They bake together, own a popular Swedish cafe together, and now the three best friends of Fika fame, Linda, Sophie and Diana, are expecting babies together.
Sweden and Sydney may be 15,600km apart, but you only have to travel to Manly for a taste of the land of cinnamon scrolls and Skagen toast. For more than a decade, Fika Swedish Kitchen has been introducing Aussies to the charming tradition of ‘fika’ (fee-ka), a Swedish concept that is all about taking a break for a coffee and a bite to eat.
Fika was founded by a remarkable trio of female Swedish expats and best friends – Linda, Sophie and Diana – who left their nine to fives to open the flagship cafe in Market Lane at Manly Beach in 2013.
Diana recalls, “Slightly disappointed by the options on the Sydney cafe market back in 2009-2010, we would often talk about the things we’d miss from home. And popping over to IKEA for a Swedish hit just didn’t cut it. So, the idea of opening a place quickly evolved.”
Fast forward to 2024, and Fika has become a household name with an additional location in Bondi (est. 2019), and a bakery (est. 2022) just down the road from the Manly flagship store.
“Working together as best friends is the best thing we could have ever done,” Diana says. “We’ve collaborated for the past 10+ years and we’re still great friends outside of work as well. Maybe it was the extensive work we did prior to opening in preparing our business plan and talking through as many scenarios as we could as we tried to foresee future issues. Maybe it’s luck? Not sure, but it’s something we value, respect and look after daily.”
All the Swedish baking magic happens at Fika’s Manly bakery, where you’ll find everything from their famous cinnamon and vanilla buns to gravlax pastries, love bites slices and rye bread rolls. Besides baking all their desserts and bread, the Fika team also roll every single meatball and makes all their dips, sauces and Skagen from scratch. You’ll find these on the menu at their Manly cafe, with popular dishes including their Scando Avo toast on house rye bread; Skagen toast with prawn, dill and lemon mayo mix; and traditional Swedish meatballs with mashed potato, pickled cucumber, gravy and lingonberry jam. Pair your brunch with Fika’s house-made Swedish tea blends or their very own coffee roast.
For any Swede craving a slice of home, Fika celebrates as many of the Swedish traditions as they can, including Semla Bun Day, Midsummer and Julafton (Swedish Christmas). You can also throw your own Swedish celebration with one of Fika’s traditional cakes, including their famous Smörgåstårta. This savoury sandwich cake is a showstopper, filled with eggs and mayonnaise, liver paté, radish, Skagen, ham, cold cuts, cucumber, grapes, lemon slices, cheese, smoked salmon, herbs and pomegranate.
What makes this year particularly special for Fika is that all three owners are expecting new additions to their families, and will be navigating the challenges of business and babies simultaneously.
“This coming year is extra special as we get to navigate business and experience motherhood together,” they announced on their Instagram. “How this all timed is beyond us and we’re forever grateful to our big team who will help look after Fika. We’re also thankful we get to be an all female led business in 2024 when it is possible to have a family and run a business both at once 🙏”
“Lots of people have asked how we’re going to do this, but I think people forget that this business isn’t just the three of us, it’s a team of 25 incredibly talented and many long-term staff… We can’t wait to keep building on our business as we navigate this new life. But for the next few months, you’ll see us sipping coffees at one of our locations with (hopefully mostly) sleeping babies,” says Diana.
Sounds like a piece of cake! We wish them all the very best and await the good news.
*UPDATE: Just as we published this story we received the wonderful news that Sophie had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Linda is due March 13 and Diana is due March 7.
Address: Café – 5B Market Ln, Manly | Bakery – 5A Raglan St, Manly | Bondi 41 Gould st, North Bondi
Opening Hours: Café – Daily 7am-2pm | Bakery – Daily 7am-12pm | Bondi Cafe Window 7am-1pm