Working on nature’s terms


A chat with bartender Hampus Thunholm of Fäviken.

Hampus wasn’t supposed to get into the line of bartending, instead he wanted to become a chef. But at his first day in the kitchen he was tricked into getting behind the bar – the reason – the other chefs thought he talked to much.

Hampus wasn’t supposed to get into the line of bartending, instead he wanted to become a chef. But at his first day in the kitchen he was tricked into getting behind the bar – the reason – the other chefs thought he talked to much.

And maybe this is one of the reasons that keeps him motivated. “There are so many things that keeps you motivated, but just the love to be behind the bar and share the love for what you do is almost more than enough”. In other words being behind the bar seems like the perfect place for a passionated chatterbox like Hampus.

We asked Hampus why reducing waste in his bar is so important to him and what he does to make this happen. “If you think of it like this, it’s a question of survival. So I think 90% of the world’s population should be thinking a bit more about this. And if I can be a part of making the world a little bit better, I will”.

To affect how much waste a bar produces there are many things to take into consideration, and there are many small actions that can lead up to a big change. But foremost reducing waste is about not getting too much stuff into the bar in the first place.

Hampus has been working at Fäviken for about a year now, together with head chef Magnus Nilsson. The essence of Fäviken is found in the way they work alongside the community. In a mix of tradition and innovation Fäviken follows the seasonal variation using ingredients locally grown or hunted. Using traditional techniques to preserve these ingredients for the winter months as they dry, salt, jelly, pickle and bottle to build up a storage of what they need until next season.

“We are working close to the land, in the region Jämtland, with the forest and the local farmers.”

“We are a quite special bar, located in the northern parts of Sweden. So to start, we don’t work with citrus fruit. The only thing that we are buying to the bar is booze. We are working close to the land, in the region Jämtland, with the forest and the local farmers. It lets us have much more control of any waste and also lets us turn our waste into new use.

If you’re in need of inspiration on how to reduce your waste Hampus suggests checking out the “pioneers Trash Tiki and the Green Hustle program from Absolut”.

Trash Tiki, an initiative by bartenders Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths, started out as an online platform, and was just supposed to be a place to gather recipes that would be sustainable but still simple. But with the enormous response it recieved it quickly resulted in a series of pop-ups which would inspire to reducing waste and sustainable bar keeping. Something that even the smallest bar could handle, as well as benefit from.

Reducing waste may sound easy but there are still big challenges that people are faced with within the industry, as Hampus points out. “Lack of knowledge is a huge challenge right now, I thought I new all about the whole sustainable situation but after a year up in the north I’ve realized that I had so much to learn”.