You can immediately taste it as you savour a piece of chocolate from Kjærstrup: it is made from scratch, carefully and adeptly, using only the finest ingredients. The revelation that chocolate is more than just chocolate will come to you once you’ve tasted chocolate by Kjærstrup.
Birgitte Kjær and Peter Bræstrup opened their first chocolate shop in 1999, in an old half-timbered building named ‘Plummahuzed’ in Snogebæk. They named the shop Kjærstrup Chokolade and their sound craftsmanship, good quality and excellent service rapidly became the hallmarks of their business. Today, Birgitte and Peter – in close collaboration with their sons Rasmus and Joachim and Birgitte’s mother Jytte (or ‘Grandma’ as everyone in the house calls her) – operate four static and three pop-up shops on Bornholm. They also have shops outside Bornholm, run by franchisees.
Kjærstrup Chokolade’s chocolate tastes as wonderful as it did in the good old days, and great pains are obviously taken with each individual piece. Kjærstrup Chokolade is best described as a whole new take on classic confectionery products. They experiment with different flavours, such as Bornholm-cultivated sea buckthorn or Bornholm gin, always with an eye for savoury excellence. The staff’s unabashed cheerfulness is obvious: they’re proud of the quality of the ingredients and the products, and they delight in giving customers delightful chocolate experiences.
Upon entering a Kjærstrup Chokolade shop, you are tempted by more than chocolate: there’s fresh-brewed coffee, a wide variety of ice creams, and cream puffs that are in a class all their own. You might also notice the scarcity of signs. For instance, you cannot read about the different flavours at the ice cream counter. Instead, it is decorated with samples of the actual ingredients, so customers are intuitively tempted by what they feel like tasting. The scant signage means that the staff are keenly familiar with the products and quickly engage in conversation with customers. They gladly describe the various flavours, the product’s underlying craftsmanship and help you find just the flavour you feel like. You get a sense of being taken care of, almost like a family member, when you visit Kjærstrup Chokolade.
Virtually every resident of Bornholm is familiar with Kjærstrup Chokolade’s cream puffs. They were named ‘Best in Denmark’ by Smag & Behagmagazine and became so popular that Peter and Birgitte developed ‘cream-puff soft-serve ice cream’, one of Kjærstrup Chokolade’s summer delights. A cream-puff soft-serve ice cream is a large homemade cream puff that is cracked open and topped with soft-serve ice cream and homemade treacle. This is truly a hit on a hot summer’s day.
Kjærstrup Chokolade shops outside Bornholm are found at Field’s Department Store in Copenhagen’s Amager district, in the towns of Ringkøbing and Vejle in west Denmark and a pop-up shop on the island of Zealand. The shops outside Bornholm are run by Kjærstrup franchisees. From the outset, Kjærstrup has grown into a family of dedicated employees who strive to give customers excellent chocolate experiences day in and day out. If you dream of setting up your own business, then visit Kjærstrup’s website to read more about its franchise concept. There are many possibilities, such as a pop-up concept, a static summer shop or a concept shop open all year round.