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Wendy Reuer, Published October 03 2012

Stabo marks 40 years in business; owner celebrates 30 years at helm

FARGO – Sue Rusch returned in 1981 from a year of studying in Norway and started working part time at West Acres mall’s sole Scandinavian shop.

She bought the Stabo store a year later.

After 30 years of ownership, Rusch and her employees are celebrating Stabo’s 40th year of business this week.

The little shop located in the mall’s Sears wing, began in 1972 when Min Jones Bohlig designed her Scandinavian store to look like a Norwegian “stabbur,” which translates to storehouse in English.

After a 1998 expansion into the former Fanny Farmer space under Rusch’s reign, the shop continues to see a constant turn of unique and widely varied merchandise.

With many gift items imported from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the store features such items as glassware, sweaters and linens, lefse-making equipment and chocolates.

“It’s typical Norwegian things,” Rusch said. “The Scandinavian product is always well-made.”

In 1988, Rusch opened a Bismarck Stabo in the Kirkwood mall. Her sister, Linda Hoffman, manages the business there.

“So it’s still a family business,” Rusch said.

Hoffman said the Bismarck store offers the same type of merchandise and services as found in Fargo.

The two stores employ between 17 and 20 people, with seven at the Fargo location now and nine in Bismarck.

An anniversary sale marks the 40-year celebration now through Monday. Coupons are available in store, and some items will be on a special sale for the occasion, Rusch said.

“We love being in the mall. We have a great customer base, a loyal base,” she said.

If you go

What: Stabo 40 years of Business Anniversary Celebration

When: Now through Monday

Where: West Acres Shopping Center, Fargo

Info: Coupons available at the store

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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