Back in 2016, two best friends spent the evening drinking beer and eating grilled sandwiches. You know the kind of sandwich where the melted cheese runs out a bit and turns crunchy. Probably they had more beer, but for sure they agreed that the best part of the sandwich was the crunchy melted cheese. Suddenly they had a clear vision of a business opportunity – and the idea of Lava Cheese was born.
Best part of the sandwich
Lava Cheese is the name of small crunchy cheese crisps made of baked grated cheddar. They come today in three variants: Plain, with chili and smoked.
From idea to action
The two Icelandic friends, Guðmundur and Jósep, had already several startups in their records. However, when they got the idea of Lava Cheese in 2016, both were employees. Guðmundur worked as an air steward and conducted a simple market analyses: He shared Lava Cheese with the crew on board. When the colleagues began to ask for Lava Cheese, he knew they were on to something. The two entrepreneurs bought an oven online – and they started to bake cheese crisps in larger quantities.
Soon they participated in a food festival in Harpa, and when they felt the enthusiasm – and sold out – they really began to believe in the project.
Iceland becomes too small
This summer I went to Iceland with my family and we met with Jóhann, who recently joined the management group.
With a view to the fjord (which you often have in Iceland) he told us about the journey from idea to today where 8 persons daily bake crispy cheese snacks. The production is actually carbon offset through the Climate Neutral Now initiative by the UN where companies support sustainable projects worldwide and thus offset the carbon footprint from their own production.
Lava Cheese is available in most supermarkets in Iceland. A small home market, limitations of Icelandic produced cheddar, custom tariffs together with a high interest from abroad made it necessary to take the next step. With a crowd funding in the back, Lava Cheese set up production on the Swedish island Gotland. From here they are ready to expand into the Nordic countries.
Not only with beer
Lava Cheese are crunchy and a bit salty. Naturally they call for beer. But the keto-friendly crisps are also good in cooking. Break them into smaller pieces and toss in a good salad. Or top them with fresh goat cheese or cream cheese as delicate finger food.
Now you know, maybe you will meet Lava Cheese later…