Morten founded the company in 2011, and has been involved in every aspect of the business. He is now focused on largely on our sister company, Tropiq, but remains involved in the day-to-day operations of Nordic Approach.
Morten has more than a decade of experience sourcing and direct buying from producers in Africa, Central/South America and Asia. Before starting up Nordic Approach in 2011 he worked for 9 years as the product manager and buyer at Solberg & Hansen Coffee roasters in Oslo, Norway. He started his career as a chef in 1992 before studying a Bachelor in Food Science. That’s where his interest in coffee began.
Besides managing the company Morten is the main buyer and cupper for Nordic Approach and has a very clear idea of what profiles and quality criteria Nordic Approach should stand for. His experience has taught him how process and growing criterias are linked to cup quality. Any coffee Nordic Approach buys is something Morten would stand behind as a buyer in a quality roastery himself. He knows that great coffees comes from projects and long lasting relationships where producers are well paid for quality.
Morten’s strength is in building strong relationships in producing countries, overall management, creativity in starting up projects, and a serious work ethic. However he might not always be the most organised guy on earth, so don’t worry if he’s not always quick responding to emails.
Alec has been with us since the very beginning and is part of the company’s DNA. Besides managing the majority of sales he has been operational on every level, from sourcing to developing systems and structure to logistics in and out. He is now focused on sales and key accounts, as well as sales and product strategy for different markets. Alec helps new and existing customers manage their growth through planning, cupping, and consultation.
Alec started his coffee journey from the other side of the counter, as a regular at Murky Coffee and then Peregrine Espresso in his home town of Washington, DC. After moving to Norway, he had a life-altering experience at Tim Wendelboe with a cup of coffee from Hunkute in Sidamo, Ethiopia. Coffee obsession soon followed.
He has a background working with start-up companies in politics, technology, and climate change, plus a highly enriching (and highly unsuccessful) stint as a musician. He joined Nordic Approach when it was in its infancy in 2011, and has since been trying to respond to emails slightly faster than Morten.
Kaya joined the company in 2015 and has worn many hats since.
Beginning as Lab Manager, Kaya managed roasting and developing profiles for incoming coffees, keeping track of all incoming and outgoing samples, plus directing QC and cuppings. Now in the sales team, Kaya is taking care of our Nordic customers.
Kaya began working with coffee in September 2012 as a barista in Solberg & Hansen’s concept store in Oslo. After two years as a barista she started roasting coffee for Solberg & Hansen, before moving to Nordic Approach.
In addition to her everyday job at Nordic Approach, she is a certified Q-grader for Arabica, and an eager spokeswoman & participant in coffee, giving lectures on roasting, processing and how we can become better cuppers.
Jenny S. Christensen
Sales & Logistics
Jenny moved to Norway in late 2014 after working more than 18 years in FMCG industry in Indonesia. After a year busy studying the Norwegian language, she met Morten and joined Nordic Approach in early 2016.
Having a long experience in operations, analysis and CRM, Jenny immediately streamlined our business process by employing faster and simpler working methods.
Jenny juggles sales and logistics, and she is in charge of developing new emerging markets, specifically Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APAC – MEA).
Jenny has a serious sweet tooth and loves cooking Asian food for the team.
Andreas was instrumental in setting up the company in 2011 and has been involved since then as the Chairman of the Board for Nordic Approach. He joined the company full time January 2017 as CEO.
He grew up in a household with “strong” coffee rituals, but not coffee of high quality (although nobody had high quality coffee at that time).
Andreas is a jack of all trades with experience in sociology, economics, kindergarten management, social work, and property management. He entered the coffee world when he started Dromedar Kaffebar (DK) in Trondheim in 1997.
Andreas worked as general manager of Solberg & Hansen for 16 years before joining Nordic Approach, and has built many strong relationships in the coffee world. He is a director of the Nordic Barista Cup and Nordic Roaster Forum, and has been on the board of the Cup of Excellence.
Andreas likes coffee because it combines taste, travel, and interpersonal relationships in a very good way.
Sales & Sourcing
Jamie joined the sales team in February 2017. He began his coffee career as a barista in a local coffee shop in Rotterdam called CoffeeCompany. He started working as a freelance barista travelling to festivals throughout the Benelux where he learned a lot, had huge amounts of fun, and a proper amount of beers to accompany him, yes just a proper amount. Really.
Missing the feeling of working in a team, Jamie. combined forces with a local entrepreneur and started roasting coffee to have greater control over the coffee he served. They transformed an old tropical swimming paradise into a bar, restaurant and later on the roastery, winning an award for “Best Coffee Concept in the Netherlands”.
Jamie manages sales for Europe, plus sourcing in several countries in Africa and Central America.
Паничева Алена (Alena)
Russia Sales & Marketing
Alena began her coffee career in 2013 in a a small coffeeshop not far from her University. Inspired by outstanding specialty projects, she launched a mobile coffee shop travelling from festival to festival and introducing new and amazing black coffees.
Alena met Morten in 2017 and joined Nordic Approach initially as an intern, now as sales representative and marketing manager for Russia.
Alena is thrilled to have the opportunity to share amazing coffee experiences with the Russian coffee market.
Espen joined the company in March 2019, as lab assistant and he quickly grew with the role, becoming Lab Manager when Kaya moved into sales.
He started his coffee career as a barista with Stockfleths, a local chain in Oslo, in October 2016. Six months later he was promoted to store manager which is what he was doing when Nordic Approach came knocking.
