Organic food is gaining popularity on a global scale. Our founder Lasse Jalkanen has been developing and working towards a more organic food culture in Finland for over a decade. We want to share the story of Foodin with you, shedding light on how one of Finland’s most substantial organic food producers and manufacturers began to flourish, and how we’ll continue to develop better food culture!
AT THE ROOT OF FOODIN
Our story starts over a decade ago, when our founder Lasse Jalkanen became interested in improving his own health and physical performance through nutrition. The appropriate products were not available in Finland back then, so they had to be sought out and brought back from all around the world. Whilst sparking interest in his own wellbeing and performance, Lasse grew increasingly interested in the origin of food and ingredients. On his first trip to small local farmers in the Brazilian Amazon, Lasse discovered the enormous effect and importance of the food industry.
“It was no longer merely about how food and nutrition fed my body, but also how much I could impact the lives of the people in the rainforest by simply buying the ingredients they produce”, Lasse reminisces.
The feeling of wanting to support and help hard-working, kind-hearted farmers by buying everything they could ever be able to produce has remained in Lasse’s mind. It is evident that Foodin’s idea of Sharing Happiness was strongly present even before the brand was created.
THE STORY OF FOODIN BEGINS
In 2013, at the time Foodin as a brand was established, Lasse had his own online store focused on wellness products as well as several different ongoing projects in other companies of the same industry. Lasse developed his know-how by travelling the world whenever and wherever he could, going from small family farmers to grand international fairs and events in search of new ideas and partnerships.
Maria Jalkanen, the second owner and entrepreneur of Foodin, stepped into the story in 2015. Meeting Maria was a chance for Lasse to take it down a notch and crystallise Foodin’s core mission. Having previous experience in the same field, Maria and Lasse shared a mutual passion and interest in developing Foodin onwards. By focusing on Foodin, both Lasse and Maria could influence matters that were important to them – ie the food production value chain from farmer to consumer – and conduct purposeful business.
Lasse and Maria consider it most important to work from their hometown, Jyväskylä. Foodin’s production and warehouse currently employs well over 50 people, and with Foodin’s continual growth, the team will keep on growing. Lasse and Maria dream that one day their own children, Eemeli and Lilja, will continue Foodin’s story. Working together has given the couple a lot – and will keep on giving as the company grows.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND SELF-PRODUCTION AT THE CORE OF THE BUSINESS
Foodin’s strength lies in strong professionalism – our own product development and production. Foodin’s products are largely developed in accordance with what our customers want and what type of products we want to use ourselves. Jaakko Halmetoja, a long-standing nutrition expert has worked together with Lasse on product development for several years.
Local development and product production ensures the end results are as desired and creates employment opportunities in Jyväskylä. Lasse and Jaakko are particularly passionate about raw chocolate, and therefore chocolate is at the core of Foodin, and is guaranteed special attention. The production of our raw chocolate products alone creates more full-time jobs at the Vaajakoski factory.
Self-production has its challenges, but at Foodin it is seen as an opportunity instead of a threat. Producing things ourselves gives the liberty and possibility to respond to even the smallest customer wishes and be inspired by their ideas.
FROM TRIALS AND FAILURES TO VICTORY
Some lessons along the way have been learnt the hard way. A few years ago momentum and excitement overruled common sense, and in his raw food fever, Lasse transported a container of coconuts from El Salvador to Finland with the intention of bottling coconut water by hand. The short shelf life of coconuts was not considered in the process, and after realising this fatal error a great number of rotten coconuts were sent directly to bio-waste sorting.
Learning from our mistakes, Foodin decided to find a partner who possessed more knowledge and know-how. After a few years of searching, a suitable coconut water partner was found in Vietnam. Today, Foodin’s coconut water is bottled from forest-grown organic coconut. The forest farming method allows other vegetation to grow among the coconut palms, supporting biodiversity and giving the farmers more than one way to support themselves.
INNOVATION AND LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS
One of Foodin’s most evident strengths is our own Stone Ground products manufactured at Vaajakoski. Authentic and tasty seed and nut spreads, raw chocolate products and chocolate-coated treats are ground with a traditional stone mill, a technique that dates back thousands of years!
Our loyal customers present us with many new wonderful ideas and wishes, and additionally our product development team constantly searches and tests new products and ideas from around the world.
FOODIN GROWS AND DEVELOPS
Our goal is to enable and promote a better food culture in Finland. We want to offer everyone the opportunity to choose and feel better. Food is an important part of our lives no matter where on the planet we are. This is why, as part of the food industry, we do everything in our power to influence the things that matter to us: the wellbeing of our customers, our farmers and the environment. Our forever-growing selection currently includes a little over 250 gluten-free products. The idea is to fill kitchen cupboards with better everyday food products. This is what “Sharing Happiness” means to us.
As for what the future holds, we have many different visions and dreams. One of them is broad internationalisation. We see that there could be room for a company that does things our way in many parts of the world.
CHOOSING FOODIN IS SEVERAL GOOD CHOICES AT ONCE
- You help expand the making of better choices and development of food culture
- You can enjoy high quality products and be sure of their sustainability and production
- You support Nordic and Finnish craftsmanship and entrepreneurship
- You provide a better future for farmers and their families
- You help our overloaded planet heal