A new Copenhagen gem
Sonny is open daily for coffee and food and is founded by David Andersen and graphic designer Rasmus Holm. David has many years of experience with food, coffee and wine in both Paris and Copenhagen and he runs Sonny in partnership with his girlfriend, Sara.
We met David at Sonny’s most busy table 100 – currently inhabited by the pink Petite Machine – to learn about his ambitions with Sonny and how Sonny stands out from other cafés in Copenhagen.
What kind of café is Sonny?
Sonny is a place, where you can come from 7-18 and get your daily coffee accompanied by food servings that are thought through. I am not a big fan of the word “café” to define Sonny – I rather like to call it a “place”. To me the word or concept of a café places Sonny in a box and gives me associations to bland or standardized menus. My girlfriend and I want to shape Sonny in a personal and creative way and to create new “café-standards” for our guests – to use that word.
What makes Sonny stand out from other cafés in Copenhagen?
The level and amount of thoughts and work that we put into our food and coffee is one thing and the atmosphere and all the small details is another thing. We bake our own morning rolls, we prepare all foods ourselves, make our own syrups and pick only beverages from small independent suppliers. As for the coffee, we have invested in a beast of a coffee machine – the La Marzocco Strada – because our ambition is to serve a remarkably good cup of coffee. A coffee that will make you come back no matter if you’re a retired plummer or a coffee aficionado. The same ambitions apply to the food. We have a tasty, colorful and nourishing menu that leaves space for us to be creative and improvise with our daily selection of salads which changes from day to day according to the season and what we find inspiring.
Besides from this, the vibe and the interior makes Sonny stand out from other cafés in the city. And it is for this reason, I like to call Sonny a place. It’s a place where you hang out, you have a relaxed conversation with the staff, you sit in the bar, in the courtyard and (I hope) you get a feeling of being in a place, where there is – and especially over time will be – a feeling of community and intimacy.
What are your dreams and ambitions for Sonny?
From a business perspective I hope Sonny will become very busy, but I find it more important, that we continue to be a place for locals and to have a kitchen that keeps a high standard. I wish for Sonny to be the number one place you go to, when you crave a good coffee, a healthy lunch or a good start to your day. Or just when you feel like doing something, but don’t know what this is.
How has Sonny been received by the public?
Great, I am very happy about the response we get. We already have regular guests and we get a lot of positive feedback from new guests. I believe, that Instagram has been important to our start-up. We have taken Instagram quite seriously meaning that we have had professional photographs to take good pictures. My partner, Rasmus, puts a lot of effort in curating our feed and I make these “infamous” insta-stories, where I present today’s specials with the tone of voice as a sports commentator.
How would you describe the process of planning and rebuilding the place?
I knew from the beginning that I wanted the bar to be in the front of room, so you are able to welcome the guests at the door. For this reason we had to pull new electricity and install new water pipes, etc., but it has been worth it. Considering we build everything from scratch, I think we did it quite fast. My two friends and architects Oliver and Laurits (Borg Brückner) has helped us in transforming ideas and wishes into reality and to speed up the process. They also came up with clever solutions – for instance the shelving system, the functional customized bar lamp and options for materials.
What feeling/experience did you aim to give people who enter the café?
First of all, I wanted our guests to get a wauw-feeling – a feeling of being in a place, where the small details has been taken into consideration. With the old beautiful glass ceiling that sets the scene next to the tall smoky mirrors covering the wall behind the bar, the particular Made by Hand Petite Machine ceiling lamp, the almost sculptural coffee machine on the big counter, Borg Brückners customized bar lamp and even the gold-plated logo on the window, I hope this is the impression people get. Secondly, I want people to feel welcome and comfortable. I don’t want Sonny to be a place that just looks nice; it has to actually be nice and naturally welcoming to anyone.
How is the concept of Sonny’s food and drinks in dialogue with the interior design?
There is a close connection in the aesthetics. Starting with our logo and graphic work made by Rasmus, the whole universe around Sonny including food, drinks and interior decoration is about aesthetics, taste and quality.