Sjöstrand – a true Icelandic success saga
The idea of taking the Sjöstrand concept to Iceland came to Gunnar Stein Jonsson and his wife Elisabet the very first time they saw Sjöstrand’s espresso machine at the Artilleriet shop in Gothenburg, 2017. The fantastic design of the machine caught their immediate attention and they instantly understood that Sjöstrand’s focus on design and sustainability would become a success in Iceland, a country with great climate focus.
Together with their Icelandic business partners, Álfrún and Viktor, they decided to go for the idea. Their first Sjöstrand delivery came to Iceland within just a few months. Without neither a clear plan nor a strategy they took off with the motto “it’s gonna be alright” – they never doubted the success.
According to Gunnar, a big part of the success was the perfect timing, Sjöstrand entered the market at a time when climate consciousness strongly increased in a country where people are in close contact with nature everywhere. Another success factor, worth mentioning, has been a strong, creative and personal concept that become greatly embraced.
“Icelanders have a good taste when it comes to design and it is no secret that Sjöstrand has the most beautiful capsule machine on the market.”
The launch event was held in December 2017 and the first delivery sold out immediately – the success was a fact. The team succeeded to place Sjöstrand’s espresso machine into some of Iceland’s most renowned design shops and today Sjöstrand’s coffee capsules are available at some selected grocery stores to make sure the coffee is easy to access.
Recently, they have started to focus on the professional market, and at Hotel Geysir Sjöstrand’s espresso machines are to be found in all 77 rooms together with larger coffee machine at the breakfast buffet.
Gunnar is a professional handball player and has played both for the Icelandic national team and for club teams in Sweden, France, Germany and currently in Denmark. But he is also a true entrepreneur and, together with his wife, he runs the Icelandic blog and fashion site Trendnet. Iceland is often said to be a trend barometer and Gunnar believes that this is applicable to coffee as well.
In Iceland, the trend is going towards an increased demand for quality coffee, both at home and at work. He clearly sees that many people invest in home barista machines, something that Sjöstrand has managed to deliver. N°1 and N°3 are bestsellers but the new flavor N°5 is challenger – with great reviews. Gunnar prefers N°1, usually as Lungo.
“We started with a warehouse in the garage, but since December 2019 we have a Showroom where we can welcome customers and offer them a good cup of coffee. If you’re ever in Reykjavik, you’re more than welcome to stop by!”