So, after visiting Uffe Elbæk at Kaospilots in Århus I went with Louise to the original Emmery’s which used to be “just” a fine, traditional bakery, founded in 1898. Since Louise only knew of the newer Emmery’s in Copenhagen I tought it would be a fun place to go for lunch. Thinking it was a good example of innovation (traditional-bakery-turned-into-designer-deli-style-giant-succes) I told the bits of the story I knew as a teaser before turning to the girl who explained the menu of the day, asking “so, this is the original Emmery’s right? When did it all start?”.
She didn’t have a clue; “oh yeah, a long time ago it was only a bakery and then something happened…”.
Bewondered as I where, I didn’t investigate in the moment. But I’m still wondering. When you walk into this store you get the sensation of the old bakery mixed with new ideas and a modern kitchen. But there doesn’t seem to be much relation between the long history of the place and the new concept and style. The value of the visit dropped by 50% – because the story was gone. We were in another hip diner serving good food.
The question here is: What’s authentic to Emmery’s? Maybe the story of the original place is no longer important? When the next store opens in Stockholm the swedes are not going to have a clue about the history – and they probably don’t mind. Maybe the authentic value here is the quality of the food and the good service. Two things that I’m sure the young woman explaining the menu shares with the founder in 1898…