You’ve probably seen Somchai Bronlow, also known as Sunshine, before. Either pushing a small trolley around packed with croissants, trays of fruit, plates and pots of coffee, or in the middle of spreading a tablecloth and laying the table for a reception or big event at CBS.
For ten years, he has been in charge of orchestrating Spisestuerne’s events and meetings held at CBS. But now Somchai Bronlow has done his last event, and he is taking his family to Thailand to start up a sustainable fish farm.
“For quite some time, my wife and I have thought about going back to Thailand. But we didn’t know what we would do until a friend of mine at an Easter lunch suggested that we could start a sustainable fish farm and sell fish and take away dishes to the local Thai people. That was in April, and we are leaving on November 15,” he says.
Somchai Bronlow had his last day at CBS at the end of October, and it was on that day that Mikala Gyllinge, Relations Manager at CBS Business told CBS WIRE about Somchai Bronlow’s news.
“He is the face of events,” she said.
One thousand plates and the one reception that got away
Somchai Bronlow doesn’t know how many events and meetings he has been in charge of over the last ten years, but some stand out.
“When CBS had the summer party in 2017, we had to move a load of plates from Porcelænshaven to Solbjerg Plads. That was tough,” he remembers.
When CBS had a lot of centenary-related events and receptions in 2017, one reception got away.
“It was in the afternoon when a staff member came up to me and asked where the reception had gone. I was like, what reception?” says Somchai Bronlow and continues:
“It turns out that we had forgotten a reception for 90 people. Luckily, they only needed some wine, soft drinks and canapés, so we managed to get the reception up and running in no time.”
Somchai Bronlow reflects on his time at CBS, and there is one thing that he is definitely not going to miss.
“Counting plates,” he says.
“We have to count all the plates and tableware twice a year, as a lot go missing. I actually have no clue how, but each year we order a pallet of new tableware. So, remember to bring back your used plates, as I won’t be collecting them for you,” says Somchai Bronlow with humor in his voice.
The fish farm that Somchai Bronlow, his wife and friend will be in charge of is situated four hours north of Bangkok in a city called Nakhon Sawan, and Somchai Bronlow will bring his knowledge about sustainability from Denmark to the fish farm.
“Denmark has built part of its culture on sustainability, and we want to make use of that at the farm. For example, we’ve decided that the food for the fish will not contain any harmful chemicals, and we want to avoid using plastic,” he says and adds that the roof of the fish farm has the framework for the installation of solar cells for energy production.
“It’s not easy to produce a good product in a sustainable way in Thailand because plastic is much cheaper than the sustainable packaging. But we are willing to go the extra mile for the green way and have a product that we can vouch for,” he says.
The fish farm is named Thamladee Farm, which means ‘good location’ in Thai.
Sunshine in Thailand
Somchai Bronlow’s family of four are a little nervous about the upcoming adventure, but mostly excited and happy about the change, as life in Denmark did not quite suit them any longer.
“We have become tired of our way of living in Denmark. We don’t feel as though we have enough time as a family. I work, I pick up my kids, we eat dinner and we put them to sleep. It had become too mundane,” he says.
I might even name some products ‘Sunshine’Somchai Bronlow
But how can starting a new business provide more family time?
“When you are your own boss, you get to decide how things are done. So, if I want to pick my kids up early, I can. Also, Thailand is a little more slow-paced than Denmark, which we have experienced on our vacations there, so I know we will have more time together,” he says.
Even though the Bronlow family is moving to Thailand to get more time with each other, Somchai Bronlow will miss CBS and parts of Denmark.
“I’m going to miss that Denmark only has mosquitos three months of the year, whereas you have mosquitos 24/7 in Thailand,” he says and laughs.
Somchai Bronlow spent the last weeks and days at CBS saying goodbye to colleagues and staff members that he has worked with.
“It was a bit sad saying goodbye to my colleagues who I will miss a lot. But saying goodbye also showed that they have appreciated me and my work here,” he says.
Many staff members at CBS will know Somchai Bronlow under the name of ‘Sunshine’, and there is a chance that the nickname will carry over to the fish farm.
“I might even name some products ‘Sunshine’. I will have to think about that,” he says.