St. Louis Park-based Nordic Ware undergoing expansion as home baking surges during pandemic

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A well-known Twin Cities company is expanding.

Nordic Ware in St. Louis Park says during the pandemic, more people are cooking at home — and it’s boosted business.

"It’s been a wild ride," said Jennifer Dalquist, executive vice president of sales and marketing with Nordic Ware and the granddaughter of the founders of the company.

Dalquist’s grandparents started this business from their basement in 1946. But 2020 was one of the best years for the manufacturer of bakeware, kitchenware and the world-famous bundt pan.

"Once everyone got settled in their homes and it looked like it was going to be that way for the foreseeable future, the floodgates sort of opened because suddenly people needed to cook and bake things in their own homes," Dalquist said.

That led to an increase in sales of around 400%.

"We came in one day to thousands of orders. Suddenly everyone wanted to bake at home," said Seth Miletich, Nordic Ware Fulfillment Center Manager.

Miletich says with limited space, the only logical solution was expansion.

"It’s going to allow us to have more product in place, have more people safely working together," Miletich said.

Construction is underway on a 22,000 square-foot addition to the fulfillment center. Then phase two will add 45,000 square feet for more warehouse space and a bundt cafe.

"There’s been a lot of demand for a place for consumers to come and taste bundt cake," Dalquist said.

They’re also adding jobs. Over the past year, they’ve gone from 500 to 600 employees to meet the demands of all those orders.

Phase one of the expansion should be finished this summer, while phase two will wrap up at the end of the year, and Dalquist is ready for sales to keep up.

"That appears to not be a fleeting trend but something that’s here to stay," Dalquist said.

As the company celebrates 75 years, Dalquist is grateful to continue the work her family started.

"There’s an immense amount of pride but also a huge sense of responsibility to keep this business going," Dalquist said.

While the work here hasn’t stopped during this pandemic, Nordic Ware hopes it’s been a bright spot during such a dark time.

"We believe the kitchen is a place where families come together and create traditions and memories that last a lifetime," she said.