LINA BIELSTEN, Editor in Chief

Lina is project manager for Östermalms Saluhall and also the initiator of the Östermalms Saluhall Magazine. Already at the age of ten she created newspapers and sold custom-made post cards, at that time with © Bielsten Production on the back. Her first publication was the Davis Cup Magazine 2010 for the International Tennis Federation. Now it says Östermalms Saluhall on the cover!

How is it like to work with Östermalms Saluhall?

-It’s an honor to be working with such a strong and prominent brand. I had worked with communication and event for 13 years, right after my business degree from Linköping University. It’s something of a dream for me, who loves this old food hall and all their high quaility products, to preserve the traditional values and at the same time evolve to meet new challenges. I bring the experience of digital media from several large agencies, but I am also getting new insight from the traders. Most of the companies in Östermalms Saluhall have been here for generations and those are invaluable skills to refine. The highlight for me was the food hall’s 125th anniversary – in November 2013 – which we celebrated for a whole week filled with tastings, guest appearances by famous profiles in the food industry, afterwork with live entertainment and a big anniversary party. In addition, I organized an auction to benefit MinStoraDag (Make A Wish Foundation) during the anniversary week where the public could bid on cooking classes at various dealers, private experiences with for example TV-host Steffo Törnquist, hockey player Peter Forsberg and pop artist Eric Saade, explorer Johan Ernst Nilson and top chef Tommy Myllymäki and several other gifts donated by different companies. The auction was organized in collaboration with Stockholms Auktionsverk and generated over 100 000 SEK to the Foundation MinStoraDag. Two years after, I arranged another charity auction to benefit Barncancerfonden (the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation) during the 5-year celebration of Östermalms Saluhall Magazine. I gathered around 50 objects and in total, the auction generated over 200 000 SEK to important cancer research. To be able to carry out these kind of projects is what really motivates me and hopefully I can continue to do that in the future as well.  

What do you enjoy most about the assignment?

- The opportunity to work in a beautiful setting with food of the highest class! Moreover, it is an assignment with a lot of variation in the daily work and you get a great creative height in the various projects – when I arrange food images, design the website and app, create magazines, produce ad campaigns and plan events. No work day is ever the same! I often get ”free” lessons from the food hall traders in everything from how to handle meat to the selection of the best fish for a particular season. Sometimes you get a little treat – a very appreciated gesture. Many believe that the best thing is interviewing famous profiles I feature in the magazine. Sure, you could hear deep sighs from my female acquaintances when I was having coffee with Måns Zelmerlöw on Valentine’s Day of all days and it is great to see our beloved artists here, but I equally like the little everyday moments with all the “regulars”. I have known many of the guests several years so often we stop to talk and share a laugh with each other. I also enjoy to sit alone with my morning coffee in the cosy corner at Robert’s Coffee and see the market hall come to life – or to end a busy week with a Toast Skagen at the bar on a Friday evening at Lisa Elmqvist! It is a warm and genuine atmosphere in Östermalms Saluhall and I hope it will be preserved since this food hall is a unique place in Stockholm!

Lina Bielsten with Quincy Jones in the food hall during his last visit to Sweden


.Do you have a special memory of your own from the food hall?!

- Yes, the opportunity to hang out a few weeks with one of my main role models, Quincy Jones, this summer and the last day to invite him on his own little tasting in the food hall is a memory I will always carry with me. We share the same musical taste and values ​​of life, such as to experience food of the highest quality. Quincy tasted different cheeses, charcuterie and enjoyed the amazing fish, with extra red onion of course (a red onion lies in his bag as well, to avoid the risk of being left without his favorite addition). Although it was his first visit to the food hall, Quincy is fond of restaurant Lisapåtorget which he often visits when he is in Sweden and whose food he loves. So do not be surprised if you see Mr. Jones at the table next to you at Östermalmstorg next summer.

You are both the editor of the magazine and working with several communication projects for Östermalms Saluhall. Tell us, what´s happening?

- That´s true. First I developed a new visual identity that reinforces the sense of tradition and quality. A part of this identity was the new logotype which was designed, in collaboration with Art Director Sanna Buckhöj, to the premiere of Östermalms Saluhall Magazine in 2010 and with a few enthusiasts, I have created ten issues of the magazine so far. The design is reflected in our website as well, which was launched the following year, and in all mobile platforms. Furthermore, I have established partnerships with other strong brands, both local and national actors, and on my initiative Östermalms Saluhall has also been a friendship partner of the non-profit organization Stockholms Stadsmission* for four years.

In addition to our company page on Facebook, where you can receive news and promotions, we have during the winter 2014 launched an app which includes special offers from the stores and our partners. In the app, visitors can also read the latest issue of our magazine, just like on the website.
Last, but not least, a long-awaited premiere is the first joint gift card, which is valid at all stores and restaurants in Östermalms Saluhall and was launched during our 125th anniversary. The gift card can be bought at Robert’s Coffee at the main entrance or by following the instructions on the website for online purchase. It is the perfect gift to anyone who enjoys life and good food, who wish to utilize more of the market hall shops and restaurants! Details about the gift card can be found here.

Östermalms Saluhall Magazine is free to all customers and can be found on several of the food hall counters and in all our entrances. If it is not visible, please ask the vendors for a copy. To read it online visit our magazine site (information in English, magazines are published in Swedish)!

Östermalm Saluhall is undergoing a major renovation which started in the spring of 2016. During approximately three years the building is closed and all stores are located in the temporary food hall at Östermalmstorg. The food hall will re-open in the beginning of 2019. Learn more about the project here.

* Stockholm Stadsmission is a nonprofit organization, whose object is to exert social relief work among the lonely and disenfranchised, the elderly and the sick and to promote child and youth care, education and upbringing. Read more at: www.stadsmissionen.se.