Swedish-inspired cafe and bakery Fika closed all of its New York City locations late last week following its recent bankruptcy filing.
A spokesperson says the closure was “unexpected,” and a statement released on social media cites that company shareholders didn’t share the same vision for the brand as its founders.
The cafe had seven locations left, a big drop from the 17 cafes the chain operated at its peak. Fika — known as a a destination for coffee and chocolate — opened in 2006 and soon went on an opening spree in New York, to the point that the company was considered one of the fastest-growing chains in the city. Between 2014 and 2015, Fika reportedly opened at least eight shops in a 10-month time period.
Founder Lars Akerlund had plans to expand in the U.S. and globally as well, following a strategy similar to Apple, where each city would be home to a flagship location in additional to smaller satellite stores.
But the quick expansion led to store closures in 2017, and last year the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for 11 of its remaining locations. Then, a spokesperson denied the chain was closing, instead saying that the bankruptcy filing would allow the business to restructure and stay open.
Yet late last year Fika was auctioned off to a group of investors during the bankruptcy process, according to Cozen O’Connor, the law firm that handled the transaction. The firm states that the chain expanded too quickly and was unable to lock down enough investors to cover expansion and start-up costs.
All the remaining cafes closed last Friday.
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It is with profound sadness that we close the doors to FIKA - a company founded with the passion and mission to spread Swedish coffee culture and delicacies to busy New Yorkers. We are so very appreciative of the 13 year run we had and the countless memories and friends we made. We have been beyond fortunate to work with an inspiring team of dedicated, hard-working people and to serve so many wonderful guests. It’s been a beautiful and wild ride during which we survived recessions and hurricanes, and we were looking forward to many more years. Ultimately, some of our shareholders did not share the same vision for the brand that we did as founders, which is what led to this very unexpected closure. We hope and believe that some of the people we touched through our mission will continue to take daily fika breaks and think of us as fondly as we will think of this experience. We are proud and honored to have made a small footprint in the great City of New York. Thank you to all of those who played a part of our unforgettable journey. With love, Lars, Lena & The FIKA team