Bottarga Borealis started with Dr. Jonas Juselius (PhD in Chemistry) and his lifelong interest in food and cuisine. After reading about bottarga in a cooking forum, he decided to experiment with local ingredients to make his own version. Since skrei (Gadus Morhua) was locally available and is considered one of the most exquisite cod species in the world, he chose to try with that. His first attempt saw good results, and the decision to transform this experiment into something more seemed only natural.
Jonas shared his idea with Joakim Wikström, a Swede with an extensive background in the food and hospitality sectors. They both saw the potential of bottarga made with skrei, and Joakim enrolled at Tromsø University with the goal of developing the idea into a viable business venture.
Three years later, Joakim met Lia Berti, an Italian student with a strong interest in food. They were both at the beginning of their master’s studies in Business Creation and Entrepreneurship. Because of her interest in the culinary scene and her Italian cultural background, Lia was asked to write her master thesis on Hrogn AS, the company that Joakim and Jonas had established. The goal was to set up a business plan and to conduct market research. The results showed a strong potential for skrei bottarga, especially within the Italian market. The company then attracted both public and private investors, and Lia formally joined the venture shortly after.
In January 2017 the first real “big scale” production began, with the goal of producing skrei bottarga and presenting it on the international market – in particular the high-end Italian Ho.Re.Ca market.