Knowing Your Neighbors: Lou’s Fish House

Smoked fish is a North Woods tradition

TWO HARBORS, Minn. — Smoked fish.  It’s a North Woods tradition.

Rebecca Swanson and her daughters Ashleigh and Callie are the women behind Lou’s Fish House in Two Harbors.

“We are world famous smoked fish,” Ashleigh explains. “So we want to bring that to everyone in town and the surrounding area.”

They’re not open yet, but they’re already smoking fish and practicing their techniques.

“It’s been a lot of work,” Ashleigh says. “We’ve had a lot of fun with it. We’ve been working nonstop on getting all the recipes of the fish figured out and perfected.”

Lou’s is a true family business.

Rebecca is in charge, but she has her daughters co-managing.

Her husband keeps the books and does a lot of the paperwork.

And for now, they are all part of the construction process, as the building gets ready for opening.

“You learn people’s strengths and weaknesses and so it works out really well,” Rebecca said, describing what it’s like working with family members on a business project like this.

They’ve had to learn along the way just how much goes into building your own business from scratch.

“It’s been fun teaching them how to use the different tools,” Rebecca says. “The nailers, the big saws, all of that. It’s been fun. And then my parents have been helping me too so it’s been a three generation project.”

And in a matter of days, in a town on the North Shore of Lake Superior, the tradition of homemade smoked fish will continue at Lou’s.

The Swansons are hoping to open up for customers this coming weekend.

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