Norway House

A nonprofit organization

$3,675 raised by 35 donors

Creating a Welcoming Community Café in Ventura Village

Last year, Norway House unveiled the new Innovation + Culture Center—a stunning addition that has hosted concerts, lectures, parties, and even a visit from Her Majesty Queen Sonja. We're so proud of the opportunities this new space has afforded us and the growth we're seeing from these opportunities. 

However, the original building Norway House occupies—The Albert H. Quie Education Center—is about 20 years old and is showing its age in a number of ways. 

The Kaffebar is one of the primary daily attractions at Norway House, and it generates a revenue stream that can be used to cover our increased operating costs.  Imagine how many more visitors it could attract with a thoughtful redesign!  Overall, we want the Kaffebar to be a warm, welcoming community café. Here are just a few challenges we'd like to solve in this renovation:

    When we remodeled the building ten years ago, the Kaffebar (our café) was designed to be a multipurpose space used for parties, meetings, book talks, concerts—you name it! As Norway House expands and welcomes new audiences, our Kaffebar can truly become a more specific, welcoming space for everyday visitors, and many of those events once held in that space can move elsewhere.
  • FLOW
    The route past the Kaffebar is tight and leads to a seating area that is unrelated to the café. This area is right next to a locked entry door, which can be confusing for new guests who may try the locked door and leave. Furthermore, the tables and chairs are essentially in a hallway. More seating in a more private area is needed.
    There is limited space for food preparation, storage, and handling payments for food and beverages.
    The commercial refrigerator, ice machine, and sink drain (among others) need updating.  The ice machine makes so much noise that it can drown out conversation.
    How could the Kaffebar become more friendly to families with young children? What sorts of café-style concerts and talks could fit in this space?

A team at Norway House has begun to collaborate with cafés in Norway on menu items and aesthetic inspiration to create a natural, koselig (cozy) Nordic-inspired café environment with a child-friendly area. We want to expand the abilities of our café, both in terms of daily menu offerings and usage opportunities. An updated design, more in tune with our organization's growth and new demands would create a better gathering place for our diverse local community. 

Norway House is the Norwegian arts, business, and culture center in America.

In 2022, Norway House welcomed Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway to cut the ribbon on a major expansion of our building. International press and visitors from all over the United States and Norway lauded the event as a one-of-a-kind connector to more than just the Norway we all think of, but also the country we should know more about. 

On any given day, guests to Norway House can enjoy a social time in our Kaffebar—a vibrant lunch café serving a full list of hot and cold coffee drinks, wine and beer, homemade soup and baked goods, vaffler (Norwegian waffles), and pølse med lompe. Norway House partners with Ingebretsen’s Nordic Market, a more than 100-year-old institution in Minneapolis, to provide an eclectically curated gift shop. The Galleri at Norway House features a rotation of art installations and exhibits about Norwegian culture and business. Our BARN program helps Nordic businesses find their footing in the United States market. The Norwegian American newspaper unites our cultural communities across North America and sheds light on topics relevant to them.

Today, the country of Norway is a leader in issues involving the environment, peace, and the press. Artists from Norway, in performance and fine arts, push the button on the way we look at life. Our relationship with the vast Somali peoples and cultures in Minnesota and Norway calls upon us to learn more and act bolder. Our commitment to our vast Norwegian-American communities in Minnesota calls us to renew and expand upon the zeitgeist of lutefisk, lefse, sweaters, and jokes. 

Norway House is a forward-thinking nonprofit organization dedicated to being that home for discovery and renewal. 


Gingerbread Wonderland is the time of the year when we ask our community to take a moment out of the stress and bustle of the year to focus on making something fun together. Tickets are just $10-$15 per person, and kids 12 and under enjoy the showcase for free. Plus, we have a scavenger hunt, a Norwegian cafe for snacks and cookies, a gift shop by Ingebretsen's Marketplace - a staple for more than 100 years, the last Norwegian-speaking American church in the nation, and a brand new events center!

No matter your age or experience, you can make a gingerbread house. Our website has great recipes and tips to get you started.

Organization Data


Organization name

Norway House

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture International Community


913 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404



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