Humble Beginnings At Berlin’s Weekly Markets
In October 1996, I took my liquorice to the Winterfeldtmarkt in Schoeneberg for the first time. It was to do Market Research – because I had this idea… Having grown up near the Dutch border, I was missing a “proper” liquorice selection in Berlin and wanted to find out if other people felt the same way.
It turned out that some customers knew liquorice and in particular, salty liquorice from Holland or Denmark. To other customers, liquorice only meant the wheels and pipes available in regular supermarkets. For some of the stronger pastilles, you even had to go to the pharmacy! That was the status quo on liquorice in 1996.
Soon, I started to offer my liquorice selections on a few of Berlin’s Markets. I drove my friend Frank’s old Volvo Amazon to Holland to buy goods. Apart from “Drop” (Dutch for liquorice) there were many other yummy “Snoepjes” (sweets) so the range was very dutch at the beginning.
Opening The First Specialist Liquorice Shop In Germany
In April 1997, I rented a storage space in Graefestrasse 75 – at the time, this was a quiet residential area in Kreuzberg. The rooms needed a lot of work, but with a lot of ambition and a little help from friends, we renovated the place and even put coving on the ceilings.
More and more, it became clear that what was meant to be a storage area, would actually make a nice little shop as well. With the help of our friend and professional photographer Dirk Soboll and the newly founded advertising agency “godz” from Cologne, we turned the idea into a solid concept for the first specialist liquorice shop in the whole of Germany. Dirk Soboll did the interior design. We soon agreed that we wanted to combine some old items (scales/ till) with a new and modern interior (glass, steel, wood). After all, liquorice has been known since hundreds of years (old), and we wanted to show its versatility and variety in a modern way (new). In the first specialist liquorice shop in Germany, we wanted to put the product at the heart of everything and the clear, clean appearance of the shop should underline this central position. kadó - means present and hopefully our shop will have this reputation for liquorice fans.
To make my plans reality, we needed a loan. Appointments at the banks were not very successful: “A liquorice shop? You’d have to add tea to the range. Or children’s clothes. At least offer some chocolate.“ Finally, a banker from the North knew what I meant and approved the loan. The magic word “internet” was helpful in securing the loan – the young advertising professionals urged us so reserve „kado.de“ as a domain because „the internet would change the world in the future“. Aha?
The Opening Party And Our First Day at Work
For our opening in September, we held a big kadó party. A few hours later our alarm went off – our first day at work! On Saturday the 20th September 1997 we opened the shop at 9 am, at least that was what we had told everybody. But there were no crowds of people waiting to enter. Around 10 o’clock, an elderly lady came in. I was very nervous and didn’t know what to say! Frank came to the rescue and asked what she was looking for. “Do you know when the watchmaker next door opens?” Frank answered her question and almost begged her to buy something as the first customer in the shop, at a negotiable price. The lady seemed slightly overwhelmed. In the end, she bought some dutch cookies, never to return.
The Beginning Of A Daily Routine
In 1998, the life of a shop owner began for me. This sounds like “…and they lived happily ever after”. But now, questions started to pop up: How do I find the liquorice lovers of the city, and how do they find me? How do I price the goods, especially in the beginning? How do I develop a high-quality range of products? What does an online shop look like? What does the tax office want from me? And how do I organize my work? kadó have already attended the Winterfeldtplatz market on Saturdays for a year and has been building its reputation among liquorice lovers there. In September, we started opening the shop on Saturdays until 2pm – so it was time to hire an assistant.
kadó Goes Online
In 1998, we started our website including an online shop. I remember heated discussions with godz and Dirk about whether people would ever trust an online shop and order food without seeing or tasting it before. kadó started to spark the interest of the media as well. Luckily, I was on a roll as a guest on Volker Wieprecht’s Radio Show (Radio Eins 1999, “Shoppen & Stricken”).
“Zitty” and “Tagesspiegel” also discovered our shop and told Berlin city about us, as did the RBB with a TV report. We didn’t have money to spend on advertising, so we had to work on reputation alone.
The 5- Year- Mark
In 2002, we completed our first, important 5 years in business. In addition to the weekly Winterfeldt markets, we attended the weekly market at Kollwitzplatz (from 2000) and hired another assistant for this. And suddenly you are somebody’s boss. There are some experiences from being employed myself, that I wanted to be sure not to copy. However, your point of view changes when you are responsible for EVERYTHING.
One of our new assistants took the product and price guides home to study. These guides inspired her friend, a professional musician, to create a soundtrack for our liquorice range (R. Koch – trumpet, Christian Reiner – vocals). Listen to this crazy piece here: kadó hören..
