Place to visit: Skråmträsk mill

Today, the Skråmträsk mill is an established tourist destination and last season more than 13,000 guests made their way to Erik and Asta’s summer café. " We want the mill, just like our shoemaking, to feel authentic and have an air of quality. That’s why we have kept as much of the original interior as possible."

MILL & SHOES

Shoemaker and mill in Skråmträsk. The businesses of Erik and Asta Hellgren are bound together by a common thread of sustainability, environmental friendliness and not least, high quality. Qualities that have helped the Skråmträsk mill become one of the most appreciated places to visit in Skellefteå today.

In 2006 Erik and Asta bought the old 1940’s mill in Skråmträsk. The idea was for the people who visited the shoemaking business where they make sustainable, environmentally friendly shoes of the highest quality, to also have a nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee. Following an extensive, yet careful renovation, the Skråmträsk mill opened in the summer of 2009.
– We naively thought that this would be good for the kids. A moderately demanding summer job, Erik says with a smile. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
– No, we were not at all prepared for what happened. We had 3,000 visitors in our first summer with more than 200 on the most hectic days. And back then we were only open for four hours a day.

QUALITY AS A GUIDING PRINCIPLE

Today, the Skråmträsk mill is an established tourist destination and last season more than 13,000 guests made their way to Erik and Asta’s summer café.
– We want the mill, just like our shoemaking, to feel authentic and have an air of quality. That’s why we have kept as much of the original interior as possible. The café has also been certified according to the KRAV environmental certification for the last three years.
– We bake everything ourselves, on location and we select our ingredients carefully.
In 2016, the Skråmträsk mill was also listed in the White Guide, a guide to Sweden’s best restaurants and cafés.
– That felt really good, of course and it inspires us to keep up our work.

THE SKRÅMTRÄSK SHOE

It all began, however, with shoemaking. In 1989 the first Skråmträsk shoe left the shoemaker’s, across the road from the mill. Its design was and still is simple, yet timeless. With an essence of Scandinavia.
– We’re not really following any trends, explains Erik. We mostly do things the way we always have. We are environmentally friendly and attentive to detail, with naturally tanned leather and proper craftsmanship.
Making shoes by hand has its benefits.
– Leather is an organic material and every piece has its own characteristics. During the process of making a shoe by hand, the materials are constantly handled according to their individual properties. That’s what makes a handmade shoe a better and ultimately more sustainable product.

CULTURAL EVENTS

During the nine weeks that the Skråmträsk mill is open, Erik and Asta also organise a number of cultural events inside the spacious building.
– It’s usually quite an extensive programme with storytelling theatre, singalongs, art and photo exhibitions. You know, the mill is an amazing place, not least for storytelling, explains Erik.
Audiences and actors alike speak of the unique atmosphere that is created during performances.
– There’s something about the mill that makes everything so intimate and close. It’s real, somehow.

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