Food & Drink

‘A small piece of Scandinavia in south west London’: New Nordic lifestyle store and café open in Putney

Nordic lifestyle brand Blåbär opened its first concept store and café in Putney this month.

Blåbär’s ethos is ‘live a life more nordic’ and their aim is to create an authentic Scandinavian setting for the public to not only enjoy a great coffee but showcase unique and tasteful homeware within a contemporary environment.

The name Blåbär literally translates to ‘blueberry’ in English, and represents a first start at something, which is exactly what Sandra Linnea West and Oliver Goodier are venturing into with the opening of their lifestyle store and café in Putney.

Sandra said: “The Nordics are so inspirational, and we are excited to create a space allowing people to experience the lifestyle.

“In a laidback atmosphere we are welcoming people to discover unique design, meet with friends for a coffee, or just grab a cinnamon bun on the way to work.”

Cinnamon Buns, Sandra Linnea West and Oliver GoodierMMM: Pop in for a cinnamon bun…or two!

The store is inspired by the success of the retail and hybrid café stores commonly found across Scandinavia.

One key aspect apparent within the store is the term ‘fika’ which symbolises a moment in the day where you take a break to appreciate everything good about life and to slow down.

The concept of the store allows the public to take home a part of Scandinavian culture and interior after enjoying a moment to relax in a peaceful environment.

In its opening few days the store received visits from Welsh rugby international and Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts and television presenter Gethin Jones.

Sandra said: “The first week has been great, the Putney community is so lovely and the weekend was very busy I have to say.

“We had people outside and were having to find seats for them but everybody has been so lovely saying how much they need independent stores and not just another chain.

“So it has been really good.”

Sandwich board, Sandra Linnea West and Oliver Goodier

FIKA: Take a break, why not?

Sandra moved to London from Sweden ten years ago and has worked as a product manager looking to help introduce Scandinavian brands in the UK, while Oliver, a Londoner, comes from a film, design and art background.

Oliver’s background in design has helped the couple create a fully interactive space for the public over two floors embracing a true Nordic experience.

Both Sandra and Oliver have gone to great lengths to make sure that Sandra’s home country Sweden is well represented within the store.

Materials such as the wood used for the coffee bar have been bought over and re-used from Sandra’s family home and the interior lighting comes from a Swedish brand Watt & Veke from Sandra’s hometown.

At the launch evening of the new store a selection of hand-made smorrebrod (open top sandwiches) on rye or sourdough with salmon and avocado, salads and cakes were on offer.

The coffee and loose teas on sale were organic and come from the Swedish speciality coffee roasters and tea merchants Johan & Nystrom.

Sandra said: “Ultimately we have tried to create a small piece of Scandinavia in south west London.”

If the popularity grows then Sandra believes there is no reason why there can’t be more stores opening under the Blåbär name.

She said: “I think there is such a demand for the Scandinavian design and culture so we would love to be able to expand both in London and further a field in the UK as well.”

Images courtesy of Sandra Linnea West and Oliver Goodier, with thanks


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