“You don’t have to be a fancy baker to bake a fancy cake.” So said Dave Dalquist, who founded Nordic Ware with his wife, Dotty. Today, this mantra echoes through the design and production of the company’s renowned Bundt pan, bakeware, and other cooking accessories.
The Dalquists launched the company from the basement of their Minneapolis home in 1946 after Dave returned from serving in World War II. Along with Dave’s father and brother, they turned $500 and a desire to make better bakeware into the company we know today.
While Nordic Ware is best known for its iconic Bundt pan (more on that in a second), the Dalquists first got started selling Scandinavian specialty products, like irons for Norwegian krumkake (a conical waffle cookie) and pans for Danish ebelskiver (a spherical pancake). The family produced those items with hopes they—and the recipes associated with them—would not be lost. These traditional items are still offered today, but Nordic Ware has grown to include cookware, as well as grilling and microwave accessories.
In the early 1950s, the Hadassah Society of Minnesota brought a Gugelhupf, the European specialty cast-iron cake pan, to Dalquist. Through his skill at metal casting and aluminum, it became the Bundt pan we know today. When the 1966 winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off presented a Bundt cake, interest in the pan and the quintessentially American (although Europe-inspired) dessert skyrocketed. To date, Nordic Ware has sold more than 75 million Bundts worldwide.
The Dalquist family remains committed to having its products made in Minnesota and employs more than 500 people at the St. Louis Park headquarters.
“This is where our people are—our employees, our team, and our family,” said Jennifer Dalquist, Nordic Ware executive vice president.
Co-founder Dorothy Dalquist died in September, and her skills—both baking and creative—helped set the brand on its course to today. More important to her than the business, though, was family and the sense that what Nordic Ware created was part of people’s daily lives.
Looking forward, Nordic Ware is committed to a sustainable future: Since the craftsmanship that goes into each piece remains at the forefront, the products ideally need be purchased only once in a lifetime. These are heirloom pieces that become family traditions. nordicware.com