Follow your heart to the kitchen
Nutty Norsky Baking Company delivers Scandinavian treats made with love
CHRISTY OLSEN FIELD
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American
The Nutty Norsky Baking Company is a newcomer on the scene of Scandinavian bakeries in the United States, but it already has an enthusiastic customer base that keeps coming back for more. Owned and operated by Michelle Morck, the Scandinavian pastries, breads, and baked goods are made from scratch every day in Skagit County, Wash., about an hour and half north of Seattle.
Morck was on track to embark on a new career in family law, but her heart pulled her back into the kitchen. She opened the Nutty Norsky Baking Company in 2021.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Morck by phone, and these are the highlights from our conversation.
The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Christy Olsen Field: Can you tell me a bit about your background? How did you get into Scandinavian baking?
Michelle Morck: I married into it! My husband’s side is Norwegian, so that’s how I learned about Norwegian culture. Baking has been a part of my life since I was a child.
We started Byen Bakeri in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle in 2013. My husband, Brian, has a huge background in technical baking, so he handled the production side and I did the business side. It was 24/7 for five years straight. In 2018, we sold the business and moved north to Skagit County.
After that, I went back to school to change careers: I studied law with the intent to set up a practice in family law. There are so many people who need help and don’t have the financial means for a parenting plan. I had plans to build an affordable law practice to help families.
In July 2021, I was studying for the bar exam, but I wasn’t actually sure how I felt about it. My baking business was starting to really take off, and I found it to be a really good fit for me. So, I pulled my application for the bar exam to focus on the Nutty Norsky Baking Company, and it’s grown from there.
COF: What inspired you to open the Nutty Norsky Baking Company?
MM: There is a significant Scandinavian community in Skagit County, but there was no bakery or restaurant here. So, the business just clicked with people, and that’s how the Nutty Norsky came to be. We called it Nutty because we are doing it again! But having that experience with Byen Bakeri in Seattle was invaluable.
Byen Bakeri was small, but this business is even smaller: It’s just me. I do all the aspects of running the business, but I find that I love the production side of things. It’s a really good fit for me. It gives me the freedom to listen to feedback from customers, continually refresh our products, and make my own schedule.
Food is a common thread that brings us all together, and that is certainly true with The Nutty Norsky Baking Company.
COF: What are your specialties at the Nutty Norsky Baking Company?
MM: We do Swedish rye, cardamom braids, kransekake (which is a higher ticket item but a specialty), Mazarin tarts, almond croissants, Nordic coffee cake, kringle, and prinsesstårta by the slice. We also do a kringle sampler of different flavors that is quite popular. The menu will be expanded soon, but I am doing it carefully with shelf life in mind.
COF: Where can people buy your items?
MM: I sell items through my website in a few different ways. Local people can do a no-contact locker pickup at Christensen’s Nursery in Mount Vernon, and Ace Hardware in Anacortes (with more locations coming soon!). We sell a selection of our items through Snow Goose Produce in Mount Vernon, and Skagit’s Own Fish Market in Burlington. I also sell at farmers markets in the area. For those who don’t live nearby, I ship items by USPS Priority Mail.
COF: What do you find the most rewarding with the Nutty Norsky Baking Company?
MM: The world is so unpredictable and finding joy in whatever you do is so important for me. I really thought I was going down the path of family law, but baking seems to be my default. I keep coming back to the kitchen, and I keep thinking about what is calling me to this industry and this way of life. I am proud to have this woman-owned business.
Do you know a Scandinavian food business to highlight? I’d love to hear from you! Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos courtesy of The Nutty Norsky Baking Company
This article originally appeared in the March 4, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.