5 minutes with Mats Olsson, Curius

22 September 2022, 14:30 PM
  • Mats Olsson, co-founder of Curius, shares his inspirations, his motto, and the weirdest thing he's ever eaten with Speciality Food readers
5 minutes with Mats Olsson, Curius

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the food industry?
Well, I started my career in beauty in Paris, so it is likely that I would be working in food for the Vanity, rather than the body.

What was your first job?
My first job was painting fishing boats in Montrose, Scotland. I was 14 years old, so if nothing else, it was a great motivator to stay in school. My first “real” job was in travel retail for Yves Saint Lauren Beauty in Paris, where I built a love for tangible products and consumer interaction.

What inspires you?
The feeling of “I did that!” For example, seeing the brand I represent or have helped develop, in the hands of the consumer. It gives me a real sense of pride and encourages me to push harder and achieve more.

What’s the worst job you’ve done?
The fishboat painting springs to mind. However, in all honesty, all jobs and all working situations come with challenges, so I decided very early on in my career that you have to learn to take something away from everything you do. The key is to remember what you’ve learnt when the roles are reversed.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Learning new things. I always say to my colleagues that if they can teach me something I don’t know, then they’ll make my day. I also enjoy the enormous spread of responsibility and input that is required with a small team with global aspirations.

And your least favourite?
The stress. If you’re only three in a company, like we are at Curius, then you’re totally exposed. So any actions you take as an individual, have an immediate impact. It is a lot of responsibility, when you think about it!

How about the food industry?
I guess there can be a tendency from the industry to avoid risk. It would be exciting to see more decision makers in the industry starting to be more proactive, as opposed to reactive. When it comes to some areas of the business anyway.

What would be your last supper?
Being Swedish, it would have to be a typical Swedish meal. I would have gravadlax to start, followed by meatballs and finishing up with an apple pie with homemade custard. I would probably drink milk with it. Or I’d have a beer with my starter but milk with the meatballs. That’s too Swedish!

What’s your motto?
That is a tricky one, but I suppose if I have to choose I would say: Be in it for the fun and the money.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Now, this can easily become a list for me because we have some odd stuff in Sweden, and I have been lucky enough to travel the world, experiencing some weird and wonderful food. The strangest I think would be Hairy Tofu or Dried Puffin…

What’s your favourite book?
I have always loved travel and a book by Tiziano Terzani called A Fortune-Teller Told Mr, really gives me that tingling feeling you get when you open a door and don’t know what to expect.

Sweet or savoury?
Salty any day of the week!

more like this
close stay up-to-date with our free newsletter | expert intel | tailored industry news | new-to-know trend analysis | sign up | speciality food daily briefing