Axelsdotter bakery has been inspiring mouth-watering cravings with us since we first came across her Instagram account over a year ago. Since then, her following has quickly grown with Scandinavian pastry enthusiasts from all over the United States who can not get enough of literal eye candy. But it doesn’t stop at just pictures; residents of Richmond, Virginia swear by Axeldotter’s pastries.
The heart and soul behind all this photogenic deliciousness?
Ingrid is the half-Swedish, mother of two, who found a way to connect with her Swedish roots through baking. She started Axelsdotter Bakery as a tribute to her Swedish heritage and the bakers in her family on her mother’s side. Curious about her story, we were excited when she wanted to share her story with Swedes in the States readers.
As an American, it was easy for us to assume that you were born and raised in the United States. How wrong were we? Tell us about your connection to Sweden?
I actually wasn’t born here! My dad worked for the State Department and was stationed in Stockholm where he met my mom. We spent a lot of summers there when I was a kid at my uncle’s cabin, and I have so many good memories of swimming by the rocks, forest walks, and picking blueberries. In college, I spent a year at Uppsala University and it was one of the best years of my life. I haven’t been back in almost two years now, but I hope to soon.
What are your favorite places in Sweden?
So many different places for so many different reasons! I love wandering the streets of Stockholm, exploring the forests, and foraging for wild berries and mushrooms, I loved being a student in Uppsala, and also just hanging out wherever my family is. My family is currently in and around the Nörrköping area.
When did you decide to start Axelsdotter Bakery, and what was the inspiration behind it?
I started Axelsdotter officially in January 2021, but it was something that I had been thinking about for many years. My great-grandfather on my Mom’s side, Josef Axelsson, and his brother, Bertil, started a bakery in Kristianstad called Axelsson’s and it is actually still in business to this day. The old bakery is no longer in the family, so when I decided it was my time to start a business I naturally thought of my family history when choosing a name. I come from Josef’s line of female descendants, my mom, and maternal grandmother, so Axelsdotter it was!
Who is your main clientele? Swedes living in the United States or Americans?
Honestly, it’s mostly Americans! Richmond doesn’t have a large population of Swedes like other areas in the States, so I think at this point every Swede within 50 miles of Richmond has found me! But I would say that the majority of my clients are Americans with Scandinavian Roots and other European transplants to the Richmond area. Many people tell me about their Swedish grandmothers/fathers and the things that they would make growing up and it’s really nice for me to be a part of them carrying on a food tradition.
Which one of your pastries sells the best?
The Fika Boxes. It’s just a perfect little sampling of buns and other sweet treats that make Fika time so great. I love making them and trying out new items in the boxes so they are always fun to make and fun for the customers. And, honestly, who can resist a warm Cardamom bun?
Do you have a favorite Scandinavian recipe or dessert that you like to bake?
I really love making bullar. I love the feel of the dough, the smell of them baking, and all the endless possibilities of flavors and fillings. Semla is pretty amazing to make too.
What does the future hold for Axelsdotter Bakery?
Great things, I hope! But in the near term, I would like to work on expanding to a retail location. I would like to be able to expand the selection of what I offer and even offer some savory items.