LINA BIELSTEN, Editor in Chief
Lina is project manager for Östermalms Saluhall and also the initiator of 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 15 years, right after my business degree from Linköping University. It’s something of a dream for me, someone who loves this ancient food hall and all their high quality 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 merchants. 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 during 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 organised a charity auction to benefit MinStoraDag (Make A Wish Foundation) during the anniversary week where the public could bid on cooking classes, private meet-and-greets 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 organised 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 am arranging food images, designing the website, working with social media, creating magazines, producing ad campaigns and planning events. No work day is ever the same! I often get ”free” lessons from the food hall merchants 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 the 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 for 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’s 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!
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, one 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. Since then we have become dear friends. 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 (he had a red onion in his bag as well, to avoid the risk of being left without his favourite topping). 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 don’t be surprised if you see Mr. Jones at the table next to you at Östermalmstorg one day.
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 17 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, and on my initiative Östermalms Saluhall has also been a friendship partner of the non-profit organization Stockholms Stadsmission* for seven years.
In addition to our company page on Facebook, where you can receive news and promotions, we have also introduced our first joint gift card a few years ago, which is valid in all stores and restaurants in Östermalms Saluhall. 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 published twice a year and is free to all customers. The magazine can be found in our entrance stands (limited edition) and if it is not visible, please ask the merchants 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 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.