Family business

Erik Samuelsson’s son to the right

Erik Samuelsson’s son to the right

When I’m not working as a photographer, holding workshops or spending time repairing the barn(and everything else that has blown down the past week) I work in the foodshop down the harbour, a couple of days a week. Erik Samuelsson started up the shop in 1884(!) and since then it’s changed names a few times but most of the old people call it ”Samwells” in Hönö dialect. It burned down in 1914 but was rebuilt and when they built the mainroad it moved further up land and was extended 4 meters on each side. Now it can’t grow anymore if you don’t sacrifice the parking lot which is not going to happen, the islanders love their cars and drive everywhere even if you could walk across Hönö in half an hour. I love working in the shop, not just the getting a break from my own business but all the interesting people coming in and of course having work colleagues. We always have a laugh, both customers and staff. It’s a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. In summer about one third of the customers come in the shop barefoot straight off the boats. We also pack food every week for the fishing boats and for old people who can’t make it to the shop. Also if you miss something they will most likely order it in if you ask. The main business is of course during Hönö Konferensen and Christmas, then the shop turns in to a crazy inferno of customers but all in all it feels like it’s gotten busier since I started a year ago. With the majority of the staff being born islanders and all the old people coming in, I see it as a goldmine for finding out more about the history of Hönö, me being the source of a lot of laughter trying to speak Hönö dialect. I try my best to remember all the stories that I am told by the owner’s father who still comes in to work and he must be in his eighties(my apologies if I guess wrong). Samuelsson’s(now called Hemköp) is the only shop on the island who still has a cheese and meat counter, like in the old days. Now there are less cuts of meat and more salami, ham and cheese. My first time behind the counter I encountered a lot of for me strange requests like Spicke korv(or like they say Spegekörv) a salami packed in salt. Köttkorv(exact translation Meat sausage) is also a big seller, like the one I tried for Christmas that you boil and eat with a bechamel sauce, not only for Christmas apparently we are still selling loads! I asked one of my colleagues if she could think of anything special that we sell just because it’s an island thing but of course I should have asked a ”townie” instead, she gave me a very funny look. After a lot of thinking I did remember one thing, we do not sell tinned crab, but I’m sure there are more things that I haven’t thought about. Most but not least though I think one of the best things is to be able to sit at the till at work and look out over the barbour and see the fishing boats, the storms, rough weather or now rare occasions the sun.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.