It is a strange name if you don’t speak Finnish. Puistokahvila Pulu means “Park Café Pigeon”. At Proakatemia there are many “ongoing projects”, that teams create and sell to younger teams when they graduate from Proakatemia. We have about 10 projects that continue in Proakatemia from team to team. Normally those projects are the kind of projects, where you learn everything important you need to learn about entrepreneurship. For example, accounting, marketing, sales, leadership, cost structure, law and much more.
I am telling you about a coffee shop Puistokahvila Pulu which was founded in 2012. One team noticed that in a big green park area of Tampere called Sorsapuisto, there weren’t any places nearby, where you could buy ice cream or coffee. When the team, called Extempo, started running the cafe, they didn’t have a lot of people coming there on Sundays. So, they started a flea market in the park. Everybody could go there and sell their old stuff for free. Every Sunday since that day has been one of the busiest of the summer!
Efekti is one of the old teams in Proakatemia. The team was founded 2015 and they inherited Puistokahvila Pulu in 2017. They made great improvements in the marketing and the range of products. The coffee shop building was really small, so they had to make compromises in range of products. Also, they kept old customers happy and loyal. They had three core members and two extra from their team working there.
With my team we decided to work for ourselves in summer 2018. So, together with four of my team members we bought Puistokahvila Pulu from Efekti. The managing was pretty easy when we had our roles in team and first month just ran past by. We had a lot to do though. Mei was experienced with cafeteria; she had managed a winter cafeteria as a project earlier and made great profit. I had experience with restaurant work from my parent’s restaurant. Henna also had some experience, as she had worked in cafeteria that her mother owns. Toni was our project manager and he didn’t have any previous experience from cafeteria or restaurant. We also had three extra workers from Proakatemia.
So, we had different backgrounds when we started the project Puistokahvila Pulu. It was the reason we had different type of things going on there. That summer we planned 10 different kind of happenings. We got permission from Tampere city to use the park. So, we met them in middle of summer as they didn’t have time before that. We had theme days like Indian and Vietnamese food and a “Pay What You Want” Day. Every Sunday we had the flea market. Other plans have to wait until this summer 2019.
We learned a lot about how you have to keep products on the shelves and what thing can be close by. What customer wanted from small cafeteria, what we wanted from summer. For the first time in four years I had opportunity to have summer vacation longer than two days. I used everything that I learned in school to make our cafeteria, to work and make profit. All in all, the summer of 2018 was sunny and great.
Running Puistokahvila Pulu in 2018 and 2019 and member of Academic Adventures project team