“Swedish food is just like the French cuisine, with a long cultural history, only much less complicated,” says Eva Sabet of Swedish Crown Bakery who’s behind this week’s strawberry rhubarb recipe.

Located in Anoka, Minnesota, population 17,000 and just north of Minneapolis along the Mississippi, the bakery is a somewhat hidden treasure for Swedes and Swedish Americans in the area. Run by Eva and Fari Sabet, who relocated from Malmö, Sweden to Minnesota about 10 years ago, the bakery and deli offers Scandinavian and European baked goods, salads and sandwiches and sometimes soup for lunch. With seating for 15, the bakery offers a konditori-like experience, with the toned-down setting of the traditional Swedish café and pastries to write home about.
The Swedish Crown Bakery opened in 2014 after the couple had been running the Grassroots Coop kitchen in Anoka for three years. Fari has worked in the restaurant business all his life, as has Eva, a self-taught baker whose career in the kitchen started early: “I began baking as soon as I could reach the controls of the oven and at 13 spent every day baking to grasp the process involved in making different breads and pastries and to understand how different ingredients interact.” She later taught cooking classes in Sweden then brought her experience to teach occasional classes at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis as well. Eva's recipe for Rhubarb strawberry blossom - a delicious moist "muffin meets mini pie."
“At the bakery, everything we offer is made from scratch and we only use unbleached organic flour, real butter, organic cream, milk, sea salt, hand-cracked eggs and everything organic and as locally sourced as possible,” she says.

The locals seem to enjoy baking the Swedish way, and while over 600 customers (roughly half have Swedish heritage and a few are born Swedes) visit the store each week, Swedish Crown Bakery also offers catering services. On “Semlans Dag” (Fat Tuesday) the couple shipped 350 delicious almond paste-filled, creamy buns to Ingebretsen’s store in downtown Minneapolis. All sold out in less than two hours ... it seems Minnesotans are ready for the right Swedish cuisine and restaurant that Eva and Fari dream about starting next.

The bakery, at 530 W. Main Street in Anoka, is open weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m.-4.30 p.m. (Bring a large appetite for traditional Swedish food!) For more info, call 763.427.0506 or see www.swedishcrownbakery.com