Destination New Orleans

Visiting the Big Easy you'll be unable to miss the Swedish-run Trolley Stop Cafe. 

  • Swedish-born Hans Karlsson with his grandson at The Trolley Stop Cafe in New Orleans.
  • It goes without saying that you'll find industrious Swedes everywhere, and in the south you'll find the big names such as H&M, Ericsson, ABB and others, but walking down Saint Charles Avenue in New Orleans, you'll be unable to miss the Swedish run Trolley Stop Cafe. The story?

  • Former restaurant owner Hans Karlsson, who went on his bike through South America, on his preferred means of transportation. Photo: Cecilia Kjellgren
  • During the early 1950s, Swedish-born Hans Karlsson arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana with the clothes on his back and some change in his pockets. For decades, he worked a variety of jobs to save money to start his own business. Eventually, in 1994, Hans met the Cascio family (Lucian, Connie and Keith), and together they began to build a restaurant that would provide good southern food in large portions for an affordable price. The Karlsson-Cascio vision was realized in February 1995 when The Trolley Stop Cafe opened. For 22 years, the Karlsson-Cascio team ran the cafe on Saint Charles Avenue in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans. In January 2017 Hans’ son and grandson, Paul and Ragnar Karlsson, bought the restaurant to ensure the popular breakfast and lunch spot continued to be family owned and the founders’ vision of good food at affordable prices continued. Frequented by locals and tourists alike, the cafe is a renowned New Orleans destination for visitors from across the United States.

  • Many Swedish musicians made New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) their home, historically as well as in our time: Swedes in New Orleans as did artists, architects early on:
    Other notable NOLA Swedes

  • And the Westfeldt Brothers coffee importers? The company was one of the nation’s first green coffee importers, founded by vice-consul Gustavus Adolphus George Westfeldt, who emigrated from Sweden to Mobile, Alabama in 1835. The business was originally founded there in 1844 but changed names after two brothers joined George in partnership in 1851. The headquarters moved to New Orleans, Lousiana in 1870 where today a fifth generation Westfeldt, Thomas Duggan Westfeldt II, works as CEO and a sixth generation, Shelby Westfeldt Mills, as president.

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