Brasil Kaffe Import
Svend Mathiesen had travelled extensively in Brazil and discovered that the country’s vast raw coffee production was not reflected in the steep Danish coffee prices. He therefore founded Brasil Kaffe Import in 1960 and began selling high-quality Brazilian coffee at affordable prices.
BKI started in Aalborg
The coffee adventure began in a basement in Aalborg. While Svend Mathiesen continued working in Brazil, his wife Ellen ran the business from the couple’s home in Aalborg, Denmark, all the while looking after their three children, Kirsten, Karen and Karl. The coffee beans were roasted at a local coffee roastery and when customers entered the ‘shop’, the roasted beans were ground and bagged. The basement idea proved such a success that within the space of a few years the business was able to open 34 coffee shops.
In 1963, the family decided to move BKI to Højbjerg near Aarhus, where a new coffee roastery was established. The reason for the move was that the raw coffee could be delivered to the Port of Aarhus, which was an important business consideration.
First brand Coffee
Despite success, the chain of shops was closed in 1973, the reason being that the coffee was now to be ground and vacuum sealed in order to reach more consumers. Denmark’s first brand coffee thus saw the light of day. Via a fleet of commercial sales vehicles, the strategy was now to sell the coffee directly to bakers, butchers, kiosks and specialist retail shops. The vehicles were shops on wheels and customers had their coffee delivered to them on-site.
BKI in the supermarkets
Towards the end of the 1980s and the start of the 1990s, the sales vehicles were abandoned and BKI coffee was subsequently sold through the Danish supermarket chains. Today, our BKI coffee brands are sold throughout the country and are renowned for their consistently high quality.
In 1988, BKI introduced Denmark’s first organic coffee. At the time, people laughed, but today BKI Organic is the best-selling organic brand coffee in Danish supermarkets.
For BKI, food quality and food safety have always been of paramount importance, which is why we attained certification in 1999. Since 1999, BKI has attained ISO 9001 and HACCP certification and is today certified according to the IFS food standard.
Acquistion og roasteries
In 1998, BKI acquired the two companies Aalborg Kaffeimport and Herning Kafferisteri. These two businesses possessed vast expertise in the production and sale of whole coffee beans. We thus took over the name Christgau Kaffe, which today is a series of whole high-quality beans sold in supermarkets. In 2013, BKI also became co-owner of the Copenhagen-based Specialist Roastery, Kontra Coffee.
Several strings to its bow
The market for traditional coffee stagnated during the 1990s. BKI therefore decided to expand its business offering and diversify. In 2004, we purchased ARC Quality Foods, whose agency representation with De Cecco pasta and Lindt chocolate fitted perfectly with BKI’s desire to work with high-quality foods.
In 2008, BKI acquired the company Te specialisten. The company imports, processes and packs high-quality, loose leaf specialist teas at our new modern factory in Karlslunde. With our range of specialist teas numbering close to as many as 600 different blends, we are the biggest supplier of specialist teas to the Danish specialised retail trade. In addition to tea, we sell specialist coffees – David Rio Chai as well as other specialities – now under the name Te & Kaffe Specialisten.
BKI foods a/s
Today, although BKI remains a company whose main activity is coffee, a large proportion of its revenue is derived from food products. Accordingly, in 2009 we changed our name to BKI foods a/s – as it more fittingly described our business activities.