LINE’S KNÆKBRØD

Knækbrød is a traditional flat crackerbread from Scandinavia, which comes in different variants depending on which country you’re in. The seeded version is very popular in Denmark, and that’s the version Line Hart brought to New Zealand in 2011. We asked her how she got the inspiration for her brand, Line’s Knækbrød.

What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“I trained in fine dining in Copenhagen when I was younger and have always been a foodie. I was looking for a food business to start when my Mum brought the recipe over on a visit about four years ago. We used to eat the Swedish version as kids, which was like Ryvita. The Danish version, with many more seeds, has become very popular over the last few years. So we baked them all summer and tried them out on friends, who loved them. That’s when I had the idea for the business.”

What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“I currently make five flavours – Original, Cumin, Rosemary with sea salt, Rye with fennel and poppy seed, and a Beer flavour.
They were totally original when I started out as no one else made Knækbrød, although there may be a few variants out there now. The flavours I have developed, especially the Cumin and Fennel flavours, are quite unique. I use 100% rye in the Fennel flavour as well, which is very Scandinavian. But I think the main difference lies in the amount of seeds I use as there are more seeds than flour. The Rye and Beer flavours are wheat-free. The Beer ones are quite interesting as we’ve collaborated with Hallertau Brewery. We use the leftover mash from the brewing process and their No. 3 Copper red Tart Ale and combine it with our recipe. It’s become a real hit in the Hallertau restaurant, and it’s also a good sustainable use of a by-product.”

What are the plans for the business moving forward? Is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We are currently in the process of employing an additional baker and expanding the current kitchen. We still want to be handmade at this point, so fully mechanised isn’t on the horizon yet. We are confident enough now to know we have a good product, everything we make flies out of the door each week, but we are only just scratching the surface in terms of the suppliers so a big focus for us now and for the future is to upscale production.”

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“Our main suppliers are Farro Fresh with four stores across Auckland, Boric Food Market in Kumeu, Naturally Organic in Albany, Gourmet Heaven in Takapuna, The Goodness Grocer in Pukekohe and Moore Wilson in Wellington. We also sell really well at an awesome little store in Woodville called Culinary Vista. We have been approached by a branch of one of the big Kiwi supermarkets, which is quite exciting, so we are working through that process at the moment. We also supply a number of hamper companies as our products are often requested for corporate gift baskets.
We are working on obviously having our product available countrywide. There is so much scope in here with the cheese and wine industry, so that is a focus for us. Long term we plan on exporting to Australia and Asia, but the ultimate would be exporting to Denmark. That would be really cool.”