From Iceland — A Bakery In A Telephone Booth

A Bakery In A Telephone Booth

Published September 6, 2019

Lea Müller
Photo by
Hrefna Björg Gylfadóttir

In an attempt to reduce food waste, Eiríkur Helgason, owner of the bakery Nesbrauð in Stykkishólmur, decided to expand his business hours with an unusual approach. After the store closes, he puts all leftovers in a telephone booth, where people can then do their shopping in a help-yourself manner.

Eiríkur’s wife Unnur María Rafnsdóttir originated the idea, and people can now purchase bread and pastries 24 hours a day, all for 500 ISK. This is a considerable discount; at times they put up to five vínarbrauð into one bag, Morgunblaðið reports.

A concept of trust

The feedback has been positive. “The people in town are very happy,” Eiríkur told reporters. “Those who can’t go to the bakery during business hours still get fresh bread.” The concept of the store is based on trust; an idea that seems to work well in Iceland. Other places, like the hot pots in Hauganes, work in a similar way, i.e., you bathe and voluntarily put 500 ISK in a tin box.

As for Nesbrauð bakery, we can only hope that more small and medium-sized companies will follow in their footprints, as Iceland produces over a million tons of waste per year. It may seem like a small step, but the awareness people like Eiríkur and his wife are spreading in their local community makes a great impact. It is, at its core, in every businesses interest to pass on as much as possible of their product to consumers.

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