Lars Åkerlund is the passionate founder and CEO of the Swedish café chain FIKA, spreading Swedish coffee culture in New York. Born and raised in the small Swedish town of Södertalje, Lars grew up in a very coffee-centric culture and quickly became well versed in the art of fika. After graduating from culinary school and becoming a trained chef, he dedicated himself to travelling and exploring his entrepreneurial spirit.
In 2001 he fell in love with New York and decided to start his own business in the city that never sleeps. His ambition was to replicate the Swedish tradition of enjoying a long and high quality coffee break with friends or family in America. Five years later, in 2006, the first FIKA opened its door on 58th Street next to the Plaza Hotel, and has since grown to 17 locations all over Manhattan, including a successful wholesale and online business. Lars remains very hands on in his role as CEO, leading the growing FIKA team with his clear mission of spreading the Swedish Coffee Culture.