Elisabeth Heinrichs / November 19, 2012

International, homey and open-plan office like café Köket introduces Helsinki to theme brunches

Arla Joensuu, the owner of Café Köket, is bubbling with ideas. Her well known cafés; the café on the Esplanade Park’s stage and the container café on the Market Square, are proof of her sense of innovation. Now the container café that operates on the Market Square between May and September has got a stone based version: café Köket on Aleksanterinkatu, which is based on the same values as the container café but is set indoors. The café offers among others fresh pastries that are baked on the spot, as well as a soup/salad lunch.

Photo: Elisabeth Heinrichs

The café, set in Helsinki’s historical center, next to the symbol of the city, the Cathedral, suits many occasions: working days it works perfectly as a open-plan office whereas during weekends it hosts cultural events. Among these at least the exhibitions and theme brunches are worth mentioning. 

Photo: Elisabeth Heinrichs

Köket answers to Helsinki’s demand for both open-plan offices and multifunctional cafés

Köket offers free internet, computer use and printing (under five pages for free, after that €0,20/page), which makes the café a laptop friendly place. The café is ideal as a continuum for one’s living room thanks to its beautiful and comfortable interior design: the owner Joensuu has created an interior entirety where recycling meets design, and as a result of this the word ecodesign describes the interior wholeness in the best way.

Photo: Elisabeth Heinrichs

The café charms its visitors with on the spot baked pastries and confectionery. Köket emphasizes local seasonal treats, e.g. berries, in both its pastries and well known smoothies. Köket’s own mulled wine, “glögi”, will be served starting from the 26th of November. Upcoming Christmas time treats are the Christmas buns and dry cakes, to mention a few. Köket also remembers its regular customers – every 8th smoothie or coffee is free.

Photo: Elisabeth Heinrichs

The owner herself is a Bachelor in Media and has occasionally worked as a journalist and photographer. This born and bred Helsinkian has managed to work as a café keeper already since 2007. She describes Köket as a relaxed café which differs from Helsinki’s common cafés by its international atmosphere and good food. This is also from where the idea to name the café Köket, which in Swedish stands for kitchen, got its start.

Photo: Elisabeth Heinrichs

Theme brunches entertain the energetic and add to Helsinki’s flea market supply

Köket serves brunch every weekend (€15, with ”a special coffee” including cappuccinos and espressos €17), both Saturday and Sunday, at 10am-4pm. Besides the regular brunches, the theme brunches have kick-started a new brunch wave in Helsinki: one no longer merely enjoys brunches, but one does something in addition to eating. Köket organizes brunches with different themes, e.g. flea markets, body care and improvisation. The café hosts several spaces under the same roof which enables theme brunches where the actual brunch is served in the café whereas the thematic activity is set in one of the café’s backrooms. Helsinki visitors are welcomed to join in since the thematic content of the brunches will be translated when needed.

Photo: Köket

The flea market brunches are organized at least once or twice a month. The flea market space in the back fits 30 sellers. The flea market brunches have so far concentrated on selling dishes, clothing and accessories but thanks to the spacious flea market space, also reachable by car, the only limit to the products being sold, is the imagination of the sellers. The next flea market brunch will be held on the 1st-2nd of December at 10am-4pm.

Photo: Köket

Köket’s yoga brunches (€40) on the other hand offer body care in addition to a brunch. The day starts with a warm-up and work out. After that the attendees enjoy brunch. Brunch is followed by a seminar about body care, some work out and a chill-out. Dancer Minna Tervamäki runs these body care brunches which are suitable for everybody since they do not require a previous training or yoga background. The next body care brunch is organized on the 25th of November.

Photo: Köket

Other upcoming theme brunches that are worth marking in your calendar are the Design brunch on the 24th of November and improvisation brunches which don’t have a set date yet. Please check Köket’s website to keep yourself updated on the brunches!

Varying exhibitions expand Helsinki’s cultural supply

Köket does not merely host brunches but there are also constantly changing exhibitions on the premises. Currently Jussi Hellsten’s stunning Helsinki themed photo exhibition embellishes the café walls. Hellsten has this year on a daily basis taken photos of Helsinki and the photos at Köket are a sample of the photos taken between January-July. One can also order the exhibition photos as posters or buy them as postcards (1 postcard/€2, 3 postcard/€3) on the spot.

Photo: Elisabeth Heinrichs

Köket on Aleksanterinkatu fits 60-80 customers, depending on how the furniture of the café is placed. The café will stay at this address at least until the end of 2013 so this is a café to keep in mind. Next spring Joensuu will open a pop up café on the Esplanade Park stage again in April-May.

Have you already visited this lovely stone based café in Helsinki’s histrocial center?

Köket’s fall – brunch calender:
24.11. Design brunch at 10am-6pm
25.11. Body care and yoga brunch by Minna Tervamäki at 10am-2pm
1-2.12. Flea market brunch at 10am-4pm

Köket’s opening hours:
Mon-Fri  7 – 19
Sat-Sun  9 – 17


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About Elisabeth Heinrichs

An urban city girl, originating from the Munkkiniemi district of Helsinki, who enjoys writing. The writer prefers to travel in Helsinki by tram because in that way one sees what’s happening in the city and can follow the beat of it. Her favorite scent is the smell of the sea – it’s a fresh breeze of sea air, which has always been present in the writer’s life.