A biodynamic gem in the middle of the city

Elisabeth Tollisen in front of her store, Mølleren Sylvia.

Who are you?

My name is Elisabeth Tollisen, and I started Mølleren Sylvia in Hegdehaugsveien 7.5 years ago.


What is Mølleren Sylvia?

Mølleren Sylvia is a food store in the middle of Oslo that sells organic ingredients. I wanted to start Mølleren Sylvia because I had been searching for organic food and were missing a better selection in the city. We ended up here in Hegdehaugsveien because I was born and raised in the building next door and I have many childhood memories from this street. When I was little there was a milk store across the street, “Ellas Kolonial” was on the corner further down, and the vegetable seller “Tang” was up at number 20.

What is it like to run a store in this area of Oslo?

The nice thing about having a store in the lower part of Hegdehaugsveien is that it’s a charming street with great potential. It’s a nice neighbourhood with the palace park right around the corner and culture at the Literature House and Kunstnernes hus. We have many loyal regulars and I know who comes on what day. I’ll text if someone has forgotten to put aside a bread when they usually do. Running this kind of store is personal. You develop a relationship to your customers, and selling quality food to people feels good.


Why did you start Mølleren Sylvia?

I wanted to invest in Mølleren Sylvia because of a climate commitment. I see so many benefits of producing food the way the farmers we collaborate with do. It's also about my love of selling healthy food to people. Clean, wholesome ingredients that I'm excited to offer to others. What's great about selling organic food is that when people get used to it, they come back for more.

How did you find your suppliers?

I have gradually become acquainted with the suppliers. Before I opened Mølleren Sylvia, I often bought directly from farms, and now I’m on a first-name basis with everyone who delivers here. You get a very personal relationship with the suppliers because you know it’s hard work. We respect the products we order and don't order food for decoration. We also have a kitchen in the neighbourhood where we produce our own products. When we started, we made buckwheat bread and fermented chilli. Now we have developed the kitchen to make sourdough pizza crust, different sourdough bread, cinnamon rolls, black oat bread, fermented kimchi, sauerkraut, and hummus. We also vary with the seasons, making marzipan for Christmas and Easter and, of course, ice cream in the summer.