Since bakery Brauð&Co opened its doors in downtown Reykjavík a little over a year ago, it has had to increase its staff from an initial four to nearly 40 because of demand, and management has plans in the works to open new branch locations in the near future, according to mbl.is.
All the new branches will be located in Reykjavík: one within the premises of Gló restaurant on Fákafen in the 108 neighborhood; a small outlet in new food hall Matthöllin being built in the former downtown bus terminal building Hlemmur, which should open this summer; and another on Hofsvallagata in the Vesturbær neighborhood.
Baker and founder Ágúst Einþórsson explained that the setup at the premises of Gló will be very similar to the original store on Frakkastígur in downtown Reykjavík. “We are very excited to open there because the bakery on Frakkastígur is bursting at the seams,” stated Ágúst. “We have been extremely busy right from opening and demand has completely surpassed all expectations.”
Ágúst stated that he is very pleased with the location of the bakery in 108, as it is relatively central to the more suburban areas of Reykjavík, which should make it easier for locals to get their hands on the signature sourdough bread (incidentally, ‘brauð’ is Icelandic for ‘bread’.)
The branch in the food hall will be slightly different, given that the space is only 24m². “This will probably be the smallest bakery in the country,” claimed Ágúst, who is excited about the site and the new food hall overall.
On Wednesday, Brauð&Co management signed an agreement with café Kaffihús Vesturbæjar to rent the adjacent premises once they become vacant this summer after a pharmacy currently occupying them moves out. However, Ágúst could not give an exact opening date for this location. “We take possession of the premises at the end of summer and then we will have to renovate them. I haven’t quite decided what I want to do with the space yet, but it would be nice to maintain traces of the pharmacy in some way.”
Ágúst stated that he is very excited about the location on Hofsvallagata in Vesturbær: “There is a major sense of anticipation. [Vesturbær] has this neighborhood feeling that we love.”
Brauð&Co opened in spring 2016 and the reception has been amazing, noted Ágúst. “I suspected of course that people would be interested in our products, but it is hard to know in advance exactly how interested. There are often longer lines outside the Frakkastígur store than at most of the nightclubs in town,” stated Ágúst, and added that the sourdough bread is the drawcard.
“I completely understand, good sourdough is very good bread. And the sweet buns are flying off the shelves. We’ve been stretched to the limit because of the very strong demand, which is a luxury problem to have, and we’re responding by opening more branches.”
Brauð&Co opened at Frakkastígur with only four employees. “But now we have 16 employees in the back and 12-14 at the counter, both full-time and part-time. Right now we are adding people and becoming a 40-strong workplace.”
“It has been a lot of fun to experience this success, and also really nice to experience it with others. I still have the same staff that started out with me,” stated Ágúst.