The idea of creating licorice in a new way started in the brain of civil engineer Søren Beier on a December day in 2014 in his home in Bagsvaerd. With irrepressible excitement over his first tasty licorice tests he dragged his DTU fellow student Morten Kornbech Larsen into the project – in spite of a good deal of opposition from the latter.
For the two chemical engineers living close to each other in Bagsvaerd, the desire to tackle the challenging caramelization process (maillard reaction) grew in the long winter nights. The hobby company Bagsværd Lakrids was founded with the aim of producing a liquorice product with sufficient stability for small scale local sales.
Søren experimented with ingredient composition, preparation process and types of packaging, while Morten arranged tastings, set up a mail order system and organized the cooperation with the first five stores in Denmark that dared to invest in the new product: Ebeltoft, Bagswaard, Ordrup, Lyngby and Køge.
Morten Kornbech meets the customers at Lyngby Hovedgade in summer 2016
Søren was initially able to produce six pieces of licorice daily, and then managed to scale up to eight pieces – and eventually 24. But after six months it was obvious that this production level was insufficient as more new happy customers grew happy with the licorice.
Morten’s friend chef Rasmus Hansen entered the company after a fair share of persuasion, and the production was moved to Rasmus’ kitchen in the Danish Student’s Rowing club (DSR) at Svanemøllen a couple miles north of Copenhagen. Rasmus skillfully scaled up the daily production to 100 plates and took care of the contact with the authorities regarding food security in his suitable and approved kitchen.
Søren now focused on tests and bookkeeping. Morten became part of the daily production and continued to manage the external activities, where more and more stores in Danish cities gradually got licorice on the shelves.
A year later more space was needed, and in the summer of 2017 Bagsværd Lakrids moved the production to the kitchen under Brøndby Stadium. Here, licorice was produced in the large pots when the kitchen was not busy cooking food for the spectators of the football games in the best Danish league.
In the summer of 2018, after a long search Morten managed to find the perfect home for the production in the main street of Bagsværd. In the city where it all started. Just next to Bagsværd Wine Store that in 2015 was among the first five stores to focus on the liquor crisis. And there – on the premises of the neighbors Bagsværd Lakrids and Bagsværd Vinhandel (wine store), monthly licorice parties with dining and live music are held for 24-25 of our sweet customers. No naughty customers have shown up yet.
Master chef Francis Cardenau and Lotte Helios are totally in love with Bags sword licorice. Left: Morten Kornbech
Morten is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company, including distribution of goods to most of the dealers. Furthermore, good cooperation has been built with wholesaler Ivan Grimstrup from Bjerringbro as well as Mads Nielsen and Claus Vilstrup from Ostemesteren A / S in Vejle.
Rasmus keeps track of the ever-increasing raw material procurement as well as maintenance and upgrading of production facilities. Søren continues to face the ever-increasing challenges of bookkeeping as well as the authorities and changing governments’ need to interfere in large and small matters.
Our talented lifestyle specialist Lise Dræby from the neighboring town of Ballerup was in the fall of 2019 affiliated as manager of the webshop here on this site.