Sharing Your Stories

One hundred years is a rare milestone and all of us at Ingebretsen’s know who to thank – our customers. We collected stories of your experiences with Ingebretsen’s throughout the year and want to share a few of our favorites with you. It’s not too late to submit a story of your own! Find the form at the bottom of this page or follow this link to the story form.

Vintage Viking Camp Mug

Due to pandemic restrictions, we did not get to celebrate our centennial the way we wanted to (seeing faces of family and friends in person), but hearing your memories was such a special part of this year. Thank you for continuing to shop with us and having us as a part of your holidays. Stay tuned for potential celebrations in 2022, when it will hopefully be safer to gather in the store for events once again!

2021 Annual ornaments, designed by Luke Dudzik, Meghan Hayes, and Rosann Jorde (from left to right)




We’ve all had fun creating this batch of products to celebrate our 100 years – and to greet the next 100! Anna Bloomstrand revisited one of our oldest logos – the vintage Viking – who watched over us when we were just a meat market (1923 – 1973). Our newest logo Huset (the house) extends our warm welcome, from our house to yours. This anniversary is as much a celebration of you as it is of the store. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.


Paul Arneson

“My Grandma Carrie Thorson loved going to Ingebretsen’s. She wrote on page 114 of her memoirs I Couldn’t Milk Another Goat (available at the store):

      ‘(In the Fall of 1925)…. I took the streetcar to a new butcher shop on East Lake Street called Model Meat Market run by Charles Ingebretsen from Norway. We heard they had the best meat in town, and I’d been anxious to get there since they opened in 1921. It was a long ride from Northeast Minneapolis but so very worth it! They expanded the business years later to include a Scandinavian gift shop and called the combined store simply Ingebretsen’s. It’s wonderful.'”

William Horlitz
Steve Dahl, the current manager of the Butcher Shop & Deli

“My story begins in January 1947, the month and year I was born. We lived in the upper duplex that my parents were renting from my grandfather Herman Swenson. It was also the childhood home of my mother Helga and her two sisters Alice and Evelyn. The home was located at 31st and Bloomington, the property currently occupied by a post office. The family frequented the Modern butcher shop regularly. My parents and grandfather moved to the suburbs in 1949 so regular contact was lost for many years. In the 1980s I started visiting the store at holiday time to get the Scandinavian treats I had experienced as a child, especially Torsk, herring and Gjost.

About 15 years ago I was in the shop getting goodies for our annual lefse party in Rochester.  It was a fairly quiet day so I questioned the butcher who was serving me about how many of the current customers were from the neighborhood and had been lifelong customers. He asked me where I had lived, so I shared my story. As it turns out he was my age and had lived across the alley from my grandfather’s duplex.”

Karen Anderson

“One time I put in an online order for gjetost (brown goat cheese) and the guy actually called me up (I’m in California) and with his cute Minnesota accent explained why a different shipping method might be better to keep the cheese fresh but also save me money. I seem to remember that what he recommended was actually cheaper than what I had selected online. I just thought that was so nice! What personal service!”

Patricia Ferguson
Honnie Ingebretsen with a visiting Viking

“As a child, my father and I would visit my Swedish grandparents. They lived off Lake Street, not far from Ingebretsen’s. I loved to visit the store where my grandmother shopped for traditional Scandinavian foods. Venturing through books, ornaments, candy and cookies. The ginger snaps are still my favorite. I live in Texas now, but head to Minneapolis often. Every visit includes Ingebretsen’s. I try to recover anything that can be given to my kids and grandkids of their Swedish heritage. Thank you so much. I love y’all.”

Ardelle Dunn

“I lived in Minnesota back when my children were growing up and we would come to your store at the holidays to get Lingonberries. They were in a container near the counter where meat was sold. We could get as much raw lingonberries as we wanted by the pound. Sometimes you had to pick out leaves and small branches when you got home and washed them prior to cooking. My mouth waters thinking about rice pudding with fresh Lingonberries. Also we would get fresh Potatiskorv and pickled Herring so Christmas Eve was spent with wonderful Swedish traditions! Thanks for the memories.”

Barbara Shellhorn
Julie Ingebretsen and Sue Meister with Santa

“My husband and I were poor graduate students at the “U” and were married at the Hennepin County Courthouse on Dec. 15, 1978. For our first Christmas tree, we went to Ingebretsen’s to buy our first ornaments. We bought six straw ornaments and we still have two. We moved away in 1981 but whenever I am back in Minneapolis. I go to Ingebretsen’s (I need ammonium carbonate for my Swedish MorMor’s Drommar). And if I don’t get back I just go online.” 


“Many years ago while visiting my in-laws in Minnesota we stopped by the magical Ingebretsen’s store. Back then, I wished we had one in Virginia but with your online store we do! My mother-in-law was a baker of much reknown in MN. One of her many specialties at Christmastime were bridge cookies also known as krokaners. They were so beautiful and one holiday I worked up the courage to try to bake them. I turned to Ingbretsen’s for my krokaner pans. I was so excited when they arrived that I could hardly wait to start baking. Since then the cookies have come to be a tradition in my family too. In addition to our Virginia table, Ingbretsen’s Christmas decor items have graced our family tables in Japan, Oregon and California. We can’t wait to unpack our tomte each year so that they can help us get ready for the holidays.  

Our family of Ingebretsen tomte who reside with all our family members send good wishes to their brethren in MN! We also send you many good wishes for your 100 year anniversary and 100 more years! 

Ingebretsen’s represents so much of what is good about the world. Congratulations!”

Tusen takk for alt! (Thank you for everything)