Wedged between a 10-11 grocery store and an ice cream parlour, Frú Lauga on Laugalækur road is the closest thing you will find to a farmer’s market in Reykjavík. It’s also certainly the only place that carried blood oranges from Italy this winter.
Though it’s tempting to think that the store is run by a frú (“mrs.”) Lauga, it’s actually the brainchild of couple Arnar Bjarnason and Rakel Halldórsdóttir, who opened shop two years ago. Arnar has a PhD in music theory and composition and Rakel studied art history and museum studies. Neither of them have backgrounds in farming, but they both have a taste for good food and wine.
They personally shop from 40 different individuals, mostly farmers, who come from all over the country. As far as he knows, Arnar says Frú Lauga is the only place like it in Reykjavík, where people can shop for these kinds of products in one spot. Not only that, but they also import their favourite products from abroad, including wines, olive oil and mustard that simply put cannot be found elsewhere on the island.
Everything in the store is labelled so that the customer knows exactly what they are eating and where it comes from. For instance, there’s frozen yogurt with blueberries from Holtsels-Hnoss, rhubarb from Langamýri á Skeiðum, bacon from Laxárdalur and lamb from Brekkulækur, to name a just a few.
Frú Lauga a rare refuge for the food conscious in Reykjavík. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t any fresh expats jumping up and down to hear that the dismal looking vegetables at their local grocery store aren’t their only option.
Fun Fact: Between the two of them, Arnar and Rakel have three grandmas who bear the name Lauga in one form or the other. The store is in part named after them and in part a reflection of their store neighbourhood where nearly everything also bears the name Lauga.