Liquorice Research in Finland
Even though I thought I knew a great deal about liquorice already, there are always new things that surprise me. In 2003, our search for new flavours led us to Scandinavia. The Nordic recipes are a little more creative: Banana-Lemon liquorice – who thinks of this combination! But it really goes well together and tastes very good. As do little liquorice rolls with a salty raspberry filling. Filidutter, salta hallon, Spunk Gajol… Everything was a new taste and a new word for me. As teenagers, we often drove or sailed to Holland to buy a bag of DZ, doubly salted liquorice. Because of the high salt content, everything is required to be specially labeled in Germany that has an ammonium/salt content of 2.99 – 7.99%. In Scandinavia, the people seem to need this content to live!
kadó Liquorice Cars
Throughout the years, we drove some privately owned old Volvos that we used for our Saturday work at the markets. One market sales kit consists of around 6-7 boxes, plus the scales and the stall. Once we had dropped off the kit at Winterfeldtmarket, we had to drive back to the warehouse and get the next kit for Kollwitzmarkt. This was a very time-consuming process that we had done for years.
But then, we got our first company car which we lovingly called “the brick”, fuelled with natural gas. It had room for exactly three market kits so we could deliver them to the markets in one go. That was useful, because in 2005 kadó started selling on Hackescher Markt as well.
kadó Takes On Sponsorship For Liquorice At The Botanic Gardens Of Berlin
In the Botanic Gardens of Berlin, kadó took on sponsorship of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra. We formally received the certificate by Prof. Zimmer.
First own Licorice-Recepie - ith Ginger
One late night at a friends birthday party, I was offered a glass of ginger liqueur and wow, what a fiery ginger flavor! At the time we were working on our own first ginger licorice, but had not yet found the right ginger flavor, which could withstand the strong aroma of licorice.
And after have had tried this ginger liqueur: who could create something this fine? Answer was the Prussian Spirits Manufactory in Berlin, shortly PSM. And so we headed to Wedding.
Mr. Schroff from Schroff&Stahl GbR, a distiller of the house showed me ''his'' world. A laboratory with an atmosphere of knowledge and handicraft.
The 140-year-old working tools and copper kettles are very impressive, each screw hand turned, every bell jar handblown. Some spirits needs to be aged in oak barrels to get that certain nuance, like for example whiskey, here simply called grain. Next to this, stoneware barrels are lined up, filled with spirits to be preserved, like gin for example. These methods of working and equipment are still used today and great value is put on quality. Both requires a high standard workmanship.
And here is where the ginger aroma is produced. Ginger root with its fiery taste is imported from China and delivered in large bags at the laboratory. The roots are cut into small pieces and thereafter grinded to expose the fibers. To extract the aroma, the fibers are left to rest for 4 weeks in an alcohol solution and with this process the ginger infusion is made. At this stage it looks dull and is therefor then naturally filtered by a tonic. Now it is done and ready to use, a clear, fiery, ginger extract.
Now the kadó part of the job begins. I travelled elsewhere in Germany with the ginger extract to a food technologist and where I spent 3 days of licorice cooking. So much fun! Suddenly I was the the ship's cook and was aloud to assist. About 2 kilos of licorice paste was made, which was then portioned and differently flavored. Every step was listed in detail and carefully weighed, but the tweezers for milligram quantities is not for rough hands to be handled. One little mistake and the batch is over salted, or as in this case, way to fiery and strong. Not approved and straight in the garbage it goes! Assisting ship's cook was disqualified and the boss had to complete the process alone, while sometimes mentioning quietly that everything costs of goods sold, time and money. The hot licorice is quickly poured into prepared starch trays, before it cools down. Now the licorice must rest 1-2 days before being sprinkled with sugar as the last step.
Here you can see each and every step in the process of making our ginger licorice. The final product - handmade ginger licorice.
With the introduction of a new licorice into the kadó assortment, larger quantities were needed. We searched for a suitable licorice confectioner and found the perfect one in Belgium. This family business in 4th generation produces their own licorice recipes – and since 2006 also the kadó ginger licorice.
A 100 gram for 2.50€ is a good buy, don't you think?
kadó Celebrates Its 10 Year Anniversary
One day, a customer came in and told us that upon asking for Danish liquorice at the KaDeWe, he was sent straight to kadó. This referral meant a lot to me – it meant that we were established! For 10 years, kadó has been showing the variety of European liquorice and making liquorice lovers mouths water.
As the first specialist shop in Germany with such an extensive liquorice range, the media became interested in us. We made the news because we only offer liquorice and – no, our 400+ varieties from Iceland down to Sicily don’t all taste the same! They even reflect the cultural preferences of Europe in their tastes. Furthermore, kadó was one of the first retail shops with an online shop in these days. We worked with media students for their dissertations and were interviewed by the public media channels.
Moving To The Other Side Of Graefestrasse
After 10 years at Graefestrasse 75, our shop became too small. While kadó had started with around 60 types of liquorice in 1996, only 11 years later our range had developed to over 400 different types from Iceland down to Sicily. We were lucky – a shop across the road became available and we decided to move across to Graefestrasse 20.
