The Ice Cream Kalas / Island Stories 2018
Ice cream from organic and local ingredients – Sandvig, Bornholm.
An entrepreneurial spark was ignited when the couple Christian Heide Petersen and Christina Andreasen took up residence in the little town Sandvig. Today, their ice cream dairy and café named Kalas-Kalas attracts locals as well as travellers from near and far - all coming to get a slice of the cake. Literally.
"‘Kalas’ is the swedish word for ‘party’ or ‘feast’, which is the vision of the café and dairy."
They just couldn’t stop dreaming about how life with their two little children would be if they left their urban flat for a place with much greener surroundings. How life would be on an island like Bornholm with more opportunities for a balanced and family-friendly everyday life.
It was the dream of a simpler life and a closer contact with nature that in the winter of 1997 made Christian Heide Petersen and Christina Andreasen pull up stakes and move back to Bornholm where they had both spent their childhood. Actually, they weren’t dissatisfied with their city life in Copenhagen where Christina had a good job in the film industry, and Christian was a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
– You can’t avoid being affected by the beautiful light that prevails on the coast, and the ocean looks different by the hour. It is pure meditation. Many people spend their lives running so fast. But what are they trying to achieve? It is not that we are less busy now – on the contrary. But it is enormously satisfying being able to shape your own job and live in a place where nature and living in a small local community fulfil so many dreams.
Everybody’s equal here regardless of income, people greet each other & diversity is applauded – not jeered at.
Today they make a living by running one of the island’s most popular ice cream outlets, Sandvig Is Kalas, which has its own production and café located on the rocky sea side with plenty of nature-made seatings and picturesque spots. This was something they didn’t see coming.
“It’s interesting, all these things that emerge because we pursue our own interests. The ice cream journey has been fun and stimulating.”
– None of us had any professional experience with gastronomy or running a business. It was bit of a coincidence that we ended up with ice cream. In 2010, we bought an old. mini-golf course together with two other pairs of friends – just as a summer holiday activity for the whole family. But even if this was just a small business, it inspired our entrepreneurial spirit. We decided to open a café with ice cream and quality coffee in a vacant tenancy just across from our private home. We spent our savings on buying a used ice cream maker, a good coffee machine, and a lot of other equipment. We took an ice cream course and soaked up everything we came across relating to ice cream and coffee.
“Our goal was to use organic milk from Bornholm and as many local ingredients as possible. It was a marvelous experience when the machine produced the first liters of ice cream! Never in our lives had we predicted that it would become this kind of success. What happened was that the ice cream parlour and the café became the focus of a social life that had been missing from the town up till then,” says Christina and Christian.
– It’s interesting, all these things that emerge because we pursue our own interests. The ice cream journey has been fun and stimulating. We are trying out new types of ice cream all the time – often inspired by suggestions from our customers. You’ll never know entirely what you will find in the display, because we make new sorts almost every day. So even if we intend to have familiar ice cream variants on the counter, we are also for the curious who dare trying something new.
Cherry Sherbet, our version of the Bornholm ice cream classic, has become a success, and lately, we’ve offered ice cream made with gooseberries, redcurrant, beetroot, cucumber and celery, woodruff, rhubarb, raspberries, blackcurrant, figs, fir sprouts, etc. I think, we are approaching 70 different variants since we started in 2013, Christian and Christina continue.
– Right from the start, it was the idea that Sandvig Is Kalas should also provide a platform for individual projects or other dreams each of them wanted to live out. For instance, Christian and the couple’s three sons have always loved sailing, so now they are starting coastal sailing trips for the island’s visitors, allowing them to see Bornholm from the sea in the Ice Cream Kalas’ newly acquired boat.
Since then, Sandvig Is Kalas has become the family project they didn’t know they dreamed of, and throughout the years, the couple’s three sons, Magnus (25), Otto (23), and Carl (19), have been involved in the development, sales, production, and life in the café.
“Even though our children are grown up now and have left the island for a while because of their studies and other things, this is still the place where we meet and spend time together with each other and all the wonderful people who stop by at our ice cream café. On summer evenings, it has become an important place for the locals too.”
The most important thing we’ve gained from the common project is not just the ice cream, but all the things that follow naturally in a small town where everybody knows each other. At the end of the day, what matters the most is to spend quality time with the family and pass on the right values to the next generation. And right here, on the rocky island of Bornholm, the couple feels able to do this – much more than a life in the city would have permitted them.
Nature and the ocean just outside your door creates a calm and a rhythm.
It is our experience that people here care for each other and behave well. Everybody knows that a good social environment is a shared responsibility. Everybody’s equal here regardless of income, people greet each other, and diversity is applauded – not jeered at. And finally, nature and the ocean just outside your door creates a calm and a rhythm, making sure there is always a very special and relaxed atmosphere.