The Truth About Lefse Rolling Machines

The Truth About Lefse Rolling Machines

12th May 2024

By Valencia Gaddis, Rushford, MN From the July 2009 Edition of the Rushford Area Chamber of Commerce Newsletter, the “Chamber Buzz”

There has been quite a stir lately about the relocation and expansion of the Norsland Lefse factory. It was interesting to learn that the lefse rolling machines being used were designed and fabricated right here in Rushford by Jim Humble of Humble Manufacturing, a business begun in 1969 that was located at first in Jim’s home in Rushford, then where Nordic Lanes stands today, and later in North Rushford.

Humble Manufacturing specialized in the early wood and sawdust-burning stoves and furnaces. Jim came from a long line of Byboth family iron workers and blacksmiths from the Bratsberg area, so in 1984, when Carroll Bakken, Al Spande and Merlin Hoiness brought a hand-operated lefse rolling machine prototype to him, he went to work to create a mechanized rolling machine.

This more complex model was fitted with a roller that alternately rolled from the center to the outside of the dough patty while the platform rotated 1/8 of a turn with each swipe. This made for a super thin, delicate lefse round–just like grandma’s best!

Jim states that the original motors were surplus high-quality computer motors purchased for $10 each from IBM in Rochester. The rolling machines were built in Mr. Humble’s home and brought to the factory for installation, and for a time, he provided the ongoing maintenance for the equipment. He recalls visiting the factory in its early days when some maintenance work was needed on the machines, and the ladies would “whistle” him back to check out the problem.

Following the flood of 2007, the one-of-a-kind rolling machines were cleaned up and reworked by Norsland Lefse’s staff to make them operable once again.

Now...try out their breakfast lefse wrap specialty. You’ll be glad you did!