Founded in 1962, Swedish Kontur is the oldest continuous Scandinavian import shop in the United States
Anders Bjorling, Gustavus Adolphus College class of ‘58, came to America thinking he would be attending school for only a year. Like many student who attend Gustavus, he fell in love with the school and decided to finish his schooling here. At Gustavus, Anders met his wife Janet, whom he graduated with and married in 1958. Anders and Janet moved to Sweden for four years and then decided to move back to the US. This is when they decided to start a Swedish import shop, Swedish Kontur. The shop originally marketed Swedish glassware, and then quickly expanded to other goods.
Swedish Kontur, founded in 1962 by Anders Bjorling and his wife Janet started out by selling Swedish glassware, silver and textiles. Their first business front was on the ground floor of their home, by 1967 the couple had outgrown their shop and rented a location in downtown Saint Peter. As business continued to grow the couple recognized they needed a more permanent storefront. In 1972 the couple purchased the Faust Drug Building, in the location the business occupies to this day (Vance, 2003). Swedish Kontur is currently the oldest continually operated Swedish import shop in the United States.