Morten Wennersgaard Product Manager and Founder
Morten founded the company in 2011, and has basically managed and been involved in everything from sourcing & strategy, staff/administration and marketing up til 2017. He is now focusing more on product development, strategy and sourcing as well as content marketing related stuff.
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 9 years as the product manager and buyer at Solberg & Hansen Coffee roasters in Oslo, Norway. He started to cook as a professional chef in 1992 before he took a bachelor in food science in 2000. Thats when the coffee interest started.
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. His mantra would be that any coffee Nordic Approach buys would be something he could stand behind as a buyer in a quality roastery himself. He knows that great coffees comes from projects and longer lasting relations where producers are well paid for quality. He’s also involved in product development and are managing quality at our washing station project in Rwanda, Motherland Farmers. He’s good in building strong relations in producing countries, overall management, creativity in starting up projects, like to work his ass off, but might not always be the most organized guy on earth. So don’t worry if he’s not always quick on responding on emails. Just target one of the people below.
Alec Oyhenart Key Accounts and Strategy
Alec has been with us since the beginning and is part of the company’s DNA. Besides doing our main portion of sales he has been operational on every level, from sourcing to developing systems and structure to logistics in and out. He will now focus more on sales and key accounts as well as sales and product strategy for different markets.
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 up with Nordic Approach when it was in its infancy in 2011, and has since been trying to respond to emails slightly faster than Morten. After managing all the operations during the early years, Alec is now managing our sales, focusing on helping new and existing customers manage their growth through planning, cupping, and consultation.
Joakim Pedersen Sourcing & Sales
Joakim joined us in 2014 and has since then done everything from marketing and web to sales and sourcing in Colombia. He is currently the main buyer for Colombia, as well as doing sales.
Joakim came from a background in the high-end Visual Effects and animation industry in London, where he worked as a Talent Manager and Producer. While living in Tokyo in 2009, he was hooked into the specialty coffee scene, and kept it as a hobby before finally making the jump to coffee in 2013. After doing a short gig as a roaster and assistant manager for Tim Wendelboe, he joined Nordic Approach in 2014.
Joanne Berry Head of Sourcing & Procurement
Joined the company in January 2015 and are managing all operations related to procurement and incoming coffee. Specialized on sourcing in Africa but is generally deeply involved in all origins we buy from.
Although her love for coffee began long before, Joanne formerly entered the coffee industry as a barista at one of London’s early established, fine coffee serving cafés Dose in 2009. Here she learnt her foundational skills. From there she moved to Origin Coffee Roasting in Cape Town, South Africa where she lead the barista team for the company, trained baristas for their wholesale accounts 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, this is where she has been for the last three years until her recent move to Nordic Approach. Joanne is very relationally driven and enjoys building relationships at both ends of the spectrum of the coffee community.
Kaya Carretta Lab manager & Quality control
Kaya joined the company in 2015. She is managing the lab, meaning all samples in and out, roasting, cupping as well as systems such as cropster lab for samples and product registration.
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 where she now is managing the lab.
As lab manager Kaya is roasting and developing profiles for incoming coffees, keeping track of all incoming and outgoing samples, assisting with QC and cuppings, and making sure the rest of the team don’t make too much of a mess.
Jenny S. Christensen Sales & Logistics Support
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 us in early 2016.
Having a long experience in operations, analysis and CRM, she plays an important role to streamline our business process by employing faster or simpler working methods.
She is managing sales and logistics as well as developing new emerging markets. Her simple happiness is when our customers are happy and satisfied.
In Nordic Approach, she is learning how a great cup of coffee can be exceptionally enjoyable without milk and sugar. She has a sweet tooth and love cooking Asian food for the team.
Andreas Hertzberg Managing Director & Co-founder
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, and is trying to manage the business and people.
He grew up in a household with "strong" coffee rituals with regards to storage and manual brewing, but not coffee of high quality (although nobody had high quality coffee at that time).
