Cum Pane is serious about bread. Robin and Christiane Edberg are running their company with a firm idea of maintaining tradition, culture and sustainability in its widest form. The first bakery opened in 2008.

– To me it was an incredible freedom to start Cum Pane and bake what I believe in, says Robin and refers to the use of ingredients contributing to a tasty and healthy product in the whole chain, from farmer to consumer.

They use organic ingredients and the flour is from the mill Limabacka in Väröbacka, south of Gothenburg. Apart from a strong eco-thinking they work to preserve cereals like spelt and old types of wheat. Farmers venture for unusual choices if they are in demand.

–We are helping to preserve old cereals in a very hands-on way and that's surely an advantage in the future, they explain.

If you run a neighbourhood bakery, you get to know the regular customers over the years. The Edbergs describe this as one of the best things about their job.

–We want to make a difference to people. And after seven years… We’ve seen kids grow up, Christiane says and explains that pregnant customers was followed by parents on leave and today the kids are big enough to come in with a few coins of their own to make their purchase. She describes this as a meaningful form of profitability, one that can’t be measured in money.

We hanged small signs saying 'Feel free to enjoy your packed lunch here' or 'Welcome to get change for the parking metre'.

Christiane admits she likes to challenge conventional ideas.When public spaces are influenced by commerce and prohibitions, they did something unexpected that made many customers smile. 

–We hanged small signs saying 'Feel free to enjoy your packed lunch here' or Welcome to get change for the parking metre', Christiane says.

Robin says they can influence more people by having their own company, instead of just baking artisan bread at home for friends and family to enjoy:

–You are a role model and can place thoughts in people's heads. 'You are welcome to bring your own food here'. It's only a handful that's actually done that, but the possibility alone makes people go off to work with a smile on their faces.

Simplicity is key

When we meet they are just about to open their second bakery in Olskroken in east Gothenburg and are eager to get started. The key words here too are simple and good.

–We have one larger table where we can serve breakfast every morning. You sit down like a family and set the table… To make porridge for breakfast. I am very fond of simplicity and moderation, Christiane says.

Cum Pane serves a sandwich with cheese from Almnäs bruk, in the province Västergötland. Robin simply describes it as a "good cheese on a good bread". Christiane adds that there are no greenhouse tomatoes, watery cucumber or iceberg lettuce with that, just a dab of jam from the artisan jam producer Tua Cultura, where local ingredients and sugar boil in a copper pan, without any additives.

–Everyone in Sweden has had a papaya, but not everyone has tried a cloudberry. We have fantastic flavours here and I strongly believe in using that, says Robin and explains that the apricot and fig fruit loaf now have apples and cranberries instead.

At some times the apples have been from their own garden, but the cranberries are not always from Sweden. But they once again point out the importance of demanding certain primary produce locally, so that farmers dare to venture. Like the durum wheat flour not previously available in Sweden.

–I asked our miller if he knew a farmer that was foolhardy enough to try. It’s demanding and hard to cultivate organically. But he had a farmer that thought it sounded interesting and they travelled down to buy seeds, says Robin and Christiane says it’s as much a cultural achievement as it is to cut down transport distances.

Everyone in Sweden has had a papaya, but not everyone has tried a cloudberry. 

They have started using whole grains from healthy cereals, as an alternative to some seeds.

–This way the ‘al dente’ is from Halland or Västra Götaland (nearby regions) and not from China. It may be organic according to its certificate, but it doesn’t feel right to order goods from a land whereyou're not even allowed to form a union, Christiane says.

Cum Pane offers many great ways to enjoy the shifting Swedish seasons. From the early autumn bread with apples roasted in honey and thyme, to a lingonberry bread , an old-style rye or potato bread, before the spring arrives with a special ramsons bread. At Christmas, there is of course a traditional rye bread flavoured with wort and they always reflect upon this on Christmas Eve.
–How many people are seated around our malt loaf? On the average I would say around three persons share and if we sum up how many people are thinking of us then. It's fun, says Christiane and Robin agrees.

Cum Pane is found at Mariagatan 17 and Kobbarnas väg 4.
2015-02-03

Robin and Christiane's best Gothenburg tips

"I think Gunnebo House & Gardens is a lovely place to visit," says Christiane and Robin says he really likes the southern archipelago where you can island-hop and have a picnic all the year round. "There are very few cities that have an archipelago so close to the city centre," he says and Christiane adds that you can even catch the tram and boat on the same ticket.

"Lilla Änggården is the only place where I want to go for coffee," says Christiane and remembers the visit when she ended up trying everything on the café menu. Despite living in the neighbourhood for 12 years, it was only three years ago that they visited this little café gem. A perfect place to try Swedish 'fika' (coffee and cake). 

In the neighbourhood Majorna, they also want to recommend the antiques and retro shop Majornas saker från förr (website in Swedish) and the deli store Gudagott (website in Swedish), both located close to Mariaplan. 

2015-01-29.