Espen is ever curious and always seeking to learn more. He enjoys all things coffee, but especially espresso. “Nothing beats the taste experience of a perfect espresso – which I’ve had twice and can both still remember the cups distinctly.”
Espen has competed on the national stage in Norway twice, and is looking forward to many more years of competition.
Misako’s began her specialty coffee career as a barista while road tripping around Australia.
After returning to Japan, she moved into roasting, becoming head roaster for a new coffee business in Kyoto. It was a great experience to be fully in charge of setting up a new roastery, roasting profiles, and selecting greens. In 2019, Misako met Morten during his business trip in Japan, and, after some sake, discovered that Nordic Approach offers internships in Oslo. So Misako packed her bags and moved to Norway. After her internship the team couldn’t imagine surviving without her, and so Misako became the newest member of our team, supporting Espen in the lab.
Patrik is originally from Sweden and moved to Oslo to study a MSc degree in Accounting & Business Control, or at least that was his excuse. We all know he moved for the coffee. Patrik has lived in Sweden, Norway, the USA, and Spain and worked in kindergartens, property management and logistics. He joined Nordic Approach in August 2020 to manage our finances.
Patrik was drawn to the coffee business because it is international, people focused and because he is a passionate coffee consumer.
As a customer you might come in contact with Patrik through the email@example.com email, answering your requests or sending out statements.
Gabe got into coffee before it was cool and is still patiently waiting for it to become cool. Fifteen years in, he has dipped a toe in most sectors that the industry has to offer, from humble coffee enthusiast all the way to arrogant coffee enthusiast.
Originally from Cascadia, US, Gabe followed the siren call of the Midwest and took a sales position at Cafe Imports in Minnesota. He then moved to Germany to manage their European sales office in Berlin, where he still resides. Despite several halfhearted attempts to work in other industries, he always finds his way back to coffee. It’s nice here.
When not dazzling customers with esoteric flavour descriptors, Gabe has been known to dabble in bouldering, ceramics and talking to his plants.
Photo by Zsuzsa Zichó.
Miren’s path converged with specialty coffee in 2019 working in Spain, where she originally is from. She moved to Norway in 2020, driven by a curiosity for the Nordic culture, and its obsession with coffee.
Besides marketing, Miren has also worked for non-profits and in event planning. With a background in Audiovisual Communication and Sociology, she finds specialty coffee an industry where creative work is both engaging and fun, and also serving an important social purpose. Attracted by the principles and philosophy that she shares with Nordic Approach, Miren got in touch with Morten and… here we are!
In 2017 our sourcing department became its own company, Tropiq. In addition to Morten, there are some other team members who work across both companies.
Joanne joined Nordic Approach in January 2015 to help Morten with buying. When the sourcing department of Nordic Approach became its own company, Tropiq, in 2017, Joanne became its Head of Sourcing & Procurement. Joanne has extensive sourcing experience in Africa and Latin America, and is especially proud of the sourcing program she built in Brazil.
Although her love for coffee began long before, Joanne formally entered the coffee industry as a barista at one of London’s early established, fine coffee cafés, Dose, in 2009. From there she moved to Origin Coffee Roasting in Cape Town, South Africa where she lead the barista team and was involved in espresso blend development. While at Origin Roasters, she was the Western Cape regional barista winner two years running. Joanne then moved to London where she joined the team at Mercanta and took up the position as the East African green buyer.
Joanne manages sourcing for Tropiq, and remains in charge of selections and sourcing for Nordic Approach.
Marketing & Communications
Originally from Australia, Suzie has lived, worked and studied in Asia, Europe and South America. After several years working in broadcasting, marketing, and advertising, Suzie moved to Italy in 2010 to study gastronomy (which was as fabulous as it sounds). A coffee consumer of the Melbourne mould, Suzie has always taken coffee drinking seriously, but during her gastronomic studies she realised how little she understood about her favourite beverage.
Upon graduating Suzie pursued her newfound fascination for both coffee and cacao while living in Bogotá. There she explored specialty cacao and coffee as a university lecturer, chocolatier, and ardent promotor of Colombia’s burgeoning fine chocolate industry.
Suzie moved to Oslo in 2018 to work in specialty coffee, because… Scandinavia. She joined the Nordic Approach and Tropiq team in March, 2019 and manages marketing, communications, sustainability projects and transparency reporting across both companies.
Tim is a cofounder of Nordic Approach along with Morten Wennersgaard and Andreas Hertzberg.
Tim’s career in coffee began in 1998 at age 19 when he started working as a barista for Stockfleths, a small chain with three stores in Oslo at that time. He teamed up with his friends and colleagues Alexander Jensen and Andreas Hertzberg to change all the Stockfleths stores and open new branches.
After winning the World Barista Championships in 2004 and World Cup Tasting Championships in 2005 Tim left Stockfleths in early 2006 to work as a freelance coffee consultant and barista trainer. In July 2007, he started his own espresso bar, training centre, and micro roastery in Grünerløkka, Oslo, where he imports, roasts and sells high quality coffee.
Tim Wendelboe won the Nordic roaster competition in 2008, 2009 and in 2010 and was awarded the Allegra European Coffee Shop Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the European Coffee Industry” in 2011 and the Allegra European Coffee Shop Award for “Best Coffee Roaster – Europe 2013”.
Tim has also written and published the book Coffee with Tim Wendelboe which has been translated in to 5 languages.
Tim is no longer involved in the daily operations of Nordic Approach, but remains a close friend and colleague. His roastery space is in the ground floor of the Nordic Approach office.