Kitchen Collective on launching new food ventures
What does it take to successfully launch a food startup?
Mia Maja Hansson has been super influential in nurturing Copenhagen’s food startup scene. She launched Kitchen Collective, one of the first test kitchens in Europe followed by a co-working collective and street food festival for startups to test new products. The red thread in everything she does is a vision to create a more sustainable, diverse food culture that’s supported by healthy businesses and healthy people. In today’s episode, we talk to Mia Maja about her journey, common mistakes she sees food entrepreneurs make, and recommendations for running a test kitchen.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 1:33
Hi Mia Maja! Welcome back to the Nordic FoodTech Podcast. This is your second time here and I'm so excited to get the full update from you on what's happened since we talked a couple of years ago.
Mia Maja Hansson, Kitchen Collective 1:44
Thank you Analisa and thanks for inviting me again. I'm also very curious about our conversation today.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 1:50
I know. It's fun. I want to start just going back to where your story begins and how you got into food because it's always such a great starting point. So how did you get into this world? How did you get into food?
Mia Maja Hansson, Kitchen Collective 2:00
Yeah, I got into this industry because I am madly in love with food. And I've always been since I was a little child. And actually, I had a dream of becoming a chef. But from where I'm from that was not really the way to go. So, I went to university. And when I was at university suddenly food got accepted to be a cultural experience product. It was no longer fine dining. No longer just nutrition. It was actually also a cultural experience product, which means that it was actually something that you could study at university. So while I did my master's program, I got really engaged with people from the food scene. I've always been engaged with the restaurant scene and engaged with chefs. A lot of my friends are from that industry, but during my master's program I got to look into the food scene just in general. And I started to see that there were so many new people in this food scene. People who wanted to create businesses in a new way. I realized that they all have so many dreams and they wanted to do so much stuff, but they all needed access to a certified kitchen because you need access to a certified kitchen in order to produce and sell your food at least here in Denmark.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 3:18
And a certified kitchen, what does that mean? Who gives a certification?