Viktor Crafts & Design: Local handicrafts in the heart of Mariehamn
By Alejandra Cerda Ojensa | Photos: Viktor Crafts & Design / Therese Andersson
In an old house on the main street of Mariehamn in Åland, Annika, Inger, and Linda run a combined handicraft store and café – Viktor Crafts & Design. The house, partially built by a man named Viktor, is from the late 1800s and has kept its soul since then.
“Every day we have visitors saying our store and café is a place where they can breathe. It makes them feel like they are in a safe home – which makes us very happy to hear,” says part owner Annika Åkerfelt.
The store sells selected handicrafts from local designers. Everything is ethically produced on a small scale. You will find jewellery, clothes, and knitwear, as well as artisanal food made from local ingredients.
Under the same roof is a café with the same concept which offers locally produced high-quality ingredients, coffee, pastries, lunch and sweets. The pastry chef Johanna always has something for the sweet tooth. “Our café guests like to stroll in the store while they are waiting for their lunch. We have such a big selection of things. There’s always something new to find, which makes us a place locals keep coming back to,” Inger Nygård explains.
Viktor Crafts & Designs first opened in 2016 and has grown slowly but steadily since then. The store was opened to sell the owners’ and other Åland based creators’ handicrafts and creations, but has now become a place for locals to sit down for a coffee every week, as well as a place for tourists to discover crafts and designs from Åland, Finland, and Sweden.
“We have made sure to keep a lot of the original interiors, and the furniture in the store and the café are all old gems from Åland and Sweden. We want people to literally feel the tradition,” Linda von Köhler says. The store also holds space for the local arts association that hosts exhibitions with local artists and artisans.
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