TCR/Matthew Rodenburg
Members of the Committee Films film crew set up for a scene for a commercial taped at Norseland Lefse in Rushford on April 13. The commercial is part of a Minnesota Lottery promotion for their new scratch-off ticket ‘Only in Minnesota.’
TCR/Matthew Rodenburg Members of the Committee Films film crew set up for a scene for a commercial taped at Norseland Lefse in Rushford on April 13. The commercial is part of a Minnesota Lottery promotion for their new scratch-off ticket ‘Only in Minnesota.’
Residents in the city of Rushford were star struck on April 13 as Norsland Lefse hosted a camera crew that highlighted its unique Minnesotan flavor.

As part of an ad campaign for the Minnesota Lottery, Periscope – an advertising company out of Minneapolis – hired Committee Films to film an ad focusing on unique Minnesota ideas.

The campaign will highlight Minnesota Lottery’s new ticket, “Only in Minnesota.” For this particular scratch ticket, the Minnesota Lottery has partnered with Explore Minnesota.

“On the ticket, you’ll see a lot of locations from around Minnesota,” explained producer Katie Derheim from Periscope. “We wanted to focus on things that were unique to Minnesota. We contacted Norsland Lefse for their Uff Da Shop. Once we went there and saw it, we saw there was a lefse factory, and said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Minnesotan too!’”

“They’re trying to find some niche places that can only be found in Minnesota. We fit the bill,” said Norsland owner Mark Johnson.

Periscope began pre-production last month and even scouted out Norsland to take pictures and decide what locations would make the best shots.

“It all kind of happened fast. They contacted me, and obviously, I am all in. They are paying us to shoot a commercial that will help promote us. I can’t argue with that,” Johnson added.

When they came back last week, they brought 25 crewmembers, not including the talent featured in front of the camera.

Outside of hiring some actors from Winona, Periscope used local talent such as Norsland workers and even Norsland regular patron, Bertram Boyum.

One hired actor was baffled by one of his lines using the infamous term “Uff Da.” In between takes he joked about the uniqueness of the line.

All of the actors worked under the direction of Todd Grabe of Committee Films.

The commercial will start running in May and continue for roughly four to six weeks, according to Johnson. It will be run statewide on all affiliates.

The crew spent two days in Rushford, staying overnight at Loken’s Rushford Inn and visiting several local establishments.

“We loved Stumpy’s and Nordic Lanes and Shawnee’s,” Derheim exclaimed. “It’s really cool how close knit it is. Even at the grocery store, the cashier knew everyone in front of us. The whole town just knows each other, it’s really cool.”

“It’s good for Rushford. They said, ‘We’re coming back. This is such a neat place.’ This best kept secret is getting out now,” Johnson pointed out.

Johnson has owned Norsland Lefse for 20 years and has seen plenty of news coverage that has highlighted their restaurant, the lefse factory and the Uff Da shop.

“We’ve been fortunate to get a lot of publicity. But this is another level of scale,” said Johnson “It’s exciting to have that happen. It’s a little surreal and overwhelming. I’m honored. We appreciate the notoriety.”