The new shop was bigger, but still had a dividing wall through the shop floor. We needed more space, so we had to change the shop interior. By rearranging, we were able to improve some of our processes too.
Moving itself was easy – we didn’t even need a moving van! On Saturday we worked at No. 75 until closing time, then disassembled the furniture etc. and carried it across to No. 20. Friends and “kadó-letten” as we call our staff members, helped us move and after the weekend, we opened the shop on Tuesday at 9.30 in the new location.
kadó Takes On An Apprentice
After working mainly with part time student workers, we took on our first apprentice in 2008. After finishing her course to become a professional retail saleswoman, she joined the kadó management team.
Liquorice From The North
The majority of our range comes from European countries. The EU makes it easy to buy liquorice across borders – which is not the case for Iceland though. It was my ambition to have even the most northern types of liquorice in my range, which is a time-consuming and expensive process, because Iceland is not an EU country.
First of all, I had to convince the companies to sell liquorice to Berlin because they had never exported before. This was the same for some other countries, so I knew this already. However, it took a long time to collect all customs documents that have to accompany the shipping. Finally, after a 3-day long sea cruise, it arrived from Reykjavik into Hamburg and I drove to the Hamburg Port to declare the goods at the customs office.
A Little Book About Liquorice
A big day for kadó – At the Frankfurt Book Show, a book about liquorice was published: “Liquorice – a black passion” which is a joint work of the author Klaus-Dieter Kreische, kadó and Thorbecke publishing house.
We wanted to explore some questions that we had heard frequently at work: Why is liquorice black? Is “Salmiak” a type of liquorice too? What is the deal with “Baerendreck”? So we developed the idea to tell a few interesting and funny stories around liquorice in a little book. Maike Koch tried out the cooking recipes and Ilse Boege designed the 32 pictures.
The first research trip led us to England. We listened to some fantastic stories about the creation of the first sweet liquorice recipe in the world, the Pontefract Cakes! Allegedly, a sugar pot had accidentally slipped into the raw liquorice liquid. A hard fact, however, is that the shoe that Charlie Chaplin cooks, serves and eats in his film “Goldrush” (1925) was made frmo English liquorice.
Dirk Soboll, interior designer and professional photographer, helped us take the photos, approx. 10 per day. A real liquorice shooting including lighting, positioning and an appealing shine achieved with olive oil...
Service At kadó
By now, kadó is very well known by liquorice lovers. Patrons that have been with us since the beginning are continuing to buy from us and we try to offer them exciting new flavours every now and again. We rarely hear anybody say “You either like it or you don’t” in our shop. All our staff members are liquorice lovers too, and can find the perfect flavours for each customer.
Liquorice Tasting At kadó
After 15 years of business, kadó has many interesting and funny stories and details to tell around liquorice. The idea to hold a liquorice workshop was born on a research trip to Stockholm. We met Lotta Raab, who cooks with liquorice and suggested we use it as a spice in the kitchen. What a revelation!
Cinnamon Diamonds - A new addition to the kadó range
After a few days of cooking, the new recipe for a cinnamon –flaovoured liquorice was ready. Fluffy it had to be, and with a nice, fresh cinnamon taste. Also, the relation of liquorice to cinnamon, the texture, and the right mixture had tob e found, right down to the granularity of the sugar sprinkles. Finally, the template for the casting mould had to be developed. All of this was done manually in a laboratory specialising in food, which turned into a liquorice kitchen on a regular basis. Now, we are able to present to all liquorice lovers our very own kadó Cinnamon Diamonds – on their own or in a snazzy black tin.
The ARD, a German TV station, visit kadó
When the first call came, we thought it was a joke. “Ehm…boss? TV people on the phone for you…” What a joker! But very soon, all doubts were removed: An agency, that specialise in documentaries for the ARD TV station, wanted to know all about liquorice. Would they be allowed to film at kadó? As if anybody had ever turned that down!
So appointments were made and the crew arrived. We chatted for ten hours about liquorice: Where from, What, Where. Now all the information is wrapped up nicely in an entertaining and informative video. But see for yourself (ARD Buffet, Das Mittagsmagazin 28.01.2014)!
The GDR liquorice stick
Here at kadó, we often get asked: Do those liquorice sticks from East Germany still exist? Hard and chewy they were, rough and tangy. Approx. 10cm in length, wrapped in paper, black and delicious! Hm – a case for kadó!
We researched the federal archives and found first clues about the confectionary combinations in the GDR:
In 1898, Oswald Stengel founded a Gingerbread- and Chocolate Factory in Wilkau-Haßlau, Saxonia. With the emergence of the GDR, his son “sold” the factory to the county of Saxonia and the factory was restructured and declared the “Publicly Owned Factory for Confectionary Wesa”.
