One Smørrebrød to go, please!By Laura Tomassini, Anouk Flesch Switch to German for original article
With the ScanShop and the Nordbo Café, Kjell Skauland has not only brought a piece of his homeland to Luxembourg, but has also quenched the desire for homelike products of many Scandinavians living here. 200 square metres of pure Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.
"Thursdays are always our best day, that's when we offer our special Danish Smørrebrød sandwiches. People come all the way here for that!" Kjell Skauland has been representing his Scandinavian compatriots and their products here in Luxembourg for 27 years. The slices of bread and butter, topped with herring, roast beef, smoked salmon or the ever-popular Swedish Köttbullar meatballs, are just one of the highlights that the ScanShop in Neudorf has to offer. In 1994, the native Norwegian was the first to import food from Scandinavia in the Grand Duchy. Opinions are still divided as to which countries really belong to Northern Europe.
"In any case, you can find goods from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland at our shop", reports the experienced managing director. In the meantime, the Scandinavian Company S.A., as his company is properly called, owns two more shops in Belgium, one of them in Brussels, in addition to the ScanShop in Luxembourg. Before Kjell expanded his sales to other locations, he actually worked as a banker for several years and at that time supplied some restaurants and hotels with products from his home country. "In the beginning, I mainly imported Norwegian salmon and chocolate from Denmark, as well as some types of fish from Iceland", he says.
The salmon and the banks
At some point, he noticed that there was also a need for Nordic products among private individuals, because there were and are many Nordbo in Luxembourg, as people from the North and Kjell's Café in Neudorf are called: "In the nineties, there were mainly many Danes, since Denmark was already part of the EU at that time. In addition, some Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish banks already existed here, and many Icelanders also came to Luxembourg via Cargolux." Before officially opening ScanShop at its current location, Kjell first tried his hand at a smaller shop in Sandweiler, where he sold traditional Danish decorations before Christmas.
With the start in Neudorf, the company launched itself even more in the delivery of its products, because the Scandinavian salmon in particular was popular with the bank employees during the festive season. "We sometimes supplied half the banks in the country with salmon. At that time, it was all very new and we were among the first to sell it. Today, you can buy salmon pretty much everywhere", says Kjell. Nevertheless, ScanShop filled a hole in the Luxembourg shop market and gradually the local population also found their way to the somewhat hidden shop. "We have been supplying some financial institutions for over 20 years, and for many Scandinavians this is a place where they find things they miss from home and can't get anywhere else. The shop is particularly busy at Christmas time, because that's when people come especially for our traditional decorative items."
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