One of my last interviews I did this year was with Kenny Jess Brand. He is an owner of “Løve’s Vin – og Bog café”, where I often go to meet with friends and for Y poetry evenings. I never thought of taking interview from the owner of this café, until one day by accident I met Kenny on the book market. He was reading a book, totally alone, and for me it was the perfect chance to ask for a meeting.
Kenny is 33 years old, and he doesn’t look like serious businessman at all in his casual everyday clothes. We agreed to meet at his book shop, where he told me how he started his business.
Kenny graduated Aarhus University, he studied “History of ideas”, and for him it was the best education, because they taught students to think. It was the time, when in 2004, he had the idea of café for the first time. He wanted to create cozy place with books where people could relax and be themselves.
In 2008 he moved to Copenhagen where in the city mall he opened the first café. Of course it was difficult to open a café without any working experience, to do all necessary licences, but Kenny decided to put everyday little goals and to reach them in time. It took about one month to open the café. In 2010 he returned to Aarhus and created “Løve’s Vin – og Bog café”. During the year he travelled between Copenhagen and Aarhus, and in the end decided to leave just one place, so café in the capital was closed, and I am very happy I could enjoy fantastic place for going out in Aarhus.
Kenny told me that his love to books helped to create such a place, where people could just relax, for him it was important that in café there would be book shelves and old furniture, that you would not be afraid to destroy. Now “Løve’s Bog – og Vin café” is one of the most popular places in Aarhus, originally in café there were “Authors Sundays”, where people could meet most famous Danish writers, but now people come with the event ideas themselves. They often have live music concerts and literature evenings in the café. I attend monthly meetings of “Y Aarhus Poetry Club”, but there are different nice events all the time.
And in 2012 Kenny became writer himself. He published the book “Viktor Horsovsky”. The action of the novel takes place in Prague (Kenny loves this city because of special atmosphere and culture), where main character Viktor Horsovsky saves a prostitute Vanja from making suicide. Book received different kind of reviews, both positive and negative, but for Kenny to publish his book is step of rebirth of classical literature, in F. Dostoevsky’s style. He wants people to read good literature, that’s why he created his publishing house , they published 5 books already, and he is planning to write the second book till April 2014. Among other activities – his wine shop and being in charge of antiques book organization.
Meeting Kenny for an interview was very special for me, because he is a fantastic example how your passion can be your job. And as you see Kenny is in charge of a lot of things, 2 shops, café, 12 workers, and of course his family and friends. I hope you will put in your New Year’s wishing list new development of your talents, that will help not only you, but other people to be a bit more happier 🙂