We just can’t get enough of this artisanal Swedish chocolate. And we eat a lot of it!
Swedish-born entrepreneur, Lars Åkerlund, founded FIKA in New York City in 2006. Growing up in Sweden, Åkerlund spent his entire life surrounded by the unique chocolate and coffee culture that exists in his home country (in Swedish, the word “fika” is the term for the daily ritual of taking a break from work to enjoy coffee and a sweet treat while connecting with friends).
When Åkerlund visited New York back in 2001, he fell head-over-heels for the city, but also felt there was a lack of quality coffee and cafes. He saw an opportunity to introduce New Yorkers to the art of the “fika” and spent the following five years working to realize his dream.
Perhaps it’s just what the Big Apple needed, as in 10 years of business, FIKA has become the fastest growing coffee chain in New York City. And, while it’s arguably the coffee that gets customers through the door, it’s the peaceful atmosphere and the exquisite chocolate delicacies, such as quinoa hazelnut and goat cheese truffles, that keep them coming back for more.
The décor is another feature FIKA flaunts proudly. Following a Scandinavian aesthetic, every store is minimalist in structure with pleasant pops of color emanating from the wallpaper to the relaxed, slender couches and chairs. Many of the design details are hand-selected and sourced from businesses in the U.S., as Åkerlund has a passion for supporting other homegrown companies. Even the coffee beans are roasted in nearby Brooklyn so that they arrive fresh to FIKA’s 17 Manhattan locations.
The secret to FIKA’s addicting, artisanal chocolate is that it’s made from scratch daily in their Tribeca factory, which also serves as its most popular store. While many people are under the impression that the best chocolate needs to be 70% and up, it’s actually the quality of the chocolate and how it’s grown, fermented, roasted, and used that determines the flavor. You can watch FIKA’s chocolatiers work their magic behind the see-through glass doors as they make hand-rolled truffles, pralines, bars, and more.
To reach an extended audience outside the city, FIKA reached out to us a few years ago and we were hooked after the first bite! Now we carry their Power Bar in dark chocolate, Truffle Sleeve of both dark and milk chocolates, and bars of chocolate in both Dark Chili and Himalayan Salt.
Want to give the gift of FIKA chocolate this holiday season or try it out yourself? Shop FIKA products on FreshDirect here.