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Photo of the Coffee Pot Welcome and Water Tower in Lindstrom, Minnesota

Weekly Gem #147 How about some coffee for fika break

Published 1/13/2018

Location:   This hidden gem is located at First and Maple in Lindström, MN (see the  Clue Me! Map ). It's 3:00 in the afternoon. Let's stop for fika!

The Swedes have the afternoon coffee break dialed in. A great cup of coffee and maybe a sweet roll or some homemade cookies, together with your buddies. In Tingsryd, Sweden (Lindström's Sister City), this afternoon ritual is called "fika."  Lindström is one of the first places Swedish immigrants settled in the U.S., so when you're passing through, fika is in order!

The word fika comes from back slang - that is when the syllables of a word are reversed - as in the Swedish word for coffee, ka-ffe... becoming the word fe-ka.  (Somewhat similar to some business that began making traveLbookS!)

When the town outgrew their water tower, they were going to tear it down. However, Marlene Messin, the CEO of Plastic Products said, "Not so fast!" She paid for the total overhaul and beautification, turning an old water tower into a attractive coffee pot and welcome sign for the city. It didn't cost the taxpayers anything!  Instead they probably use their money to enjoy coffee and a (Danish!?!) roll!

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Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.

Clue

"It's a sign" that Lindström must be the perfect place to stop for fika

Description

Coffee Pot Welcome and Water Tower

Why It's Interesting

An old water tower was going to be torn down but a local resident thought it would be better made into a coffee pot with a handle and spout (complete with a boiler that occasionally spews out steam). “Valkommen till Lindström” is written across the front, which translates to “Welcome to Lindström” in Swedish. Since Swedes are known for coffee breaks they call "fika," this welcome sign seems perfect for a town like Lindström.

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