K-Market at Lähiöfest2017: envisioning the food store of the future and setting up a local pop-up restaurant

K-Market was one of the two main partners of the Lähiöfest2017 neighbourhood festival. During the festival week, K-Market hosted a workshop on visions for the food store of the future. K-Market also took part in marketplace events around the city and drummed up festival spirit in its stores. The week culminated in the opening of a pop-up restaurant that served delicious neighbourhood flavours.

Picture: Vanessa Riki

The importance of suburbs and neighbourhood stores is growing

For K-Market, taking part in Lähiöfest2017 was a natural choice, as the importance of suburbs and neighbourhood stores is constantly growing. More and more Finns now live in cities, families are getting smaller and the population is getting older. In terms of the number of stores, K-Market is undisputedly the biggest store chain in Finland. Through the extensive chain of stores, K-Markets are helping to keep Finnish neighbourhoods and suburbs vibrant by offering a wide array of services, employing young people and supporting local producers and entrepreneurs.

"K-Markets act as the hubs of modern rural and urban communities, the village stores of the 2020s. That is why we naturally want to take part in discussions concerning the future of suburbs. Suburbs are living, evolving things, and K-retailers who actively participate in the community and operate close to local residents can be a part of the change, says Jesper Åberg, Vice President of the K-Market chain.

K-Market hosted a workshop on the food store of the future

As part of the Lähiöfest2017 project, on Wednesday 27 September, K-Market hosted a workshop in Vuosaari envisioning the food store of the future and the role stores have in building community spirit. K-Market joined forces with, for example, students from Urban Academy to examine what type of services will be needed in the suburbs in the future, and how these services can be produced sustainably to meet people’s needs.

Neighbourhood flavours in K-Market’s Safka pop-up restaurant

To promote good neighbourhood food, over the festival weekend K-Market set up a pop-up restaurant called Safka (‘Grub’) in the facilities of the Vuosaaren lukio school. The proceeds from the restaurant were donated to young people in Helsinki via Ruuti.

The restaurant menu was created by chef Harri Syrjänen and contained reasonably-priced street food style dishes named after the ten suburbs that took part in Lähiöfest2017. Ingredients came from the selections of neighbourhood stores, and both K-retailers and local entreprenurs contributed ideas for the menu. Last spring, K-Market examined the typical contents of shopping baskets in different Helsinki suburbs, with some surprising results (read the news in Finnish here: http://bit.ly/lahioidenerot).

Safka welcomed all people interested in neighbourhood activities, with no table reservations.  In addition to good food, the restaurant served up entertainment. K-Market’s partners enabling the pop-up restaurant included Atria, Leroy, Saarioinen, Vaasan, Sinebrychoff, Närpes Grönsaker, Järvikylä, Unilever, Meira, Pirkka, Stadin ammattiopisto, Oumph, Fine Foods, Stadin panimo, Valio and the City of Helsinki.

Marketplace events around the city

K-Market also took part in the festival’s marketplace events in various Helsinki neighbourhoods over the weekend. People could come over to the K-Market booths to discuss, for example, shopping, the future of stores and the services provided by neighbourhood stores, or ask questions about the K-Plussa customer loyalty programme, give feedback or share ideas for the modern neighbourhood store. In addition to good food and drink, K-Market raffled movie tickets, gift cards and Saunalahti mobile prepaid plans.

K-Market also drummed up festival spirit in many of the K-Markets in the greater Helsinki area, promoting the event in the stores and on their Facebook pages.

To top