The road to the Liquorice Adventure began in a beach kiosk
At the age of 14, Johan Bülow set up his own business and leased a small beach kiosk on the Danish island of Bornholm. Later on, the love of liquorice is what made the young man from Bornholm one of Denmark's largest young entrepreneurs. After ten years of a fast-growing Liquorice Adventure, this love is still at large and, therefore, Johan Bülow is now stepping into a new role as Creative Director in Liquorice.
"I want to get my hands down into the saucepan again and this is possible as the Creative Director," tells Johan Bülow. "What drives me is the hunt to create the absolute best. It is no secret that I am somewhat of a perfectionist and I love to experiment and try something again and again until I find the completely perfect flavour, colour and texture. This is exactly what I will have time and space for now."
Beach kiosk lessee at 14
In a way it is the "old Johan" who is once again at the liquorice factory with the same curiosity which made him try the first makings of liquorice ten years ago in his mother's kitchen on Bornholm. Before then, it was the same curiosity which, already at the age of 14, meant he had his own business when he opened a beach kiosk in his Bornholm village of Svaneke. DKK 10,000 was needed in order to lease the kiosk and Johan borrowed the money from his mother. His ambitions were sky-high, so Johan named the little kiosk stand "Hullehavns Storcenter" (Hullehavns Shopping Centre). Now all the little beach kiosk had to do was attract happy, beach-loving holiday guests with ice-cream, sweets and soft drinks.
But that's not what happened. It rained constantly that summer and even the sunshine island was not spared from the rain and wind. On the other hand, the holiday guests escaped Johan's beach kiosk and, despite the 12-14 hour work days behind the counter and with the best intentions, the 14-year old Johan couldn't escape the fact that he had 300 kg sweets left, which had to be stored in his mother's basement.
The experiences from the first beach kiosk have, however, been invaluable lessons which Johan has taken with him onwards in the development of the Liquorice business; a business that so far has 250 employees.
Back to his roots
Johan is now back to his roots, but with ten years' experience behind him. Once again he is close to the carefully selected raw ingredients, the sizzling liquorice mass and, not least, his employees - the alchemists who make the black gold in the liquorice laboratory on a daily basis:
"We have so many exciting ideas we want to try and which we want to present to people. Our new liquorice soft-ice is just one of the latest examples of one of our experiments. And then we also have great belief that the rest of the world will come to love good liquorice. So we'll continue working hard to make that happen."
From Bornholm to Dubai
A great deal indicates that Johan Bülow's liquorice - this special Danish product - is finding its way to new locations out in the big, wide world. Liquorice by Johan Bülow is now sold in 25 countries and liquorice fever has reached Dubai where a very extravagant liquorice shop, cut in marble and at a value of DKK 4 million, will soon be opening.
Johan Bülow explains: "Our ambitions are high, actually extremely high. But as long as we do what we are doing, with curiosity and thoroughness, I believe that the joy of liquorice can spread - right from Bornholm and Copenhagen to Manhattan and Dubai."