On the 16.11.1973, the new director asked for permission to conduct “complex restructure of the liquorice and gelatine production, including the improvement of working and living conditions” to the council of Karl-Marx-Stadt. The ministry of Industry and Food Production in Berlin approved of this and this special liquorice stick was the first item to be produced in this newly restructured factory. However, it was only meant as a temporary product, to practice for the production of proper liquorice confectionary. So only a single generation of people in the GDR were able to enjoy these special liquorice sticks. In 1974, production ended and the recipe has been lost ever since. We are sorry!
kadó is turning 18
"Who turned the clock?'' Seriously, did already 18 years pass? I do get a little bit emotional when I start thinking about the early days on the weekend markets, in the first store, the joy of creating our design, but also the pressure of being questioned– ''A licorice store?! Why don't you add tea to your assortment. Or children's clothing. At least chocolate.'' Since then, Berlin and the republic sure turned more black, we found our customers. A heart-warming high to the licorice lovers who wouldn't hesitate to be the first to try the most oblique sort and who stays open to the European ''normality'' when it comes to licorice flavours.
Our anniversary gives us a good opportunity to thank all of those who helped kadó along the way and still are. Anja Bischoff for the web communication in word and deed. Her agency Interfacies brings the photo gallery for our ginger licorice as well as giving the licorice poems an appealing form to mark the anniversary on www.kado.de, to just name a couple of examples. Hicking Marcel is the man taking care of the technology behind the website, programming special requests and looking after web security.
Dirk Soboll designed the shop interior, with which we smoothly work on a daily basis since 18 years! Still standing behind all ideas and extensions. Caroline Gärtner designed the kadó boxes for the ginger licorice and added to this, also the templates for letterhead and business cards for printing by Bloch & Co in Kreuzberg. Translating the website into English is done regularly by Anja Bischoff, our colleague Johanna Melin and our goddaughter living in England. When it comes to photos, Jennifer Endom provides us with good advice and when it has to be done professionally, she is the one putting the licorice in front of the camera lens, for example for the presentation made for KaDeWe.
A heartfelt thanks to all of you!
kadó in KaDeWe
For one year kadó worked on creating a beautiful packaging for licorice. A designer was sought for and a spanish one was found in Berlin. He spent two days to get an overview of everything in kadó and to narrow it down he restricted himself with asking only three questions. With this he came up with 4 proposals and our winner was already among these. The designer got inspired by the visible part of the licorice plant and set the decor in black on white. That was strike 1.
Now a producer had to be found, one that could implement the design and at the same time use food-friendly, suitable materials. Our research lead the way to Denmark. Praise the EU! A semi reasonable amount was ordered, production took off and half a year later it was done. Just in time for Easter the first delivery was made and since then this little beauty is awaiting our dear customers. Strike 2.
The feedback surprised us a little. Sure, the box is classic, chic and the shape fits the hand very well when opening it. Hmm… A piece good enough to stand on its own? The outcome of this question was depending on its surroundings. Let's ask in the 6th floor of KaDeWe…
This ended up with kadó being invited to hold a presentation, and as good as it sometimes get, it all came together like pot and lid. In KaDeWe great value is put into regional references, to that licorice is–after 18 years!–simply a bit trendy. With the wide range of products, from Iceland all the way to Sicily, that kadó had to offer, expertise included, it was just right. For kadó this adress is a nice emphasis of that to which is of much importance to us in our daily shop: quality, variety and a clientele that appreciates good service. And with this, dear customer, you will find licorice as usual in Kreuzberg but also in the confectionery department of KaDeWe. This was strike 3.
This is what the licorice stand looks like on location. The kadó boxes are filled with our own house blends: sweet, salty or a mix out of both. The compartments invites the customer to find their own way through the world of licorice: salmiak, licorice with thyme, black currant combined with salty licorice, bay leef licorice, swedish licorice fudge wrapped in a hint of vanilla, german chili licorice, the famous double salted licorice from the Netherlands, soft licorice toffees, english coconut mint cubes, finnish lemon rolls… whatever makes you happy!
The Bamberger Licorice Root Society
In the Middle Ages, licorice root, the main ingredient for making licorice, was cultivated in Bamberg. Fields of licorice surrounded the Bamberg Cathedral, as seen on the farmers map from year 1500. The root was beside honey a popular sweetener and an important economic asset of the region, exported for example as far as to Venice. The farmer had to reap the licorice strand unscathed, which requires a lot of manual work still today. This, since licorice is a tap-rooted plant and the roots first dig vertically into the ground and then starts to branch off.
Painted pictures of licorice decorate the ceiling in the Bamberg Cathedral and also the coat of arms of the city. The trade with licorice altered since Italy, Spain, France and Iraq could get greater licorice crops and offer better prices thanks to the advantageous climate in their countries. Cultivating licorice in Bamberg came to an end and from now on the knowledge was only to be read and found in books.
