WEST FARGO - If you’ve dreamed of owning your own lefse factory and basking in the praise of armies of hungry Norwegians, the Cox family has a deal for you.
Freddy’s Lefse is for sale.
For $299,000, you’ll get all of the machinery, the name, the vendor list, goodwill and more needed to start making tons of the region’s favorite holiday season flatbread, Manager Michele Cox said.
“Our biggest concern is finding someone to keep it going. That’s our main goal,” Cox said Friday, July 24.
The business is owned by brothers Terry and (now retired) Barry Cox. Terry is Michele’s husband.
Terry has 45 years in the lefse business, while Michele has been at it 41 years.
“Just a little bit of experience behind us,” she jokes.
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They’ve been looking a few years now for a buyer for the company at 176 Main Ave. E., Michele said.
“I guess just getting to that age. It’s a physical job,” she said.
The business was started by Terry and Barry’s parents, Fred and Lorraine Cox in 1946. In lefse, the bakers had found a niche, starting their operation in their north Fargo home.
Over time, the operation grew and eventually moved to West Fargo.
Freddy’s Lefse is distributed throughout the tri-state area. Locally, it is sold through Fargo-Moorhead Nash Finch and SuperValu stores. It is distributed in the Bismarck area and the Twin Cities, and shipped throughout the U.S. by mail, with especially high demand through the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
Lefse is a traditional Scandinavian flatbread made from potatoes, flour, salt and oil. It’s traditionally topped with a thin layer of butter, then sprinkled with sugar. It can also be topped with just butter, butter and brown sugar, peanut butter, jelly or cinnamon. Some people also use it as a wrap for hotdogs, bratwursts and lunch meat.
In the off season, Freddy’s has eight other employees besides the Coxes. When business ramps up in August, the payroll begins its rise to 12 to 15 employees for the holidays.
Michele said her favorite part of being part of Freddy’s Lefse is working with family. But they’re also close to their employees.
“Our employees are great. You get to be good friends with a lot of them,” she said.
Despite all those years of making lefse, Michele says her family happily eats it at any time.
“I actually had it yesterday. We still like it and we still eat it often. The grandkids love it,” she said.
Michele said there is no timetable for a sale. In addition, they will help the eventual buyer through the transition.
She said interested parties should contact Laurel Mahan at RE/MAX Legacy Realty in Fargo, or call 701-235-2056 and leave a message.
“We had a good time doing it. We made a decent living doing it. It’s definitely been an adventure,” Michele said. “We just want to find the right people that are willing to keep it going. That’s the biggest concern. We just want to keep it going.”