Daniel Bimmer: A Passionate Chocolate Enthusiast from Bornholm


Daniel Bimmer: A Passionate Chocolate Enthusiast from Bornholm

Daniel Bimmer: A Passionate Chocolate Enthusiast from Bornholm

Daniel Bimmer was originally born and raised on Bornholm, but later moved to Copenhagen to pursue a career as a chef. When Daniel and his wife wanted to start a family a few years later, they moved back to the island, but not without fear. At that time, it was not possible to work as a chef on Bornholm year-round, and Daniel had to seek other avenues. Today, Daniel is a co-owner of Svaneke Chokoladeri, where he has cultivated his passion for chocolate for over 10 years.

We met with Daniel at the chocolate factory in the heart of Svaneke, one of two shops and production sites they have. Despite visiting the store outside of the high season, there was good activity, and we enjoyed tastings from the production while Daniel warmly welcomed each guest in the store.

Learn more about the passionate chocolate enthusiast from Bornholm below.MMG: You went from being a chef to owning your own chocolate factory. How has that journey been?

DB: The whole journey from being a chef to now has happened quite randomly. Both my wife and I are from Bornholm, but we moved to Copenhagen together, where I worked as a chef for some years. When we wanted to start a family, we chose to move back to the island. That was despite the fact that back then, you couldn't be a chef year-round. It was only possible during the high season, which was three months spread out over the year.

To have something to do, I applied for a job at a local chocolate factory, where I was trained in making chocolate. It sparked my interest in chocolate. I later got a job at Svaneke Chokoladeri, where I spent more or less all my time experimenting in production. One day I went to my boss and said I wanted to buy the place. There was another person who wanted to as well, so we spent the next three months getting to know each other and seeing if our ideas could align.

MMG: What is the most important thing to remember when running a business with someone else?

DB: The collaboration with Janne (ed: Janne Lundberg) has been crucial for the company's success. She is a trained bank advisor and has handled the company's accounts, so her financial insight has been a good complement to my experience in the kitchen. We have managed to create something unique because we are both driven by a passion for chocolate and confectionery but come from two different backgrounds.

I would say it is important to know each other's limits, give each other space, and figure out how to combine our skills in a way that makes the most sense for the company. For us, it has worked well because we allow each other to push each other's boundaries.MMG: It must also be somewhat different being self-employed than being an employee, even though you've stayed in the same business. What does being self-employed give you – both good and bad?

DB: When you're self-employed, you never really shut down in a way. I think having a hand in all processes, whether it's a success or a failure, whether you get positive or negative feedback from your customers. You get the whole package as a self-employed person, and I find that appealing. It gives me something.

MMG: Are you driven by a competitive spirit?

DB: I am, yes. I always try to be humble, but I keep a close eye on what's happening around me. Then we go into analysis mode and say to ourselves that we must be able to do better. We must be able to do it our way. I think it's really important that you have that drive in you. It's not certain that you're better than others, but just having the right drive and wanting to do the best you can. It means a lot if you're going to thrive as an entrepreneur.

MMG: How does your passion shine through to create, inspire, and stimulate taste in your business today?

DB: It's probably about constantly playing with the recipes. If I see an exciting recipe, I always make it as it is first, but at some point, I feel like changing the recipe. You have to make it your recipe; make it your own. That's the path to success.Daniel and his partner work a lot with flavors. Because they force themselves to use the ingredients around them, they must sometimes be extra creative in the kitchen.

DB: We place great emphasis on using organic ingredients and collaborate with several local producers, such as Høstet, who supply sea buckthorn for our ganache, the local bakery in Nexø bakes the crispy nut bases for our cream puffs, etc. The close collaboration means a lot to us, and by using local ingredients, we also force ourselves to experiment with the recipes. Today, for example, we have made a cream puff with gooseberry jelly, but next week, we'll come up with something else based on the ingredients we have available at that time.

MMG: What was it like to move back to the island after living in Copenhagen for several years?

DB: It means more to me to be back on the island than I had thought it would. If I'm honest, I couldn't see myself moving back to Bornholm. The fear of not being able to find a good job with a decent salary weighed heavily on me. I also didn't have to own a house, get married, or have children, but here I am with the whole package and couldn't be happier. My life has turned out completely opposite to how I thought it would.

Visit Svaneke Chokoladeri

Svaneke Torv 5
3740 Svaneke