Interview

Bodil Blain

Norwegian businesswoman Bodil Blain has developed the next best thing: Cru Kafé.

Norwegian businesswoman Bodil Blain has developed the next best thing: Cru Kafé. While I am not typically a big coffee drinker, I am now addicted to their amazing organic and 100% Arabica bean coffee! I love it for two reasons: its taste is far better than any other brand, and the coffee comes in an eco-friendly, Nespresso-compatible pod. Genius!

For our special Nordic issue, we asked to meet the beautiful young impresario. We rendez-vous-ed in London at the elegant Bulgari Hotel to talk about her project, her challenges, and her experience being a young entrepreneur in the magical city.

YOUR INSPIRATION

For starting your business

By founding Cru Kafé, I wanted to create an “Organic Channel” brand that oozed quality and used a transparent ethical supply chain. I looked at my aluminium Nespresso pods and thought: I don’t know where this bitter coffee is from, and I don’t want to leave this amount of waste behind when I’m done.

The flavor of our coffee comes from only the best organic coffee beans from around the world. The so-called third wave coffee scene inspires me to take coffee that is rated 80 and above and fill it into recyclable pods. We go through vigorous processes to get the best coffee combination and the best roast.

We definitely see coffee as a way of life, a core part of the day, so we want to make the most of it.

How to stay creative

I love to do collaborations, and preach to movers and shakers about our brand’s mission. We definitely see coffee as a way of life, a core part of the day, so we want to make the most of it. This ambition is brought to life by an amazing young team, and by my co-founder John Quilter, aka The Food Busker, who uses coffee in delicious recipes all the time. We really believe in inspiring our customers to try our coffee in hot beverage form, but also in a fresh cocktail, or a mouth-watering food recipe.

YOUR CITY

Your home

I see myself as slightly displaced. I can’t make up my mind where I am from anymore. However, I feel truly happy in Molde, Norway. I would perhaps turn a little lazy if I lived there. It would be the perfect fit as I love tracking, but I love travelling and learning about different cultures, too.

I love feeling like I am making a difference in other people’s lives. If my joie de vivre came only from inspiring others, it would be my highest wish.


What you love most

My children, family, and friends! I love feeling like I am making a difference in other people’s lives. If my joie de vivre came only from inspiring others, it would be my highest wish. I also love to think big and to think about how to create positive change.

Your favorite afternoon coffee

I love our dark roast with almond milk. It’s delicious. First, heat your cup by pouring in the warm water, then use the dark roast, letting it run through twice on the short espresso, before steaming almond milk from Plenish, and voila! 

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Your go-to lunch place

In London, I love The Farmacy on Westbourne grove for its healthy options, and Electric House (of Soho house) – their owner, Nick Jones, loves our coffee :)

A night on the town

I wish there were more places to dance in London. I love Santo for a low-key fun night, and Casa Cruz for a glam setting.

YOUR DAY

Morning beauty routine

Starting when I was a little baby, my mum plastered me in thick creams every morning – she always said “you will thank me later.” Scandinavians have thin skin that needs more moisture. I use lots of Vitamin C Serums.

Perfect outfit

I see clothes as a creative outlet and love trying new styles all the time. I wear Made By Riley for the gym and relaxation, Perfect Moment for skiing, and Talitha for the beach. For everyday, I love to pretend to be French, as I have never seen one unstylish Parisian. For a night out, I think Emilia Wickstead’s 50’s looks are fab. Buy the Sartorialist books and get inspired!

Perfect breakfast

My friend Calgary Avazino has the best recipes for breakfast or any meals. I love a smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and avocado with chilies with my Cru Kafe of course!

YOUR BEAUTY

Must-have skincare products

I have to say, beautiful skin comes from within. Go to Eve Kalinik and have her reboot you; it made a world of difference to me. In Eve’s words “ACE your skin vitamins – A, C & E! A is one of the most widely recognized nutrients for skin health… C is essential for building structural protein collagen… and E helps prevent premature aging and cell damage.” Omorovicza has incredible skin care products. Gabriela Peacock’s company, GP Nutrition, is also great.

Favourite makeup products

I love Charlotte Tilbury’s make up – what a woman and what a fabulous concept! I use NARS eyeliner, Dolce and Gabbana orange lipsticks, and (my favorite trick) a tinted moisturizer with a pink blush from Charlotte Tilbury.

Favourite Perfume

I love Gypsy Water, BYREDO.

YOUR PROJECTS

Currently at Cru we are working hard to spread the word about our love for great coffee. Most days we are working on photo shoots for new blends, or discovering new inspiration for coffee lovers. This includes things like latte art or coffee infused recipes to wow your Christmas guests. We can supply a real Cru twist to any occasion!  We are also always seeking to improve our customer experience. When we get great feedback on our product or our customer service, I know we are winning. 

What is the latest news for Cru Kafe in the U.S and elsewhere?

Right now we are starting to line up what our specialty guest blends are going to look like for next year. It’s exciting to source and taste top grade coffee beans from around the world. The stories behind them are fascinating, and they help our customers appreciate what goes into making an excellent cup of coffee. I’d say all our blends have an exciting story that includes adventure, provenance, artistry, and taste.

Where can our readers find you?

We will be on Amazon (god willing!) starting in December. I cannot wait to bring Cru to the USA. I lived here in my formative years and I hope and believe Americans will take to our improved capsules :)

Lani Allen

Lani Allen is a junior at Columbia University majoring in Creative Writing with a concentration in Spanish. Having served as Vice President of her class for two years, she has since contributed written pieces and illustrations to many on-campus publications. As a writer with an interest in the beauty industry, Lani intends to pursue a career in either journalism or fashion marketing.

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