Taking care of business … Get your munchies and gaming needs right here

Yaden Eller is the owner and operator of Börja Mini Mart & Lounge on Caniff. You can enjoy imported snacks and play a number of games at this cozy lounge.


By Jay Grossman
Special to The Review
The Börja Mini Mart & Lounge in downtown Hamtramck is 375 square feet of chill space.
Located at 3432 Caniff, the Lounge offers customers a laid-back atmosphere where you can relax and play games while munching on treats from Sweden, Finland, or the Baltic region.
Or grab a bag of We Eatin’ potato chips and a fresh cup of coffee—the snack bar has a little of everything.
Hamtramck resident Yaden Eller, 27, who opened the Lounge in April, sees the business as a neighborhood gathering spot for everyone to enjoy.

Review: Tell us about the Börja Mini Mart & Lounge and how you came up with the concept?
Eller: The barber who used to occupy the space left to become a trucker. My mom owns the building, so we started talking about what to do with the space, and we both came up with the idea to have a little mini mart but also a place for people to hang out, play games, and socialize.

Review: What can you tell us about the mini mart?
Eller: We have a selection of snacks, but we also carry canned fish, berry preserves, sauerkraut, jarred soups, and similar foods. We also plan to offer prepackaged sandwiches and slushies with Baltic flavors, such as lingonberry and elderflower!
The best way to keep up with the shop is to follow us on Instagram @borjaminimart.

Review: You have a vintage collection of old-school video games that people can play. How does that work?

Eller: So, we have a Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and a Sega Genesis — we also have a table to play board games and cards on. It’s $1 to play video games all day and free to play chess or our other board games.
We’re also planning on having events like Jeopardy night, Pokemon night, Super Smash Bros night, and even some soccer-watching parties. We don’t have any specific dates for these yet but follow us on Instagram or go to our website for updates.

Review: What is your connection to the Baltic and Scandinavian regions?

Eller: My grandfather on my mom’s side was a Swedish immigrant in Estonia before moving to America, and my mom’s family kept some Swedish traditions going.
Also, my parents grew up in a religious community with ties to Sweden, so I grew up with some traditions from the area. But as families became more Americanized, some things disappeared.
I think it’s important for people to understand their own culture and use that understanding to connect with other cultures and appreciate each other.
Also, my family was always trying to find snacks from the Scandinavian/Baltic area, which arereally hard to find anywhere besides Ikea — which is pretty limited and a bit of a drive.

Review: What do you like most about Hamtramck?

Eller: I appreciate Hamtramck so much. It has a sense of community that is disappearing in most parts of America, what with the assimilation and homogenization of many people — especially those of European descent.
Hamtramck has a humanity that is hard to find. People talk to each other, kids are out playing. If you need an onion or some charcoal, you ask your neighbor. This is what makes a neighborhood, and that’s what we have here in Hamtramck.

Visit borjalounge.com or call 313-306-4726 for more information. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Follow on Instagram @borjaminimart.

Posted June 16, 2023

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