Johanna Sauramäki, owner of Saurahuone, happily behind the counter. Photo by Jessica Sorola
The urban charm now extends to Käpylä, where a brand new lunch café has opened in the heart of the city. The café was born from the enthusiasm of Johanna Sauramäki from Kallio for the food world and its trends. Sauramäki is a graphic designer by education and her company provides catering services alongside doing graphic design. The next step was to set up a place that combines these things. The end result was Saurahuone, which serves as the mothership of the company’s components as well as a customer café.
“I wanted to set up a multifunctional space where I could operate all of Saura’s services,” says Sauramäki.
They first looked for a commercial space in Kallio, but when the opportunity arose, they decided to set up in Käpylä.
“I’ve lived in Kallio all my life and I love it. But I got a good offer for a business space in Käpylä, and since Käpylä is the second most beautiful place in Helsinki, it seemed natural to open a business there. Käpylä is such an urban countryside,” Sauramäki says.
The interior design is made only by locals. It is made up of the old belongings and furniture of local residents.
“The house is from the last millennia, and I wanted to buy furniture second-hand from the people who live here. Many people were very happy about this.”, Sauramäki explains.
The large window is decorated with a trombone, which was a gift from sauramäkis brother when the café was opened. There are also egg shakers, and an old vinyl player, so customers can play music of their choice. The place is homey and cosy.
This is how nice it is inside the café. Photo by Jessica Sorola
“I want Saurahuone to be a place where everyone, of all ages, can meet each other. The space is quite small, seating about 25 people, but that’s probably part of the atmosphere.” Explains Sauramäki.
Sauramäki categorises Russian and Asian soups as her bravura. The café’s menu is vegetable-centric, but there are also meat options. Salads, bread, pastries and pies are also on the menu. The menu is based on the principle of ‘something for everyone’. Lunch is available on weekdays from 11-14 at a price of €7.90-10.
The owner tells about having spent her summers at a farm, where all the food was from the farms’ grounds. Holding onto this tradition formed a part of the cafe’s raw material selections.
“Our raw food is mostly organic. Not all of it though. We are still careful about what we prepare our food with. The food needs to be clean and taste good.” Says Sauramäki
Since the beginning of last September, Saurahuone Poke Friday with a Hawaiian poke bowl to celebrate the arrival of the weekend. The bowl is assembled in front of the customer, where it’s tailored to suit every individual’s tastes. Poke bowls can be filled with vegetables, fruits, meat, or just about anything.
The focus in Saurahuone is not only on the food but also on the drinks. Saurahuone favours organic wines from Central Europe, with a variety of wines from the Austrian Hörmann farm. Wines from France and Italy are also brought to the cafe.
“Austria has some of the best winemaking conditions. There are a lot of family businesses there and as a family business owner I want to support them,” says Sauramäki.
Products from small breweries have also been added to the selection from a microbrewery in Helsinki. The café also has its own signature, Saura, beer a strong but refreshing pale ale. Saura 5.5% costs €6.50 on the spot and €6 to go.
The café has received a warm welcome and customers have already asked when a similar one will open in Kallio.
“I am very happy with this start. I fell in love with the whole of Käpylä so much that I decided to move there. Even though I will always love Kallio,” concludes Sauramäki.
Lunch café Saurahuone, Pohjolankatu 43.
Open Mon-Sat 9-18, Wed-Thu 9-20, Fri 9-22, Sat 10-22
There’s something for everyone. Photo by Jessica Sorola
Stadin Panimon tuotteet ja Sauran oma pale ale. Kuva: Jessica Sorola
The trombone draws attention to the café window.
HS NOW-ATTACHMENT 21.12.2018