dream about over coffee and a cake.