Crayfish, herring, Swedish meatballs, quality coffee bread and Scandinavian pastries can be tough to find in Colorado, nearly 5,000 miles away from …
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Crayfish, herring, Swedish meatballs, quality coffee bread and
Scandinavian pastries can be tough to find in Colorado, nearly
5,000 miles away from the country famous for such dishes.
That’s why Swedes living in the Denver area are so excited about
the grand opening of IKEA Centennial. The Swedish furniture giant
also hawks food, utilizing both in-house restaurants and food
markets. It doesn’t just go halfway, either — IKEA takes pride in
its heritage. The company packages its own food products, nearly
all of which have some tie to Sweden.
Pernilla Johnson, who moved to Colorado from Stockholm in 1996,
is especially looking forward to being able to stop in for a lunch
of Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam whenever she wants.
“It’s going to be a beauty,” she said.
Only a handful of shops in the Denver metro area offer
traditional Swedish food, and some items simply can’t be found at
all. Johan Westburg, president of the Swedish-American Chamber of
Commerce of Colorado, said he has to special order crayfish, an
essential part of midsummer festivals, from Seattle. IKEA will help
make finding some items, such as herring and lingonberry jam, much
less of a headache.
Johnson is hopeful that pea soup and pancakes will be served on
Thursdays, which she said is a tradition in Sweden.
“Growing up, going to school, every Thursday, it was pea soup
and pancakes. To be able to go on a Thursday for lunch and have pea
soup and pancakes for lunch, it’ll be just like home,” she
Swedes are also fond of pastries, cookies and coffee bread.
Every afternoon they enjoy fika, which translates to coffee break,
where they take a few minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry
with friends, family or co-workers. That’s why there are so many
cafes in Sweden, Johnson said.
IKEA stores typically sell Swedish-style pastries and coffee in
“Them selling some of that, that’s going to be a big hit I
think,” Johnson said.
Johnson and Westburg were also both quick to point out that most
Swedish meatballs served in America aren’t the real thing. To be
truly authentic, the meatballs should be served dry, with gravy and
lingonberry jam on the side.
IKEA Centennial’s 550-seat restaurant already has a partial menu
available for viewing on its website, www.ikea-usa.com/centennial.
Highlights include a $0.99 breakfast of bacon, eggs and hashbrowns
and a $3.99 lunch of 15 Swedish meatballs served with mashed
potatoes and lingonberry jam.
The 415,000-square-foot store will be Colorado’s first IKEA
location and the 38th in the United States. It will offer 10,000
exclusively designed items, three model home interiors, 50 room
settings and supervised children’s areas, in addition to the food
market and restaurant. It’s built on four levels, two on the bottom
for parking and two on top for displaying merchandise.
IKEA Centennial sits on 13.5 acres on the eastern side of
Interstate 25 near Park Meadows mall. The grand opening is July 27,
with a flag-raising ceremony scheduled to begin shortly after 8
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