Bruno started a popcorn factory

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Man with popcorn bowl in factory environment.
Bruno Lindberg started his own business in 2013 and now runs his own popcorn factory in Arvika. Photo: Johan Bodell

Bruno Lindberg initially thought he would become a researcher when he started studying at Chalmers, but his career took a different turn.

 Image of popcorn bag.

After graduating from the master's in Biotechnology at Chalmers, he now runs his own popcorn factory in his home town of Arvika. The finest popcorn varieties from all over the world are packed and sorted here and shipped to shops and popcorn lovers around the country.

“Anyone who loves popcorn and eats a lot of it knows that the quality is very important and affects the end result, but no one in Sweden sold the corn kernels I wanted,” says Bruno Lindberg.

Ordered two tonnes to his flat

The solution seemed to be to import the finest kernels himself. The only problem was that you could only order several tonnes from the supplier in the US. A crazy idea soon became a reality.
“I ordered two tonnes of corn kernels to my flat and had a production line running from the kitchen out into the hallway. It was initially a fun little project that just took off and grew.”

In the beginning, Bruno’s friends at Chalmers helped him with everything from packing the corn kernels to creating the packaging design. They also gave him advice on how to distribute the corn kernels throughout his flat without the floor collapsing.
“The trick was apparently to spread out the kernels along the walls. It was gratifying to have that network behind you, with friends who are good at so many different things.”

Took a break from work

It didn't take long before word of the "gourmet popcorn" began to spread outside of his friendship circle and to major grocery stores throughout Sweden. Bruno then decided to take leave of absence from his steady job at Volvo Cars and start his own business.

“I knew that I had a good education from Chalmers and I knew that if things didn’t work out with my own company, I would still learn a lot. I wasn’t worried about taking the leap, as it would always be possible to find a 'regular’ job again.”

His education at Chalmers allowed him to keep all doors open.

“I saw more test tubes and that kind of industry ahead of me when I started studying the bachelor's in Chemistry engineering at Chalmers, but during the programme I discovered that I was drawn to food all the time. It was what I was good at and what I wanted to do.”

Chose the food track

But chemistry is also food and the master's programme in Biotechnology includes a track where you can specialise in food. He wrote his bachelor’s thesis on the subject of chocolate and his master’s thesis on corn.

“In addition to the network from Chalmers, I’ve also picked up the food safety bits and become good at analytical thinking and problem solving. I benefit greatly from this when running my business today.”

Looking back at the last ten years after graduating, he is both surprised and proud of where he is in his career right now.

“The coolest thing has been building something from scratch and watching it grow and develop. Now it feels as if the popcorn factory has taken on a life of its own.”

Read more about the programme

Biotechnology, MSc

Studying this master’s programme, you will focus on the interface between chemistry, biology and medicine, with engineering as the common thread. You will learn to use engineering principles in the analysis and manipulation of biological systems to solve problems across a wide spectrum of vital applications and cover a broad base, from genetics to process engineering.