He has a background in sociology, economics, kindergarden management, social work, and property management. He started Dromedar Kaffebar (DK) in Trondheim in 1997 (how he formally entered the coffee scene).
Andreas has been a general manager of Solberg & Hansen for 16 years (before the job here), and have worked a lot on relationships and purchasing coffee in addition the usual admin. He is a director of Nordic Barista Cup and Nordic Roaster Forum, and has been on the board of Cup of Excellence.
Andreas likes coffee because it is a pleasure product (hobby) and because it combines taste, travel, interpersonal relationships (extended family) in a very good way.
Erica Peñuñuri US Marketing & Sales Manager
There was a time when Erica only drank coffee for functionality's sake; to get her up for 5:00 am live news shots out in the middle-of-no-where Texas. But after chasing one or too many house fires, she left broadcast news to work in corporate media at AT&T Headquarters. After working with the top executives and arranging live company broadcasts, she left the Longhorn State and returned to her hometown Newport Beach, C.A. There, she found a place where her love of storytelling, branding, and coffee collide at Passport Brand Design - a branding agency attached to a coffee roastery and cafe. It was the perfect storm. Behind all of this, she was constantly working on her own coffee brand, The Coffee Nomad. She always knew she wanted to be a part of the beginning of coffee's story and has now joined the forces at Nordic Approach. You can find her taking way too many photos of her fox-puppy (no really, her dog could be part fox), visiting breweries with her boyfriend in North Carolina or drinking coffee for coffee's sake.
Stop by and say hello at email@example.com.
Linda Sandvik Marketing manager
Linda joined Nordic Approach in January 2017 to do marketing, social media, the website etc. She moved to Oslo from London after 12.5 years in the UK (thanks Brexit!).
Growing up Linda hated coffee, but at the age of 18 she accidentally had to drink coffee at a South American ambassador's house. Being too polite to refuse the coffee, she had to drink it (no milk, no sugar) and it was the greatest thing she had ever experienced.
She now enjoys traveling the world and sampling coffee and food, as well as growing plants and vegetables.
Jamie Jongkind Sales
Jamie joined the sales team in February 2017 to be inspired and be baptised in the world of coffee importing and to help new & existing roasters get the best experience of Nordic Approach.
He began his coffee career as a barista in a local coffeebar in Rotterdam, The Netherlands of inspiring coffeechain "CoffeeCompany".
Soon after he wanted to expand his knowledge in the specialty industry and started working as a freelance barista travelling to festivals throughout the Benelux.
He had learned a lot, had huge amounts of fun.. And a proper amount of beers to accompany him, yes just a proper amount. Really.
But missed the feeling of leading and building up a team from the ground up. This is when he teamed up with a local inspiring entrepreneur to put their mark on the local coffee scene and started roasting coffee because for him "Green coffee for me is like what a piece of raw meat is for a chef. You don't want that to be delivered to your kitchen pre-cooked & -seasoned. You want to be able to tweak or not tweak every little parameter that accompanies it".
5 years in, they transformed an old tropical swimming paradise into a bar, restaurant & later on the roastery, which was his main focus the last years moving on to this new adventure just before getting an award in "Best Coffee Concept in the Netherlands".
Tim Wendelboe Co-founder
Tim’s career in coffee began in 1998 at age 19 when he started working as a barista for Stockfleth’s, a small chain with 3 stores in Oslo at that time. He teamed up together with his friends and colleagues Alexander Jensen and Andreas Hertzberg to change all the Stockfleth’s stores and open new branches.
After winning the World Barista Championships in 2004 and World Cup Tasting Championships in 2005 Tim left Stockfleth’s 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 at Grünerløkka, in Oslo, called Tim Wendelboe, 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 is translated in to 5 languages.
Tim has very close relations with all the coffee producers he buys coffee from. He spends a lot of time working hands on in origin in order to help the coffee producers develop their coffee quality. On his journeys he also helps out with sourcing for Nordic Approach and he assists with cuppings and selecting coffees together with Morten from Colombia, Brazil, El Salvador, Kenya and Honduras.