Shopping in Helsinki – design stuff, handmade goods, local beer and great sparkling wine

On saturday we had an idea to go on shopping in Helsinki design district and quickly visit some small boutiques. It was nothing planned, but as we happened to find ourselves at Eerikinkatu, we thought why not.

First target was Liike at Yrjönkatu, as I desired to get my hands on Dead Kekkonen t-shirt. Unfortunately Liike is closed on summer saturdays, which was a sad news to us – as well as sounded like a stupid business decision. Must go there again during the week: http://www.liike-shop.com/

Second target was new shop called Sopiva Shop, which is a new co-operative formed by 7 designers. The shop is quite small and easy to miss if you don’t keep your eyes open, which actually happened to us – before I took my phone and checked again what was the street number for the shop again. Good thing in our walk by the store was that we walked over to the National Audiovisual Archive’s movie theater and saw that they are running famous old sci fi movies this month. For just the fee of membership card and 4 euros per movie, you can see old classics in very cozy and comfy theater!

But back to the Sopiva:

We talked with one of the designers and purchased some handmade pins with retro designs. I was really looking forward finding some 80’s retro videogame design pin, but best I could find almost Supermario-like pin with rainbow and mushrooms. Pictured below is my street credible skull pin.

Though I did not find anything to lust for from Sopiva shop, it was a nice example of young designers doing something together. I haven’t been following finnish design scene that closely, but somehow I have a feel that even though young designers might be really talented – they lack some essential marketing and industrial economics skills that would and could turn their designs and brands into real businesses. Somehow it seems much more fun to do unique pieces in small numbers and sell them to their selected hipster clients. But that is a subject of another posting.

While walking along Eerikinkatu, we made a quick stop at Sammakko bookstore. I found great finds in promotions basket for just 2 euros per book and would have spent even more time browsing through their selection in the store… only if we weren’t in a hurry to go elsewhere.

As we walked back to the railway station, we noticed a new store in Lasipalatsi: Farmer’s market at the heart of Helsinki. Large store offered a good selection of organic foods, meat, cheese, chocolate, cookies, soft drinks – including Teerenpeli’s great beers and ciders in retail packages! Finally you can get Laiskajaakko and Lempi Mustikka to home!

Though prices were ridiculously high, we made essential purchases of beer and cider – as well as some handmade chocolate and toffee. After which we were ready to move to the cafeteria next door and enjoy some cake and tee, and wait for our friend to join us.

Last target on our journey was Alko, finnish alcohol retail monopoly, where our goal was to purchase new sparkling wines to be tasted. We had just read a review about Pongrácz, south african sprakling wine that got a raving review in Helsingin sanomat.

As you might guess, if there is a great review in largest daily newspaper in Finland about a wine – it is very likely that that specific wine experiences a surge in sales and stockpiles run out. This seemed to be the case also for us, but luckily very helpful salesperson was ready to call to other near by shops and ask whether they had any left. At the same time I discussed about our preferences with another sales clerk, who suggested that we might also like Klein Constaintia Methode Cap Classique – which is few euros more expensive, but should be good for our taste. Eventually I decided to give it a try and walk some five hundred meters to another Alko shop, which had reserved two last bottles of Pongracz for us. In the first Alko we got also great review and approval for our choice of wine from the cashier and in the second on disapproval, as we took the last bottles of wine.


Klein Constantia Methode Cap Classique

In the end our shopping day was quite succesfull.

Pins and large selection books not included in the picture.

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