Open House ImportsOpen House Imports
Open House Imports of Mount Horeb has established its over 45 year reputation of fine service by offering patrons Scandinavian gift selections which are both ethnically traditional and tastefully unique. The brainchild of Lee and Nancy Vogel, Open House Imports has its home in an 1893 Victorian Manor at 308 East Main Street in the village right on the Trollway.
Walking up to the historically restored and invitingly painted gingerbread porch, the first clue that we are surely in Norwegian territory is a large, ugly (except to his mother), but friendly-looking troll guarding the front sidewalk to the shop. He’s part of Mount Horeb’s history now, a reminder of the legends and artwork brought here from another time and place. His name is Troll Odin, the friendly fellow at the portal of Open House Imports, and he has enjoyed some fame as the first troll to take up residence along the Trollway.
Bright rosemaling, the folk art of Norway, frames the entrance to Open House Imports, and a step inside can be a casual stroll through an interesting gift shop or a mini course in the crafts of artisans from northern Europe. Rosemaled wooden pieces remind us that early Norwegians decorated everything paintable from wooden spoons to wedding chests. Pewter pieces each tell a tale – fiddlers and dancers, bridal parties and christenings, and ancient symbols passed through generations. A headquarters for Scandinavian baking implements to make such goodies as Lefse, Krumkake, Rosettes, Sandbakkels, Heart Waffles, and best seller the Scandinavian Almond cake pan and trays. Also available are the famed Dale of Norway sweaters, and a wide variety of imported textiles such as runners, towels, wall hangings, and dish cloths. Imported chocolates, candies, lingonberries, and other imported food such as fish balls are available here.
The jewelry of Norway also has its story. Solje, made of shiny sterling, is a delicate and formal legacy from a time when pre-Christians believed the shining metal to be not only a sign of wealth, but a deterrent to the kidnapping of innocent maidens by mischievous trolls!
Porsgrund Porcelain patterns from Norway are legendary, including Farmer’s Rose. A large addition to the side of the shop houses everything from crystal to Bing & Grondahl, Royal Copenhagen, Dala Horses, and wrought iron from Denmark.
Open House Imports has long been famous for offering a large collection of Bastad clogs. Stroll back to the old summer kitchen and find the wooden-soled, leather-topped clogs. The staff will tell you Troentorps are the only clogs they can wear consistently while working in a business which is open seven days a week. If you are looking to adopt a troll, this is the place to come. Trolls have tails, four fingers and toes, and are available in latex, resin, clay, and wood, all in a variety of sizes.
Open House Imports is open all but four days a year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter). Normal hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. From the end of October to the end of January, they close at 5 p.m., with the exception of weekdays from Thanksgiving to Christmas, when hours are extended to 8 p.m. for those who wish to get in a bit of holiday shopping. Visit another world, just minutes away.