Minnesota family turns deer stand into lefse drive-thru

Some say it's not Christmas without lefse, but just south of Fergus Falls, a farm family doesn't just make it for themselves, they sell from the road in a drive-thru lefse stand.

Conway Englund sells lefse to customers from a drive-thru lefse stand near Melby, Minnesota.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — During the holiday season at the Englund home near Melby, Minnesota, lefse is getting rolled out and ready for the griddle.

"You want it thin, so you can see through it," Kim Englund said.

So far this year, 800 pounds of potatoes have been cooked up for lefse by the family.

"What a lot of people ask us is if we use real potatoes, and we do," Kim Englund said. "We use russet potatoes. We peel them all, (and) cook them up."

Sixth grader Willow Englund has this lefse thing down pat, right down to the flip.


"When bubbles start to come up everywhere, and like after a few of them, you can time it in your head," Willow Englund said.

But this year, the family has taken their show on the road. On the highway near their farm, the signs go up. The Lefse Drive-Thru is open.

"Put it there. Perfect." Kim Englund said as her children Conway and Willow put out signs near the road, letting people know the drive-thru is open.

"It is a hoot," Kim Englund said.

The Englund family drive-thru lefse stand near Melby, Minnesota.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

The family was used to selling their lefse at trade shows around the region, but then, COVID-19 hit.

"We had all of this lefse all ready to go, and all the orders were ready to go, and I had no way that people felt safe getting it. And there were no trade shows — they canceled all the trade shows — so Casey and Conway decided, 'Let's go get the deer stand,'" Kim Englund said.

Not a fish house or small garden shed. A deer stand.

"It's the perfect size. It's all we need," Kim said.


Brilliant. And with the family sitting inside, they wait for, not trophy bucks, but lefse lovers.

They drive right up, picking up their orders before hitting the road.

Customer Lyle Olson doesn't miss a year to get a bag full of his favorite Christmas treat.

"Lefse!" Olson exclaimed in a thick Norwegian brogue.

The whole drive-thru is an Englund family affair. All the money earned from the lefse goes to a family vacation that is planned every year.

On Monday, Dec. 19, Kim, Englund and her kids sold lefse from the drive-thru. While she makes it now, Kim Englund actually didn't make lefse as a child.

"No, Grandma did, so I didn't have to," she said. "It was later in life — after I had kids — then I went, 'OK, I have to figure out lefse.'"

Now, the kids make and sell it right off Minnesota State Highway 1.


"They (the kids) definitely know how to make lefse. They can (do it) with their eyes closed," Kim Englund said.

Sales were brisk on that perfect snowy, winter morning with people stocking up on the goodness in preparation for Christmas holiday feasts.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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