Ida Högberg began her career as an actress and singer, performing in television, movies and theatre stages around Sweden. When playing a soloist role at the Malmö Opera she one day accidentally ran into a raw food restaurant. Eating at the restaurant she was totally blown away! The intense flavors and the beautiful dishes made her end up ordering half the menu. It was something truly extraordinary about the food, the response in her mind and body was immediate. The artist in Ida also saw a lot of creativity in this innovative cooking style. She started to experiment at home. It felt like a calling, like she had a mission and there was something she was supposed to do. Looking for educations in the world she ended up in Florida where she spent the fall of 2013 becoming a plant-based chef and holistic health educator. Doing so also gave her a deep insight in the huge connection between food and environmental problems. That realization was a real wake up call and a point of no return.
Once back in Sweden she started to build her own business holding loads of cooking classes, wrote a cookbook, hosted television and several restaurants for concept evenings. During fall 2015 she produced and performed her own written show ”Rawfood-Soppa" at the City Theatre in Stockholm. Ida believes that the most important topics deserves to be communicated in truly inspiring and entertaining ways. The transition to a sustainable food culture has to be tasty, fun and easy going to qualify as the new food standard.
In spring 2016 she opened her own pop-up restaurant at Stureplan in central Stockholm. The concept was proved a success and got an amazing response. When she closed down she had earned thousands of learnings and experiences. It was time to gather all this knowledge and create the company that she really dreamt of. A company that would make delicious, nutritious sustainable food accessible for as many people as possible in their everyday lives.
Meanwhile, Rebecka Carlsson spent her days a few blocks away as a Political Advisor for Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Climate and the Environment. During her post high school backpacking adventures, Rebecka had witnessed the effects of climate change in West Africa and decided to commit her working life to help stop climate change. The coming decade, she served as Sweden’s youth representative to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York, as Spokesperson for the Young Greens, as Sustainability Communications Strategist with Futerra. She also explored her wings as an entrepreneur and co-founded Sustainergies, Lindsberg and the Venture Cup-winning tech start-up Workaround.
As Rebecka was working for the government, Sweden decided to become one of the first fossil-free welfare nations in the world. The Paris Climate Agreement was a huge success. It would mean decarbonizing the world economy in the coming decades, but how? The further she looked, the more food seemed to be a dealbreaker.
This appeared as good news, because in contradiction to for example urban planning and heavy energy systems, the food we eat is a closer choice in our daily lives. In a way it’s totally possible to start lowering our emissions from the food we eat to a fraction, only from one day to the next.
On the other hand, we tend to choose the food that’s available for us. She started to find it more and more ironic that her own everyday food was of pretty poor standard for planet, brain and body, while she at the same time was spending her time trying to lower climate emissions and also needed good nutrition to perform at her highest level. She also noticed really inspiring concepts solving these problems abroad. The entrepreneur in Rebecka woke up and began to dream about creating a company that would make delicious, nutritious sustainable food accessible for as many people as possible in their everyday lives.
Rebecka attended one of Ida’s cooking classes. Afterwards they started to talk and the discussions continued way beyond midnight. They found that they shared almost exactly the same vision for their futures businesses. Together they had quite a unique skill set, going all the way from sustainability and entrepreneurship to entertainment and cooking. The pieces quickly fell into place. They shared a strong intuition for the concept they wanted to create and the food they wanted to serve. Gigafood was born.