One day in 2010, members of the ''Garden City Bamberg'' found their way back to their roots and founded the Bamberg Licorice Company with the ambitious goal to start cultivating the long lost root again. Read all about how it all happened and what came to follow in this article "Bamberger Süßholz". kadó is a member of the Licorice Society and therefor in title of being able to purchase some of the harvested glycyrrhiza. In this pretty little package you will find–after an about 500 years long slumber–the first Bamberger glycyrrhiza, available at kadó.
All good things come in threes
- and the third licorice sort of the house is here! Made exclusively with gum arabic, and therefor firm and chewy, kado's first own salty licorice comes in the shape of a starfish. Quite a match if we may say so!
This is the first salty licorice to be made in the belgian manufactory and I think I dare to claim that the licorice maestro resisted putting salt to the licorice for at least 10 years. ''Salt will destroy the great taste, Mrs Böge.'' Yes, I know what you mean. But sometimes a pinch of salt can help to enhance the aromas, Monsieur. Could we maybe try just once,…please?
And since we have been cooperating for suuuch a long time–keyword: Gingerlicorice–the constant encouragement from Berlin actually and finally payed off (or maybe he just wanted to be left in peace) it lead in the end to some sample cooking, see photo. With the result that now, both parties are very happy with this newcomer.
This licorice order was the one and only annually approved shipment of goods that the intern was allowed to bring or ship no matter of content, may it be books, clothes or cigarettes. So, this time it was all about licorice. The sender had used his precious weekly and limited computer time, accompanied by a prison guard, to go through the kadó webpage and finally send off his wishes, in which he finally gave me the complete freedom of choice. Christmas surprise!
In times of internet, a licorice order per post is more rare than usual, but they still do occur. One day a carefully handwritten letter appeared in our post box. I was asked to put together “a nice licorice selection of 5 kilos“, something of which the sender “was immensely looking forward to after a long time of preparation“, bill included. A bit over the top maybe, but quite nice in its way.The order document was of more official character and handled the formalities required for the shipment. Given sender, which was also the receiving customer, was set to: JVA Tegel / Tegel Prison Berlin.
I was touched. And challenged. I went through our whole assortment in the store while continuously checking the weight. Deed of honor, the package was not allowed to exceed 4999 grams. Our small booklet “schwarze Leidenschaft“ was given for free, this was most likely a dedicated reader. Each and every product was carefully declared by amount and description in the document attached, since any deviation would be confiscated.
Off and away with the post. A couple of weeks later a postcard with kind regards from the Tegel Prison Berlin landed in our post box.
Goodbye MarketsOn June 24th 2017 a circle closed in kadó: since 20 years this is our last day representing and offering our selection of licorice at the weekend markets.
After 1000 Saturdays at the Winterfeldt Market, 850 at Kollwitzplatz (add to that 520 Saturdays at the Hackeschen Market until 2015), it’s time for us to say goodbye! We are not getting any younger...
From the depth of our heart we would like to thank all licorice monsters out there, whom regardless wheather conditions, stepped out the door to go find us. A weekend without licorice? Not likely.
That’s why, dear licorice friends, we are more than happy to welcome you all to pay us a visit in our very own specialist licorice shop in Graefestrasse 20, saturdays from 9:30 to 15:30.
And please don’t forget: on 19.9.2017 kadó is turning 20! We would be delighted to see you again then at the latest!
Sincerly black regards, Ilse Böge & Frank Büttner
kadó - the no.1 licorice shop goes 20!
A big thanks from the depths of our heart to all of you small and big licorice monsters out there, for staying true, for keeping up the lust for the black goodies and all the nice small talk throughout the years. This reminds us of the ‘‘small‘‘ customers that came along during our first years and which probably all have graduated by now, haha! Time flies! If looking at old photos one would for sure be able to see the changes. As the body which had its well deserved part of all the hard work, after 20 years and heaving tons of licorice! But hey! Still motivated to heave, mix and serve many more. If we may…, we‘ll get back to that later.
Well, since we traditionally like to celebrate each and every licorice highlight, we decided that this anniversary would be no exception! We‘ve got some exciting plans ahead… and we made a commercial for the Berlin cinemas…! A selection of chosen cinemas around the city already sell kadó licorice since quite a while, wouldn‘t it be nice to be able to say THANK YOU. Said and done, with the help from Giulia, our well connected former colleague, we were able to get the right people together right on time.
First up was Tobi, the artist, maybe you know his piece ''Leo'' in the Chamäleon Theatre? It's wonderful! Hm, I wonder if it would be possible to win him over to play the main role? Quite innocent I asked him what he thought about licorice … And later, if he could imagine to take part in a movie spot about licorice for the cinemas? He sure could, BINGO.
Millian was to be our music man, this was clear already from the beginning of the project. The only difficulty was, the man has a fully booked calendar and is constantly on tour. Luckily we were able to find a gap. With Millian, Paul and Nick came along for direction and animation, Martin took care of camera, Jakob ran the light and Benjamin was assisting camera. Pepa, a soon to be film director and licorice expert at kadó, offered her support, Frank threw the catering and I ended up as runner and ''maid of all work'' taking care of everything between coffemaking and putting the props in the right spot. Team was complete.
