Around Town in #Scandifornian Style

The couple (with Scandinavian roots) behind local purveyor Norden shares the places they go in Encinitas to shop and dine

Around Town in #Scandifornian Style

Pete and Erika Panciera are the husband-and-wife team behind Norden, the North County-based home-goods brand of candles, planters, dinnerware and more that the couple design and make. The brand began five years ago when Pete, a freelance art director and graphic designer, partnered with a local potter and started making good-looking candles to give clients as thank-yous. Friends took notice, and Pete and Erika got an idea: Fill a hole in the market for simple, functional, well-designed home-decor objects.

Though Norden goods can be found at places like Moniker General, Maven or Anthropologie, its first retail location in Encinitas, opened last October. Now, Pete and Erika carry their own products, plus ceramics, plants, chocolates and more from others, too. “It’s everything I would want to buy in a design store,” Pete says.

For their day-to-day necessities, Pete and Erika shop and dine hyper-local. We join them for coffee, inspiration destinations, apparel shopping, drinks and lunch in Encinitas.

Ironsmith Coffee Roasters

Pete’s been coming to this 720-square-foot coffee shop since it opened in 2013, after meeting one of the founders, Matt Delarosa, through a local business-networking group. “They have the best coffee,” he says, ordering his usual flat white. A couple of times a month, Pete also picks up a bag of The Don beans, which are roasted on site, for his cups of joe at home. “It’s obvious that they care about the coffee here,” he says, recalling one of the first times he met Matt, who was in the back of the shop with his laptop hooked up to the roaster to assess the roasting profiles. And when he craves amazing breads and sandwiches, Pete visits Ironside’s second location inside Bird Rock’s Wayfarer Bread. 

5525 La Jolla Blvd.
458 S. Coast Highway 101, 760-230-2311

Lone Flag

When Sam Larson, who owns Lone Flag, offered Pete and Erika the retail space between UNIV and this menswear shop for Norden, the couple knew it would be a great fit. “Sam was one of the first shops to sell the four poured candles in ceramic containers that started Norden,” Pete says. Now Norden fulfills the home-and-garden space in this enclave of businesses that also includes a barber shop (Sound Cuts) and an events space with loaner surfboards and a ping-pong table.

lone flag encinitas norden san diego

On the same property as Norden, guests can peruse the menswear collection at Lone Flag, where they can also have jeans hemmed or repaired on site.

Pete comes for the Gitman Vintage shirts, Carhartt pants and Norse Projects menswear—all in black. “I made a conscious decision years ago to wear all black all the time,” he explains. “It makes shopping a lot easier.” Others come exclusively for the services performed by sewing master Keng Lee, who handles denim repair and restoration for well-loved jeans. “You don’t even have to purchase the jeans from us,” Keng tells me as he quickly works through a pile of pants needing new hems.

1057A S. Coast Highway 101, 760-271-1303,

Priority Public House

Pete and Erika frequent this family-friendly restaurant and bar in the early evenings when the open, not-too-loud environment is just right for them—and their 12-month-old son, Oskar. They typically bring friends and get one of the boards, the wings, a salad, the You-Call-It mac and cheese and a PPH burger for the table to share.

“I always start with a beer though,” Pete admits. “This place has one of the best beer lists I’ve ever seen.” Pete orders the Dream State, a hazy IPA from Burgeon Beer Co. from the blackboard on the wall next to the bar. Though Erika likes sour beers, she chooses the Last Word cocktail, an elixir made with gin, maraschino liqueur, green Chartreuse and fresh lime juice.

They’re eating just down the street this afternoon, but Pete and Erika both recommend one of the grilled cheese options on the lunch menu or coming for brunch on Sundays when there’s live music.

576 N. Coast Highway 101, 760-230-1999,

Beacon’s Beach

“I live at the beach,” admits Pete, who traded his skateboard in for a surfboard when he moved from Connecticut to San Diego in 2009. “I surf here three or four times a week, though that’s gotten a little tougher to do.” His time is no longer his own since he and Erika grew their family by one. Today, Erika meets Pete carrying Oskar. It’s chillier than usual—and the surf is higher than normal—so rather than putting Oskar’s toes in the water and letting him splash around, the family of three walk the stairs and take in the peace of the crashing waves.

948 Neptune Ave.,

norden san diego encinitas beacon's beach

Buona Forchetta

This North County newbie (the restaurant much loved in South Park and Liberty Station opened in Encinitas last October) always has a line, but because Pete and Erika arrive just after they open at noon, there’s no wait for a table up front near the window—the perfect place to distract hungry Oskar with people watching (and to have passersby coo at him) while he waits for his meal.

“This was the first place we came for a date night after Oskar was born,” Erika says. When there’s a wait, (and there’s almost always a wait) Erika suggests putting your name in and walking three minutes south to Captain Keno’s Restaurant, a dive bar, for a drink.

The Panciera trio love the classic margherita pizza and the bucatini with the special Buona Forchetta sauce that’s got a kick, but it’s too spicy for poor Oskar who lets out a wail when it touches his tongue.

250 N. Coast Highway 101, 760-704-8070,

buona forchetta norden san diego around town encinitas

Decorative Arts: Norden’s Scandifornian Goods

Erika and Pete Panciera named their home-goods design company Norden because it generally refers to the Scandinavian countries where Erika’s family originates, and it suits their simple, clean aesthetic, revealed in the products they create. Besides their own designs, they collaborate with and carry artists you may not find anywhere else in San Diego. Here, a few of their faves:

Skagerak Danish-designed accessories for interiors and exteriors

SIN Brooklyn-based design company doing innovative things with clay, lighting and so much more

A Question of Eagles Heirloom-quality pottery from a husband-and-wife team in Los Angeles

Mt. Washington Pottery New to the Norden landscape with an emphasis on traditional Japanese and Scandinavian design and elegant simplicity 

Categories: Home Design