Food & Drink

Ladies Who Launch: Hazel Evans & Marie Abildhauge Olesen of Mad About Copenhagen

If you’re interested in the ever-evolving food scene in Denmark, you probably already know Mad About Copenhagen, the food-centric brand based in, you guessed it, Copenhagen. Founded as an Instagram account in 2014 by British-born Hazel Evans, the account showcased good food throughout the city. “I had moved to Copenhagen and there was very little in English that was telling me about the food scene. I was just biking around, eating food and finding places I liked. I thought, why not share it?” Turns out, there were loads of people who wanted that information and the account soon saw a surge in followers.

“I was working in marketing and had this brand on the side, and I wanted to do something with it. People were obviously responding really well,” Hazel explains. “So in 2016, I quit my job. Then I asked Marie if she wanted to quit as well and work with me. And she did it.” The two women share a look. “I felt really bad, because I was asking her to give up her job and do something with this ready-created brand, so we discussed possibly just scrapping the whole thing and coming up with something totally new.”

Marie nods, “To me, that was really a sign that Hazel was willing to form a real partnership because she wanted me and our partner Antonio to have ownership over the process.”


 

 

Antonio, the third member of the trifecta, is what Hazel refers to as “our marriage counsellor.” He mediates the relationships and strategies within Mad About Copenhagen so that they’re building on a healthy foundation and confronting any possible conflict head-on. “When the three of us started meeting,” Marie explains, “what we realised was that the real basis for the business was that we were a group of people who wanted to create something amazing together. The business ideas just started flowing after that.”

“We had all these ideas,” Hazel continues, “Speed dating. Opening a shop. But it really came down to Mad About Copenhagen the brand. So while a lot of other businesses start out with something they want to produce in the future, we had this little twist where we were looking at what we already had and making something from that. We saw that the parameters were Copenhagen, food, and people; any project that could fit within that was, and still is, a possibility.”

After officially incorporating the business in 2016, Hazel and Marie got to work deciding on Mad About Copenhagen’s direction. But of course, that’s easier said than done. While doing what Hazel refers to as “survival stuff,” meaning they took smaller, loosely-related jobs just to be earning money, the business continued to grow. They held a series of successful events and dipped their toes into new possibilities.


 

 

In summer of 2017, Mad About Copenhagen launched their concierge service, creating custom food guides for those living in or visiting Copenhagen. They are also currently running a Kickstarter for their forthcoming book, which will tell the stories of the people behind the food scene in Copenhagen, as well as great photography and a few recipes thrown in for good measure.

So what’s the next step for Mad About Copenhagen? “We’re trying to say yes to more things,” Marie says, “including collaborations and events. We’ve also started running two food-tour experiences on Airbnb: ‘Wake Up and Smell the Danish Pastries’ and ‘Off the Eaten Track’ about underground food spots in the city. We’ve got a lot of things going on!”

“It’s a mad world,” Hazel sighs.
 

Support the Mad about Copenhagen book Kickstarter, ending on 12th April!

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