Lefse House supplier to Norwegian Embassy
Official supplier to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa.
That was the designation given The Lefse House by Norwegian Ambassador to Canada Else Berit Eikeland at the opening of Constructions, a show of contemporary Norwegian Arts in Culture in Edmonton last month.
"It was quite the plug for us," said Bernell Odegard, owner of The Lefse House, which catered the event.
"You can't buy advertising like that."
Ambassador Eikeland commented on the quality of the lefse in the speech she gave to open the exhibition.
She then related the production of the lefse to the production of works of art using old techniques.
"She said that we were using old techniques but producing a new modern lefse that she felt was absolutely wonderful," said Odegard.
"She said she had never tasted anything like it."
The Lefse House was invited to cater the exhibition after hosting the Ambassador in the spring and serving an Alberta meal for her at the home of Augustana dean Roger Epp.
"We got a call from the embassy asking that we serve Norwegian potato and hardanger lefse, which we did, along with gjetost (a sweet red-orange gourmet cheese that is a traditional part of a Norwegian breakfast), as well as a few other goodies," said Odegard.
At the end of the opening ceremony, staff from the embassy said they would be contacting The Lefse House again for future events.
Operated by Bernell and Linda Odegard and their daughter, Jane, for the last nine years, and 12 years before that by Helen Lien, The Lefse House is the only commercial lefse bakery in Alberta and perhaps western Canada. At Christmas, the business ships lefse across Canada and the United States.
"We have shipped it to New York and we have shipped it to Yellowknife," said Odegard. "People pay more for the shipping than they do for the actual product, but that just shows it is important to them."
Constructions, part of downtown Edmonton's The Works Art & Design Festival, was coordinated by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Association for Arts & Crafts, working with curator Edith Lundebrekke. The exhibition featured 16 artists and 27 works. One of the more unusual items on display was a dress that was made from shirt collars.