The smell of good food, entrepreneurial spirit and history
By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Fríða Kaffihús
Frida Kaffihus started out as a small café trying to focus on the Faroese kitchen, but it has since developed into a movement that combines traditional food with tourism and history.
“It was a bit against the odds.” When Mimmy Vágsheyg set up the coffee shop a few years back, she could not have foreseen that it would take a few twists and turns along the way. Its start was successful, as the small café with its delicious coffee quickly became the main attraction on Tripadvisor in Klaksvik, able to compete with the bigger establishments in Tórshavn. Then came the coronavirus, just when they were about to move to new and bigger premises in Klaksvik’s first shopping centre. So it was only two months ago that Frida Kaffihus was finally able to open up the new shop.
“It’s still very much an international menu, but the variety has grown and improved a lot. Every Saturday, there’s a big brunch with homemade buns, lamb rolls, rhubarb and much more. We aim to make as much of it homemade as possible, by using local ingredients where possible, to give our guests an authentic experience. All our cakes are also made here on site,” says Vágsheyg.
Frida Kaffihus is named after the first boat built by the Faroese people 250 years ago, and the two share more than just the name. Pioneer Nólsoyar Páll built the boat, illegally and in hiding, and smuggled goods out of the country, which he would trade for corn, as many people were starving. Back then, this was seen as treason, but today it is recognised as having been of great significance for the Faroe Islands.
“They were pioneers, and that spirit is still very much alive here in this area. With our menus, we try to be small pioneers as well, by adding foreign ingredients to our recipes and mixing them with the local products,” Vágsheyg says. “We want to leave tourists with the feeling that they are in a historically very signifanct place. The house of Nólsoyar Páll, which has been refurbished, is situated just a few metres away from our café, and we have the old brewery just on the other side. Not only do we prepare local dishes, but we also co-arrange guided tours and storytelling about the area, because Frida Kaffihus has become so much more than just a café.
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