Sister duo opens online Scandinavian food shop in Florida
CHRISTY OLSEN FIELD
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American
Are you a homesick Scandinavian, missing the taste of home? Or maybe a foodie with an appetite? Or perhaps you are looking for that snack you tried many years ago that your one friend brought you back from their trip to the Nordic region?
Scandic Products seeks to offer high-quality food items from Norway and the Scandinavian region, with next-day shipping and dedicated customer service. Headquartered in Palm Beach, Fla., the online shop launched in October 2021 with a curated selection of chocolates, with more items on the way.
I was honored to speak with Stephanie Nilsen and Michelle Nilsen, the co-owners of Scandic Products, just before Christmas. The Nilsen sisters are first-generation Norwegian-Americans; their father, Ronald Nilsen, emigrated to the United States, and the family has spent a lot of time in Norway.
During our conversation, I couldn’t help but smile. Stephanie and Michelle Nilsen are leading the way for the next generation of Scandinavian store owners in the United States with an infectious enthusiasm for sharing their love of Norway and Norwegian chocolate!
Here are some highlights from our conversation.
Christy Olsen Field: What inspired you to open a Scandinavian shop?
Scandic Products: We have lived in Norway for a few years and have spent a lot of time in Norway and the United States.
During the summertime as kids, our parents sent us to Norway to spend time with our grandparents in Bergen. Our grandma would give us money every day to go to the store and pick out snacks. We always steered toward the chocolates!
We decided to launch Scandic Products because it’s a way to represent a piece of our Norwegian culture and heritage. It can be hard to find Scandinavian food items in the United States, and we wanted to change that.
We officially launched our shop in October 2021.
COF: You’re in the first few months of business. How’s it been going so far?
SP: It’s been going great! We have put a lot of presence on social media, to put our name out there and connect with fellow Scandinavians. That’s how we found The Norwegian American! It’s been amazing to get such good feedback from the community. We have over 1,000 followers on Instagram now.
COF: What are the special items that you carry?
SP: We knew that we would be launching our business before the holiday season, so we focused on bringing items that we personally love and grew up eating. We decided that chocolate is the best! Not only do we love it, but chocolate is a great way to introduce Americans to Norway. It makes a great gift and a treat for yourself.
We launched with Freia chocolate classics: melkesjokolade (milk chocolate), Kvikk Lunsj, Firkløver (milk chocolate with chopped hazelnuts), and Daim. We also have Nidar Smash, and we sold Hansa Julebrus (Christmas soda) at the holidays.
We love modern Scandinavian design, so we want to bring that same fresh, modern perspective to our business. We also wanted our photos to reflect Norway’s natural beauty.
COF: Any plans to do a brick-and-mortar shop? I know there are quite a few Scandinavians in Florida!
SP: Right now it’s online only. It’s an idea to do a brick-and-mortar place, but that’s an idea at this point. We’d love to attend Scandinavian festivals or Christmas markets.
COF: Anything else you want the readers of The Norwegian American to know?
SP: We will definitely have more selection soon, so stay tuned!
All photos courtesy of Scandic Products
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 21, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.