One late night sitting at the bon fire in the country side with my friend Karin, I shared my ideas about doing a movie spot. She instantly took the bait and filled with enthusiasm she started to elaborate thoughts and possibilities in the most colorful ways. It was such a fun evening! The very next morning I put our ''script'' on paper and received the first reaction: ''Well, ahum… do you really find that funny?'' … try to explain a joke to somebody, exactly, it's impossible. Second reaction: ''… haha, super, I'd be up for that! But: too long=too expensive, we have to shorten it down.'' Well, said and done, we shortened it, a storyboard was drawn, props collected, technical equipment rented and we considered what kind of costume Tobi should wear. Meanwhile I decorated the display window, to have it prober for this "television".
Saturday after closing hours technical rentals was delivered. Suddenly the shop felt quite small. ''Would it be possible to remove the deco, we need space for the light set up.'' Ahum … but … yes of course, no problem. The window was completely covered with black velvet, shady light inside and full on summer outside. ''Coffee anybody?'' 19 settings was to be filmed and it took us 17 hours all in all. Tobi did great and added to that it was his first time as main actor in front of a camera. Paul knew exactly what kind of pictures he wanted. Time ran extremely fast, Martin was non stop on camera, Pepa was all over the place wherever a hand was needed. The assistant and I were crawling and squeezing through the shop between lamps and devices. Scene by scene we were moving ahead. Around midnight Frank awaited us with cold drinks, and with that, new instructions from the director: ''We're about to film the last scene. Outside view, please decorate the display window again.'' Ouff … ouch, ouch … 1.00 o'clock at night, quickly done, right?
Later on it was time for the expression ''it's a wrap'' and we could finally relax, all exhausted but also very happy. I was so impressed by the professionalism of this film crew. I never could have imagined how complicated it is to create just 30 seconds of film. What an accurate and tight work flow, no kidding, all managed in not more than 17 hours – wow!
For assistants and Tobi work was done by now. Paul, Martin, Nick and Millian on the other hand, were up for work part number two. Raw material had to be examined, cut, animated, music and audio to be added to the pictures. Like this, or maybe better like this?
Somewhere in a backyard in Berlin I'm back in the dark sitting in front of a computer, observing the guys by the cutting process. With time pressure and decisions having to be made … it's suddenly – done!
Here's what it sounds like:
And … curious?
On 19th September 2017 it's time to hit the play button in the fsk cinema. The piece will be shown for the very first time, 31 seconds world premiere so to say. In addition to this, all according to credit balance, it will later be possible to see the spot in the 13 different Yorck cinemas around Berlin. With this I happily invite you to enjoy cinema and crunch free licorice together.
Tobias Wegener: Artist
Paul Weiss: Storyboard and Director
Martin Gasch: Head of Camera
Jakob: Light technician
Benjamin Glischka: Assisting camera
Nick Jezierski: Storyboard and Animation
Milian Vogel: Composer and Music (Richard Koch: Trumpet)
Pepa Kistner: Assisting director
Ilse Böge: Idea (together with Karin Laubenstein) and execution
Frank Büttner: Catering
Amarelli for kadó
Happy to experience 20 years anniversary as a specialized licorice store, we let the good times with the opening of the store and until today and its constant progress pass (in review) before our very eyes … and see, the italian licorice producer Amarelli, established already 286 years ago, makes us a generous offer, to create and produce a unique kadó licorice gift tin for our anniversary. Exclusive. By Amarelli for kadó.
Wonder if they still have any photos from their establishing days back in year 1731? Amarelli as the oldest licorice blacksmith in the world, and still a proud family property, impressive. Situated in Rossano, Calabria, at the Ionian See, they cultivate the licorice root and traditionally process it into licorice. Basta. Amarelli produces the very best pure and natural licorice, aromatized with aniseed, violet, lemon or sugar coated with mint. True quality and with herb authentic flavours.
A visit in the museum nearby is a real delight and a must for all licorice fans.
With honor and joy we are pleased to treat our regulars with this pretty tin, filled with the finest pure licorice.
Twenty years ago we got to know Baron Amarelli and since then we have kept the herb licorice as a main product in our sortiment, a flavour which slowly had to grow upon the german customers, not yet used to this pure and intense tasting kind.
Licorice history in the making!
