Something is brewing in the eastern part of Oslo. It is a new coffee bar called Lille Tøyen Kolonial. It is first and foremost an organic grocery store, the owners would probably argue, but for me, it is mainly a new source for a caffeine fix. We don’t have many coffee bars close to Hasle where Erik Valebrokk and I work. Thus, I called the hipster to ask if he wanted to go check it out with me.
– I’ve already been there, but, I’ll show you where it is, the douchebag fashionista trendsetter replied.
Erik led the way, from where we work, almost at Økern, through the heavy Hasle traffic. He was jay-walking all the way, never bothering to press the buttons at pedestrian crossings.
– I don’t waste my precious time with waiting, he explained. I read the traffic like an open book.
Soon we took a left turn, crossing straight through a schoolyard, before we arrived at the gates of Lille Tøyen.
– Wow, it’s like a small, hidden community here, I said to Erik.
Suddenly it felt like we were in the posh area of Ullevål Hageby, but this was far east in Oslo.
– It’s the same architecture, Erik told me smugly.
There it was! A brick and mortar building with green awnings above the windows at the first floor. Ask for Tøyen-Cola! it read on the door. This part of town even has their own Cola brand. No big brand multinational corporations stand a chance here. Lille Tøyen Kolonial is all about local, organic produce. Small producers and only the best of quality.
Two awesome girls are in charge behind the counter! Christine Hammer and Kaja Rambæk Holmboe Bang wanted to make a new gathering place for the neighborhood. A place where you can grab a coffee and small snack, and then buy whatever you need for dinner on your way out. Everything on the shelves is organic and from small-scale producers. I found some of my favorites: Røros dairy products, Ask charcuterie and meat from Grøstad. This particular day Kaja’s husband was visiting too. You know, Esben, that dude from Norway’s only two-Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo.
The coffee beans for the espressos are from Tim Wendelboe, one of Oslo’s finest roasteries and coffee bars. During the opening weekend, they even had Tim’s baristas in the store to make people coffee. However, it was Kaja who made my double cortado this day, and check out that milk! Perfect smoothness. Returning to my place with coffee and a cinnamon roll from Godt Brød I found the Internet sensation, Erik Valebrokk, busy taking photos of his food. God damn bloggers! Always making photos, adding filters and posting shit online.
In the bar along the window on the right, Erik and I were discussing the concept.
– It looks a bit naked still, I told Erik.
– They’re probably gonna fill it up more, there’s a lot of free space.
Erik looked around on the various products, all lined up in wooden shelves on the wall.
– Nice design! Also, I love the fact that there are some producers here I’ve never heard of before. That’s a plus, Erik said as if that’s the only thing that mattered to him.
– Did you buy anything here on your first visit then? I wondered.
– Just a Tøyen-Cola, Erik mumbled. Damn hipster.
Have you checked out Lille Tøyen Kolonial yet? Or is it simply too far away from where you hang out? Do feel free to drop a word below.