RITZ - the story of entrepreneurship in Kirkenes

It’s the place where you always meet a familiar face and a friendly smile. Where heartwarming memories are shared and new ones made. Amundsen Bakery & Pastry and RITZ form a trio of a café, a restaurant, and a club in the heart of Kirkenes - on the map, and most importantly in peoples’ minds.

Amundsen family of entrepreneurs - Heidi, Katrine and the mom Torild
Amundsen family of entrepreneurs - Heidi, Katrine and the mom Torild

The story of RITZ was born Almost 30 years ago. A mom, Torild, and two daughters, Heidi and Katrine, inherited the restaurant from ex-husband, and the challenge was accepted. Changing the profession from being a caretaker to a restaurant owner wasn’t easy at that time. Not speaking about being a single mom and moving back to home town at the same time.


Challenges are the best teachers


That requires a ton of can-do attitude, persistence - and something that can be called badass mentality. It has taken RITZ and Amundsen Bakeri to be a-must visit place for the

locals and visitors for almost 30 years.


Heidi and Katrine came to work as soon as they could with their mom. So they have gotten practical courses on entrepreneurship from a very young age.


It’s Human-to-Human business


RITZ is totally run by family Amundsen, and humans are at the center of everything. RITZ invests in their staff and individuals - for example offering a chef degree. When the workers continue their careers, they have something tangible - in addition to the invaluable experience they got.


Staff of RITZ behind the counter at festival tent
The staff of RITZ is an invaluable part of the company - and they bring the vibe of RITZ in any event they attend

The past couple of years have been asking restaurant owners for flexibility and innovation - and RITZ and Amundsen Bakeri have been answering.


During the lockdown, RITZ and Amundsen Bakeri couldn't serve people on-site, so they created a free-of-charge delivery service. At Christmas time, Julbord is an important part of Norwegian traditions, so they created a take-away version of it - and took it to families. When facing challenges, it requires the can-do attitude, reinventing routines, and true will to cooperation to overcome those.

The secret is to learn from other people


“You don't have to invent everything from scratch, you can learn from other people,” says Heidi. “Inspiration for new things comes from people and what is done elsewhere. Instagram and TikTok are great for that!”


“We listen for interesting things and trends around the world. We take the best parts, modify them to fit here - and test them out,” she continues. “Some things work and some do not, but we keep on developing.”


RITZ is an amazing combination of traditions and new things. It’s the place where people return and find familiarity, but at the same time, it has a finger on the pulse. RITZ stays true to its identity, and keeps on kicking on. With the OG entrepreneur mom and her two daughters.


FEEL THE RITZ


With 3 floors and 3 concepts, there’s always something happening. During the day the café indulges the palate with self-made cakes, and on the weekend the nightclub fills the dance floor with energetic parties.



Above all, RITZ is famous for its Pizzas. Though they do have delicious homemade lasagna and burgers too - but you gotta try the pizza first!


Catering service is the latest piloted add on their list. They cook homemade food and deliver

it wherever you need it. This is a perfect match for companies and events.


You can taste RITZ and Amundsen Bakery & Pastry at the Arctic Food Fair, and feel the vibe of the dance floor, as RITZ is hosting the After Party. See you in Kirkenes!



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