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[Tomte, a Swedish house gnome, for sale at the Gift Box on State Street in Geneva. Hans Jonsson and his sister Maria inherited their father's store when Nils Erik Lennart Jönsson died in 2013. The siblings decided to keep it going, even though Hans lives in Florida and Maria lives in New Mexico.]
The store also offers meatballs, smoked ham, pickled herring, sausages and cheeses, lingonberries, jams, chocolates, candies and coffee, Jönsson said.
“We have lutefisk, but that’s more popular in Norway,” he said.
The brands that The Gift Box carries are well-known, including Abba’s smoked or pickled herring, Marabou chocolate, Löfbergs and Arvid Nordquist coffees, Jönsson said.
“Another popular thing that any Swede will like is Kalles Kaviar,” Jönsson said. “It’s in a tube like toothpaste and is a staple for Swedes. I eat it on hardtack for breakfast or on a deviled egg or hard-boiled egg.”
In trying to step up the modernization of the store, Jönsson said they do a lot of shipping to customers who live on the far north and south sides of Chicago, as well as in Wisconsin.
Tessa Ray-Wagner, of Batavia, described herself as a long-time employee and long-time customer of The Gift Box.