Part One of my interview with Eva Sabet, co-Owner of Swedish Crown Bakery in Anoka, MN, focused on the creation of the bakery. In part two we talk more about authentic food and the future vision for Swedish Crown.
You see the word ‘artisan’ on a lot of foods today. What do you think about that?
(Eva laughs at this). Maybe they mean how it looks? Artisan is really something that is hand crafted – not pre-made in a factory and people just bake it.
People can make something that tastes good but isn’t very exciting on the plate. You really pay attention to how the food looks. How did that come about?
Since I was a child I have just loved beautiful things. My mother would give me money, and where other kids would go buy candy, I would go to the pastry shop and just stare at the cases of beautiful cakes.
I love beauty in everything; beauty in animals, in plants, in food. It makes me smile when I look at our food because you can tell it is different from other foods you have experienced. My husband Fari says, “Oh you are such a perfectionist.” I don’t think it is just being a perfectionist. If it is not beautiful it is like it hurts me, physically.
I think every employee who worked with us has become picky about food, realizing the difference between good and less good food. Now, they will not touch a lot of store bought foods. I see that in every employee. Their palettes change and they like things they did not before.
What I am hearing from you is to educate yourself on what you are putting in your body.
Fari and I are interested in clean food. I used to study to become a naturopath. When we started cooking in the coop we made a lot of healing soups. I did cooking classes in Sweden, and I would have healing foods classes when I worked as a naturopath. I have done classes for the Swedish Institute in Minneapolis as well and we will soon have baking/cooking classes here at the bakery.
Tell me about your dreams for the business. What would you like to see?
Nordic food is still on an upswing. The thing is, restaurants are claiming to be Nordic, Swedish, Scandinavian and I look at the menus and they have meatballs and herring. Nothing makes you Scandinavian because you have those two menus items. You have to bring more.
My vision right now is that I would like to open a unique type of restaurant where people would step inside and feel like it is Sweden - a Swedish konditori [pastry shop]. It would be like the forest; like you somehow walked into Europe. Icelandic, Finnish, Danish, Swedish and Nordic brought all together in the environment and the food on the plate. Burgers would be elk burger. Mushrooms would be chanterelles. We would use Swedish cheese and everything would be more Scandinavian-authentic; a clean, simple yet very, very tasty menu.
What else do you want people to know about Swedish Crown Bakery?
We are very honest. There are a lot of companies that claim healthy this and that and when you look at the ingredients they are not what they are supposed to be. We are definitely what we are claiming to be. And we have no limitations on what we can make as far as the needs around allergies or vegan food. If somebody is Paleo we can make Paleo. We can make raw food or gluten or dairy free or egg free. We can make all kinds of wedding cakes for special diets. Cooking this way is a natural thing for me.
You can access Part One of the interview with Eva by clicking here.