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The Wooden Spoon Gives Folks a Sample of Scandinavian Culture in Plano

By Elisha Neubauer

For those of Scandinavian descent, or those merely interested in the culture, The Wooden Spoon in Plano, Texas has everything you need to feel right at home. An all-inclusive cultural center, The Wooden Spoon offers everything from language classes to a complete line of imported foods.

It all started in the late 80s when Gwen Welk Workman moved to Plano from Minnesota. Workman had difficulty adjusting to his new area as she couldn't find anything that suited her Scandinavian likes. She took it upon herself to remedy the situation, realizing that she couldn't be the only one in the area feeling that way, and in 1988 she launched the first location in McKinney.

"After a year I moved to Plano and then in 1992 I purchased the oldest home in Plano and converted it to a Scandinavian gift store and Culture Center," explains Workman. "In September I will celebrate 28 years in business."

In order to accommodate everyone's likes and dislikes, Workman ensured that they offered a complete line of foods from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. "Some of the items are Lutefisk, lefse, herrings, specialty cheeses like Gjetost, Farmers, Nokkelost, Greve, Prast and Bondost, Glogg, lingonberries, cloudberries, sweet and salty licorice, chocolates and bulk candy, Danish preserves, cookies, and crisp breads," she details.

Scandinavian gifts and crystal are also available, including everything from clocks and clogs to decorative tiles and clothing. Also offered are language classes. Guests can choose from Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish in either beginner or intermediate levels. The classes are each two hour sessions and last for six weeks.

Each year, on their anniversary, The Wooden Spoon throws an anniversary celebration. "This year we celebrate on Saturday, September 10 from 1 to 5 PM," says Workman. "It is open to the public and there is no charge. This marks on the 28th year in business." Another event hosted by the business is the annual Stella Olson cookie party. "This is not an exchange but a day to just fellowship and enjoy the season," Workman states. "We ask you to bring a tray of homemade treats to add to those that we have made. Again, there is no charge."

Other events taking place include group meetings. "The Sons of Norway and the Finnish/American group meet here once a month," says Workman. "I also do catering for special parties." The Norwegian families and the Sons of Norway jointly host the Christmas party and 17 of May celebration, Syttende Mai. "It's just great to bring people together to celebrate each other in their culture," Workman says.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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