They met during Danish lessons at CBS – now they’re partners in a successful business.
Meet Brini and Theresa, who – along with their three friends Antje, Katrin and Martje – are the young executives of the fast-growing cake company Sweet Sneak.
It began with ‘Hygge’
The whole thing started with the Danish word ‘hygge’. When the girls met during their first semester in February 2012, they quickly realized they enjoyed baking cakes for their classmates. It was fun to bake together, and they planned get-togethers to ‘hygge’ with their friends. The first baking event was a success and the idea for a company emerged.
They founded Sweet Sneak Company based on two main concepts: Sweet Sneak Studio, a catering/event company that plans and carries out party concepts for company events and weddings with a sense of detail and enabling them to deliver the most delicious home-made party cakes. And the Sweet Sneak Pop-up Bakery – a novel approach to catering. The cake artists basically take over their customer’s home or company for a full day or a few hours, baking and serving luscious cakes to crowds of delighted guests.
The Pop-up Bakery’s mascot is a fox, which ‘sneaking’ in and living in other people’s ‘caves.’ The women do everything from the bottom up – from the design concept to the events themselves. There’s just one exception: The Danish tax system is so complex, that they have hired an accountant to take care of the bookkeeping.
Brini and Theresa are both 26 years old and grew up in Germany and Austria, respectively. Since German is their native language, it was natural for them to take Danish classes when they were accepted into Copenhagen Business School in 2012 to study Management and Creative Business Processes.
Both women took Danish Language Course 3 at CBS alongside starting their semester. It was hard work from the start, and they ended up finishing modules 1-5 in less than two years.
“It was very intense, but it was also so much fun to study,” says Brini.
“One of the best moments was, when I finally understood how to spell ‘lige nøjagtig’ (exactly). I had heard it used so many times, but I simply couldn’t understand how in the world that expression was put together, and in what context it would fit. Suddenly I understood it! That was a great day!”
Theresa explains that all teachers and students at CBS speak English. But when you need to get in touch with the Ministry of Environment and Food, tax office or other authorities, you have to speak Danish.
“Danes really appreciate your speaking Danish. The conversations are more open, if you make the effort to learn and speak their language. And when you are starting a business, you need all the knowledge and advice you can get.”
We love it here
The girls have great expectations and high hopes for the future.
“We really hope we are able to make our business grow, and that all our dreams and projects become reality. Right now, family and children are not so important. Maybe later on. First, we would like to continue our wonderful lives in Copenhagen and get to know more Danes. And we also hope to spend more time together just having fun as friends – we’re a bit short on that, because we are working so much.”
None of the girls see themselves leaving Denmark in the near future:
“The weather can be quite annoying, Danish wine is nothing to write home about, and the landscape is so flat here. Sometimes I miss the mountains! On the other hand, everything works amazingly well compared to so many other places. Hospitals, municipalities, the entire concept of the welfare state. Danes are nice and very open, the food is good, and everything is very aesthetically pleasing. The Danes have a great sense of style. So we love it here. ”