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June 22, 2022

Luxuria Lifestyle interviews Johan Bülow

Born and raised in Svaneke, a tiny rock island of Bornholm in Denmark, Johan was raised by a family of entrepreneurial spirits, which led his dreams of building a world-class liquorice brand into a reality.  Since launching in 2007, LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW has opened 25 stores across six countries, a testament to Johan’s passion to spread the love for liquorice.

Here we interview Johan to find out more about the man behind the comapny:

Please explain who you are, what your business is, and what it does/aims to achieve?

My name is Johan Bülow and I am the Founder and Creative Director of LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW. Born on a small Danish island called Bornholm, I was raised by a family of entrepreneurial spirits and by a mother who always wanted me to do something for which I had a passion. I have always had a love for liquorice, so I threw my attention into making a slow crafted version using only high-quality ingredients. In 2007 I opened my first store in Bornholm at the age of 23 years old.

The LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW store was received extremely well and in 2008 I began creating chocolate-coated gourmet liquorice, now our best selling product. Today we proudly still produce all our products locally in Denmark in a factory just outside Copenhagen.

Our mission is to make the world love liquorice – one liquorice at a time, which is why LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW has been based on sampling since the very first piece of liquorice was created. Now we are extremely proud to have launched the world’s biggest sampling offering anyone, anywhere, a free sample of our liquorice if you promise to share it with a hater, and join our mission.

What inspired you to start your business? (And what made you want to be your own boss?)

I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and saw how people around me inspired each other to build businesses both small and large. I was taught to do something that made me smile every day and I really believe that everyone should have that opportunity. I will never forget the sentence I was always told: “If it feels like work you are doing it wrong”.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

From a very young age, I thought about what kind of business I wanted to create and I have always loved liquorice. I just began wondering why no one had ever worked with the idea of creating a gourmet version. Liquorice was very industrialised and not something you would buy as a gift to someone. The category was not yet discovered, therefore being the first to invent a new category within confectionery would give me the chance of putting my own mark on it. At the same time, I had watched visitors at my uncle’s handcrafted organic candy shop in Bornholm, tasting the candy and being won over by the taste. So I knew I wanted to make something that was a tasting experience you could reflect on.

What has been the biggest challenge for your business?

The biggest challenge for LAKRIDS BY BÜLOW has been creating balance over many years between growth and infrastructure, which I believe builds the foundation for a large and successful business. The entrepreneurial brain is not necessarily the right one for that job. You need to accept that there are other people out there who are better at some things than you are and take the step to hire the right people.

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