Interview and photo by Florence Noble
This Swedish expat brings the sweet bread-making tradition of her homeland to the Saturday La Cigale Farmers Market at Britomart.
Are you from Auckland?
No, I’m from Sollefteå, a small town in Northern Sweden.
What do you do sell here?
We sell Scandibunz www.scandibunz.co.nz. It’s all different sweet breads, based on the Scandinavian cinnamon buns and cardamom buns. We do different flavours, most of them inspired by my growing up in Sweden, but a few Kiwi flavours as well.
What are the Kiwi flavours?
Coffee caramel and the chocolate ones.
And the Swedish ones?
The cinnamon, cardamom and the vanilla almond called Tosca. Those are the traditional flavours. The blueberry and apple are based on ones my mum and grandmother would make growing up.
And what’s the most popular?
The cinnamon bun, that’s the traditional. Everyone knows a cinnamon bun. They’re less sweet than the American style buns with frosting on them. Then coffee, blueberry and chocolate are all equally popular.
What’s the difference between traditional Swedish buns and say, a cinnamon brioche?
A Swedish bun is lighter. Is less eggy. And more dairy-y. That’s all I can say. I won’t give away my secret recipe.
I would never make you. And you make them yourself?
Yes. Me and my partner. He’s English, with parents from Hong Kong.
Are you sullying your special Swedish buns with English hands?
Yes… I wouldn’t be able to do them all myself. He knows how to do it. We’ve both grown up in hospitality. We make every part of them. The fillings: the caramel, the blueberry jam, the apple sauce, everything. We’re real bun-makers!
How did you get into doing this?
I’ve always made cinnamon buns and they’ve always been quite popular with friends and family. I worked in the UK in a little shop and I made them there for a bit. Then we came over here and I sold them at a cafe and they were always popular so we started to do it full time. We do catering as well.
Are you here every weekend?
Yes, every Saturday, unless it’s a really bad, windy day.
What’s your idea of fun?
I’m a proper foodie. Being in nature, exercising.
If hypothetically I were to eat one of your cinnamon buns right now, where should I buy my coffee?
I think Espresso Workshop in Britomart.
Do you think local markets are the future?
I’d like them to be. I think artisan things are coming back into fashion as well, which is lovely. Because there’s so much culture that is in how people do things traditionally, things like buns, sausages, bread or flax-weaving. Things people learn through trial and error, and stories. It moves the culture forward and brings people a sense of belonging, and it’s a nice grounding. The opposite to the digital world we’re now living in. So I hope that they are the future. That would be nice.
Whats your favourite thing to spend money on?
Food. And the kids.
What are you going to do for Father’s Day?
We don’t usually do anything for each other on these days, haha. But I’ll make sure the kids do some nice cards?
Do you have any hobbies?
Well before I had a family – when I had hobbies – I’ve always been really into history, mythology, anthropology, languages. Things that bring the culture of people together. I think that’s why I might be really into food as well. So I’ve studied about seven languages. I only speak two, but if you don’t keep them up it’s easy to lose them. Now it’s probably Korean dramas and Japanese dramas. I used to read a lot of books, but now with kids I get interrupted all the time. Their dramas are an easy way to relax and they’re very easy to pause!