Keep on rollin’
Granrud’s Lefse shares the love of home-style lefse from Montana
CHRISTY OLSEN FIELD
Taste of Norway Editor
Anyone who has made lefse knows that it is a true labor of love to make and the ultimate comfort food for many Norwegian Americans at the holidays.
For 43 years and counting, Granrud’s Lefse has shared their award-winning potato lefse with the Scandinavian-American community. Granrud’s Lefse is the official lefse of Høstfest, the largest Scandinavian festival in North America, based in Minot, N.D., and they make appearances at other Scandinavian festivals in the West.
Granrud’s Lefse has a storied history. It was founded in 1977 by Evan and Myrt Granrud in their kitchen in Opheim, Mont. Myrt used her mother’s lefse recipe and Evan’s inventions for rolling and cooling. Their business grew quickly and expanded to their garage. Eventually, they built an addition to the house for a crew of 12 people. Since then, the business has been purchased and sold a few times by owners who kept the same recipe and tradition.
In 2018, Libi and Scott Susag purchased Granrud’s Lefse recipe and equipment and moved Granrud’s Lefse operations to Scobey, Mont. I recently spoke with Libi to learn about Granrud’s Lefse.
“We joked for the first year that the only thing that changed was the ZIP code,” she said.
Scobey is a tight-knit community of about 800 people in the northeastern corner of the state, 14 miles south of the Canadian border.
Granrud’s Lefse is made from a blend of potatoes, and they use about 84,000 pounds of potatoes during their busy season. The potatoes are stored on site at the Granrud’s Lefse facility.
“We source our potatoes from a great grower in Miles City, Mont. It’s been a win-win for us, the farmer can sell us the potatoes that he wouldn’t be able to sell for exporting, and we can keep it local,” said Susag.
Granrud’s Lefse uses the original recipe, and that delicious consistency is what keeps customers coming back year after year.
“We have some automation, but it’s a very hands-on company. It’s authentic and homemade taste, and we have so many people who call us to share how it brings important memories of family,” said Susag.
“Lefse is very much a comfort food, and that is especially important this year,” she added.
Granrud’s Lefse is sold in a few different options for customers. One-pound bags sell for $8.95 and are available in rounds, halves, and quarters.
Lefse Bitz are pieces that don’t fit their standard template for quarter size, or parts of rounds that were too large to fit properly in packages. These “Bitz” are just right for snacks. Lefse Bitz are packaged in 1.5-pound bags and sold for $4.
“Lefse Bitz are very popular with senior citizens and daycare centers,” added Susag.
Due to nationwide shipping delays because of COVID-19, Granrud’s Lefse ships via UPS. On their website, they recommend purchasing a freezer pack for each three packs of lefse to ensure the lefse arrives in best condition.
Granrud’s Lefse is growing fast, with orders pouring in from all 50 states. They are looking for an investor to join the business in Scobey or to sell the business to a new owner and move operations to a place with a larger labor market.
“Granrud’s Lefse is growing like crazy, and I’m training a lot of new people to keep up with demand. In our small town, we just don’t have enough people to work. It seems like almost everyone is working two or more jobs,” said Susag.
Susag has offered housing to the right candidates who are willing to relocate to Scobey to work for Granrud’s Lefse and other creative, out-of-the-box avenues to find workers to keep up the demand during the busy season.
“We are very much open to finding ways and workers so it can stay in Scobey or Montana, but sometimes things outgrow their place. I don’t want to give it up, but I also don’t want this business to fail,” she said.
(If you are interested in learning more, please contact Libi Susag at email@example.com or (866) 765-3250).
To order lefse and lefse-themed apparel, visit granrudslefse.com. The website offers a few different payment options and inventory quantities are continually updated. You can also find them on Facebook: facebook.com/GranrudsLefseShack.
Phone: (406) 487-5600
Address (currently closed to the public) 602 Main St., Scobey, MT 59263
This article originally appeared in the Nov. 13, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.