EVANSVILLE, Minn. — We've all been through the coffee and fast-food drive-thrus, but they have nothing on this Evansville business. In this week's Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen takes us to a drive-through that's as Nordic as it gets.
"You are in the boonies. There is nothing else really out here," Kim Englund said. "It's really quiet and we have great neighbors everywhere so it's a whole, big community that supports each other."
Lund Township is six miles by six miles. And Kim will be the first to tell you that it's chock full of Scandinavians.
"A lot of Norwegians. A lot of Swedes. We all kind of landed here from Norway — from here to Grand Forks. And we all like lefse," said Kim.
And that is good for business. During the pandemic, Kim decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Or in this case, lefse out of potatoes.
"When COVID hit you could see all the drive-thrus were still open. Because that was considered 'no contact,'" said Kim.
So, she made her own drive-thru out of a deer stand and began selling lefse out of it. It's about as Minnesotan as it gets.
"Everybody comes and drives through here. They can drive right up to the window. And then we have our menu here and they order. I even have Venmo. That's new to me," she said.
"I was like, you guys are crazy," said Willow Englund, Kim's daughter.
Those were Wilow's thoughts when the drive-thru first opened. She still thinks it's crazy, but Willow brings a lot to the table. In fact, the entire family spends seven nights a week making this Nordic dessert.
"We all mainly have our different jobs," said Willow. "Peel potatoes or put ingredients in the bowl."
They make 20 pounds of lefse a night and then sell it between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturdays.
It's $6 for three lefse rounds and it's safe to say that business has been on a roll. John House is a customer from nearby Melby.
"Population 39 and holding," said John, who has become a regular on Saturdays. "I bought from her for years, before she had this. This was, pretty smart."
"It's very unique. I don't know if I've ever seen anything like this before," said Sue Englund, a customer.
It's a Scandinavian tradition Kim's family is helping to drive forward. And she's hoping other families do the same.
"You have to step up. Everybody tells me grandma made the lefse and it's time for everybody to step up and learn to make the lefse," said Kim. "So this is kind of my battle cry. We need lefse makers in all the areas."
The little, red lefse shack is located a mile north of Evansville on County Road 1. The Englunds are open Saturday mornings in November and December. They say their busiest days are the Saturdays before Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they'll get customers from the Twin Cities, South Dakota, and everywhere in between.
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