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Swedes gather at The Coffee Pot

The group from Venjan, Sweden had three choices at The Coffee Pot - steak and salad, stuffed pasta or a croissant. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)1 / 3
The fifth Venjan, Sweden reunion took up all the tables at The Coffee Pot Cafe in Alexandria on Friday, August 23, 2013. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)2 / 3
Workers at The Coffee Pot Cafe in Alexandria were very busy Friday, August 23, 2013, serving a group of nearly 50 visitors from Venjan, Sweden. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)3 / 3

The Coffee Pot Café in Alexandria was filled to the brim Friday with a touring group of 49 visitors from Venjan, Sweden.

Vanjan is a small, isolated village of about 400 people, many of them related to one another, that was settled in 1607, according to Leif Morkfors, a genealogist who has been leading the annual Venjan reunions for five years. "In the past 400 years, 40 people have moved to Venjan," he said. "The rest stayed."

The group stopped in Alexandria this year because the owner of The Coffee Pot, Pam Meyer, and her daughter, Lacy Svor, have a connection to Venjan that Morkfors helped research. Meyer's great-grandmother was from there.

To accommodate the Venjan group's visit, The Coffee Pot served up a special meal of steak and salad, stuffed pasta and croissants.

The group will be in Minnesota for 11 days and much of it will be spent in Dalbo, located in Isanti County, which also has several ancestors from the Venjan region, so many that it adopted Venjan as a sister city.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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