My husband Frank is a collector. His soft spot for beautiful old tins regularly leads us the way to flea markets, no matter in what country we might be. Quietly I observe the procedure over my cup of tea. During the first couple of days after arrival, the daily paper is bought and he begins to read with devotion- in English, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Icelandic- all pages from the very beginning with the politics, to the very end, with sports and the general. Frank is no particular genius when it comes to language, but subsequently there is a plan for the day, which mostly means a visit at the local flea market. We keep our eyes open to this and that, but especially we look for small old licorice tins and containers. Until in the fifties the recommended usage of the black pastille, preferably with salmiak or menthol, was communicated and printed onto the tin: for the sportsman, the smoker and the talkative person! Some opens with a sliding lid and some lets the small black pills out portion wise in the hand by pressing a little lever. Kadó has quite a little collection by now with each tin telling its own story of the past times it used to belong to.
During the last 20 years kadó has come to collected not only lovely little tins but also managed to build a net of stabile suppliers from all over Europe. And with times changing and research trips in person becoming more of a rare activity, these three little treasures were won through online auctions instead.
In this digital era of our times, attention has turned out to be a currency of its own. It surrounds our up until now classic standpoint, where we have let the licorice take first place and not the people or buzz around it. Hmm, should we follow and spread the word in a more up to date-way and tell, for example, about that time when that well known police inspector from tv came by to buy his favorite licorice? Or when kadó was used as location while interviewing that young fashion designer, as well as for that actress in a new tv-series? Or when that popular chef is chit chatting about licorice powder and that musician buys licorice for himself and his whole crew before going on world tour? That a hip DJ and a politician may also be counted in as regulars?
There are many different ways to look at it, among which many has become ambivalent, but, in the end each and everyone can (or has to?) take their own decision. It probably also doesn’t hurt to think twice about one’s old point of views. Or with a freshened up mind, to hold on to them for that matter.
Our window display often gets admired. And since we have so much fun decorating, there’s something new to see every 6-8 weeks. Just the licorice itself, with its black colour, inspires to a clean black and white design. All the various and colorful licorice tins from all over Europe also enriches the optic in a eye-catching way. In summer our window transforms into a coastal landscape full of light houses and boats from all the different licorice countries, the reason for this is also because the licorice really can’t cope with the warm temperatures …
In winter we made a gingerbread house with a moose forest and a frozen lake, which we brought to life with little licorice figures. We once even baked the TV-tower! With built-in light! Sometimes we create something more of a jeweler’s window, where precious licorice jewelry is displayed on red velvet. We’ve had friendly licorice robots at work too. It does come quite in handy having a colleague studying stage design …
Anyways: grown up licorice fans stop by to have a look, the younger licorice monsters come by to solve a task for the scavenger hunt. For some licorice just stays eternally inexplicable.
Lunchtime at kadó
In the summertime, customers strolling by the shop always give a curious glance at our plates. „What’s for lunch? Was that cooked with licorice?“
So long as the weather allows, we bring out a table and some chairs so that we can take a break and eat lunch together in front of the store. At kadó there’s not only a working schedule but also a cooking plan as well, and each of the employees take turns preparing a small lunch for their colleagues, knowing that on other days the favor will be returned. It’s a fun opportunity to share and try out a wide variety of recipes.
One coworker, after studying in Japan, brought miso soup to the table. One younger coworker, in his first job knew exactly two pasta recipes, which he artfully varied for us. Each new day brings new Swedish, Italian, French, American, Serbian, Danish and German recipes and ideas, and there’s always something to satisfy every palette, from the more traditional to the vegan. The woman in charge remembers her dishes from Friesland with potatoes and Frank cooks from nearly nothing something tasty. But all without licorice. This we reserve for our licorice tastings.
Cooking with licorice
... is really not such a big deal, and is surprisingly tasty. Confettura di Liquirizia, an apple-licorice chutney, lends itself quite nicely to this use. It goes wonderfully with mozzarella and tomatoes, variety of cheeses, and in salad dressing. It makes a good dip for vegetables and nearly everything it seems.
For more advanced cooks, incorporating licorice powder in recipes can make things very interesting: licorice pasta with prosciutto and leeks, chicken or celery schnitzel with licorice breading goes wonderfully with vegetables and rice.
Licorice aroma gives that extra something, for example in soup, marmalade, or in deserts like Panna Cotta, Chocolate mousse with raspberries. Licorice is an excellent flavor to experiment with. Curious?
Perhaps we´ll see each other at one of kadó´s licorice tasting. Otherwise, you can find inspiring recipes in the scandinavian cookbook, under the "presents" category.
With a little inspiration by Lotta from Stockholm we began to arrange tastings in kadó.
We held the first events together, but with her having to travel back and forth each and every time, it turned out we would have to go on on our own. The 11th edition was up, this time the three of us without Lotta, ups and downs included.
Maike Koch took over the cooking part, Frank and I were to guide our guests through the evening along with our licorice lecture. A pleasant, amusing, black evening.
That’s was it was supposed to be ...
