Catching Up With Nordic GoodsNovember 27, 2017
You may remember a piece from a while back when we highlighted Nordic Cinnamon Sprinkle, a Nordic-inspired company started by Karin Miller that honors her grandmother’s memory.
Well, the sprinkle is back, but under a new name and with more products to choose from.
With a newly-named company, Nordic Goods, we caught up with Miller to chat about how her business has evolved and what kind of tasty products she has added to her inventory.
Congratulations on launching Nordic Goods, the parent company that encompasses the Nordic Cinnamon Sprinkle we talked about last year. How has your business changed and evolved in the past year since we last chatted?
Since we wanted to bring more products to market, we need to create a larger company name, so we chose Nordic Goods, and that has been well received. My husband came up with the name, and it felt right instantly. When we first brought Nordic Cinnamon Sprinkle to market, we never really thought we would grow into a company where we had a mix of products. So, this was our turning point from hobby to full-blown business.
Your two new products, Nordic Vanilla Sprinkle and Nordic Glögg Mulling Space, are wonderful holiday additions to Nordic Goods. What inspired launching these two particular blends?
We had another successful year with Nordic Cinnamon Sprinkle, so we decided to ask our customers what other products they would like to see us create. That is how we landed on Nordic Vanilla Sprinkle, which is an obvious complement to Nordic Cinnamon Sprinkle. After testing it on lefse and other baked goods, we decided to try it on fresh fruit and oatmeal, and we were surprised at the flavor. The Nordic Glögg Mulling Spice has been the most fun to bring to market because it seems to put a smile on everyone’s face. When we have sampled this product in apple cider and shared it with our customers, it creates instant conversation and comfort. The spices are delicious!
In our original story, we talked about how much family played a part in you launching your business, particularly the cinnamon sprinkle product. How can others use your products to get their families involved in the kitchen?
I had someone ask me what made me decide to bring Scandinavian-inspired products to market, and it always makes me think deep. I think when you live in the U.S.A., we are all full of many different backgrounds. And, we are influenced in different ways depending on our family or our passions. I was very close to my grandparents growing up who were Norwegian and Swedish. I wish I could tell you that they spent hours with me enriching me on my heritage, but it was really not the case. There were always the conversations, family heirlooms around their home and of course baking. But, not what you would expect from someone who decided to start this business.
I realized that my little bottle of cinnamon and sugar always made me feel close again to my grandmother who passed away from colon cancer when I was in the ninth grade. My grandfather was an entrepreneur in the Minneapolis area, where I live, and I know that he would have been so proud of me for having the entrepreneurial spirit to not quit and to keep moving forward. They both are still influential in what I do, and who I am every day.
Since I have started this business, I have been learning and exploring my Scandinavian heritage because I absolutely love it. I learned early on that Scandinavian heritage equals baking. I like to try new recipes, and when I can get a child in the kitchen with me or at a booth selling our product, I know that I am passing down the traditions.
My girls and their cousins have participated in the Santa Lucia Pageant at the Norwegian Church-Mindekirken in Minneapolis, and I have been baking with nieces and nephews teaching them to learn and explore their heritage. We spend time throughout the year at the American Swedish Institute, too, since their events calendar is amazing.
When people buy my product, I know that they are yearning for the same thing…a little piece of our heritage to share and inspire.
What kind of feedback have you received from your local community about your products and your recent expansion?
People really love the Nordic Goods logo and are excited to see us bring more products to market. I get a lot of suggestions, so stay tuned to 2018!
You have added new products, launched the Nordic Goods umbrella brand and expanded into stores across Minneapolis and in specialty shops in places like Washington and Iowa. What’s next for Nordic Goods?
We are based out of Minneapolis, and there is a strong concentration of Scandinavians. We also know that there are other markets like Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Des Moines, Fargo, etc., which would be great areas of expansion as well. We really want to get our product mix to be wider, so we are always thinking and exploring new options. 2018 should be another fun year with new products. We rely on what our customers tell us for suggestions and feedback, along with watching the marketplace.