A beloved Fargo gem is finding a new home in downtown Fargo. Stabo Scandinavian Imports will be moving to 406 Broadway N this summer.
The store has been a part of the fabric of Fargo for decades. An original tenant of West Acres Mall, it has been celebrating Scandinavian heritage and design since 1972. The current owner, Susan Rusch, has a long history involving Norwegian culture and retail. Spending time around relatives who were passionate about Norwegian culture sparked an interest in her, and inspired her to attend Concordia’s Norwegian Language Village. Her first retail experience was working in the Mount Rushmore gift shop. After spending a year studying abroad in Norway at a Folk High School, a college program where she learned about the Norwegian language and arts, she began working at Stabo. She stayed on as an employee while working toward her degree in Scandinavian Studies at Minnesota State University of Moorhead, and bought the store in 1982.
Her experience and knowledge of the Norwegian and greater Scandinavian markets, arts, and design has made her the perfect person to run Stabo for the past 36 years. The shop offers everything from food to books, including cooking- and baking-related goods, clothes, jewelry, home décor, and the ever-famous troll figurines. Most goods are sourced from Scandinavia countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, and those made in the US are ensured to have authentic Scandinavian design. She has also enjoyed adding a few North Dakota products to the store’s lineup, as well as some European products like Polish pottery.
Rusch says that, although the decision to move out of Stabo’s original space was a big one, she is excited for what the change will bring. She believes that Stabo’s unique gifts will be a great fit for downtown Fargo, and loves the energy of the area. With the larger space, she will be expanding the product lineup and hopes to host events such as lefse-making demonstrations.
“Change is good sometimes. It’s exciting. It’s fun. And I’ve heard so many people say such great things about the independent boutiques downtown; I feel like it’s where we belong. West Acres has been a wonderful home, but it’s time for a change.”
By Katie Spokely