Looking back I realize we’ve grown over the years with each mishap and every nervous second of fear that came our way. An unforgettable moment, as the fish was slowly cooking in the owen, the first guests were just about to come through the door and – electricity goes out. Owen, light, beamer – we switched on the nob for the fuse, nothing. Oh no, troubleshooting, now?? Ehum, how was it now with the electricity, how to do this, oh please, overload, getting nervous: my gut instinct tells me this is really not good at all, this is probably it for tonight. „Calm down!“ head says, have to take a step back and clear my thoughts, now.
Luckily our friend and interior designer from Krefeld heard our call and explained over phone from afar how to handle the electricity system in the shop. With the phone pressed to my ear and a candle in the hand, seeming to have gone through all critical points, kneel down and see! it was the refrigerator, with which we until now never ever had had any problems at all. Phew, stress slowly went off. I quickly straightened my skirt and the light in the shop literally went on in the same minute as it was time to greet the first guests.
„Welcome to our black evening in kadó“ – if they only knew …
Like grandma, but the other way around
Every now and then we take on interns from school around the corner. Mostly it is 9th graders, school teenagers around 14, 15 years old. Obviously they have never had a job before and are confronted for the first time in their life with work related procedures and time frames. Minor tasks are explained and shown how to go about, after that the intern is aloud to go at it and invest as much time as he or she needs until the outcome is correct.
After about 14 days they might have to pop over to our storage, a pallet with licorice from somewhere in Europe needs to be unpacked and systematically stowed away; they have weighed and packed online shop orders and put together our hand made licorice gift bags; cleaning here and there and keeping the in shop storage neat and tidy, also helping out with preparing our licorice subscriptions and running small errands.
It does surprise them to see what a diverse handicraft it takes to keep the shop running and also how many employees that are needed per day to handle it all, that the licorice sorts all have their own name and – tasting aloud – they all actually taste different.
At kadó they have to weigh the licorice and calculate the price in the head, rule of three included, which once resulted in weeping due to frustration. All in all and in the best case they have gotten an idea of working hours and procedures after finishing their internship, also and nevertheless through the special task of preparing one of our joint lunches. As a finish there is a big bag of licorice and a small contribution to be had for a work well done.
Once, we were told later on, a grandma to one of our interns was so very happy – and surprised – to receive a package of licorice sent just in time for her birthday. But since when did her grandson start sending cash along? It used to be the other way around didn’t it?
In the middle of the Christmas crowds, a young woman breezed into kadó, followed by a young man with running camera. "We would like to talk about liquorice", she said, pointing the microphone at me. From the HeuteShow I recalled that this may be the true Hazel Brugger, who had come to my liquorice shop looking for comical oddities for her new blog "Deutschland was geht?". She was adventurous right from the start. As a Swiss National it isn´t common, but she likes liquorice and would be open to try three varieties, she said. Well, you certainly came to the right store I thought, as I picked two popular types and one "aquired taste" - no problem with 500 different kinds of liquorice. Hazel bravely chewed and commented, one word followed the other... we had a good laugh! It´s difficult to put in words, you need to watch it: Hazel at kadó in episode 3, one of many very funny episodes from across Germany. We congratulate Thomas Spitzer and Hazel to the first year of DWG!
After the teasing from the last meeting with Hazel Brugger because of DWG a kind of cliffhanger remained: "Hazelmix". He rumbled on independently and painted ideas. I wrote them down, Hazel was in Berlin because of other filming and came to the shop again, welcome back! Together we create a liquorice mix.
She rummaged through the liquorice varieties, I looked at the list of ingredients. Of course there was a lot of messing around again and Thomas Spitzer captured everything in picture & sound. Here is the edible cliffhanger: gluten-free, chic and delicious - the hazel mix. Only here and in the DWG online shop. 210g for 4.20 € gluten-free liquorice from kadó in the pp-pot. The premiere is on February 24, 2020 in Cologne, presented by the wonderful Hazel. Lakrüetzi Mitenand!
Joyful things in strange times
It is very special that a virus is making people all over the world change their behaviour and practice social distancing. You hear the daily numbers and measures and try to orientate yourself. What can I do for my employees and customers in the liquorice shop? A lot depends on how long we will have to deal with the restrictions. Do I now calculate through all the variations of the head cinema or is it more of a nerve exercise of staying calm in the here and now?
Nevertheless, something pleasant is happening. For example, when the older Berlin couple from the neighbourhood have been passing the shop for years with a friendly greeting and now suddenly walk in. Yes, liquorice, hm, hadn't been their thing so far, no, but maybe they don't know enough, they thought. Could I mix a nice blend for them? They would like to try liquorice again. Lovely. No sooner said than done. And now we see them regularly, the favourite variety is ordered because "this is really delicious" and whispering afterwards "since then it works better with my digestion".
Very pleasing also this: a Norwegian orders liquorice online and writes that our shop inspired him to a song "Kadó". And since he is also a musician and plays in a jazz band, you can also hear the song on the LP "Skulekorps". I love jazz, just beautiful... what liquorice is not all good for - Jakritzzzz, let's flow!