Eezy focuses its operations under one roof in Pasila’s Maistraatinportti
“The trick to remaining relevant is to keep track of both global and local phenomena,” says Pirkko Haikkala, Secretary General at Uudenmaan Martat ry.
“We visit various locations in person to study current phenomena and wishes on how to improve the well-being of families and life in general.”
New topical themes arise constantly. For example, current phenomena include energy conservation and how everyone can affect their energy usage or how to make sustainable choices to mitigate climate change. In addition to addressing current themes, the organization is involved with long-term strategic planning. A good example of this is the theme of preparation for 2023, outlined in 2019, which has become even more topical. The Marthas have been experts in preparation throughout the organization’s history, and they promote the theme in a manner that suits the current status of society. In times of war, preparation was different than it is today. At the moment, preparation involves digital skills and cyber security in addition to food supply. For example, it must be considered and acknowledged how current and future smart homes affect cyber security and how to use the web safely. These things should be basic civic skills.
The headquarters of the Uusimaa Martha District Association is currently located on Lapinlahdenkatu, in the heart of Helsinki. However, they are relocating to Espoo in spring 2023. The new premises are located in Tuultenristi in Tapiola, Espoo, which is currently being built next to the shopping center Ainoa.
“The current premises started to feel a little cramped and they were nearing the end of their service life anyway. We started looking for new premises three years ago in 2019, when we visited many different premises, especially in the city center of Helsinki. Later on, we expanded the search to the areas around the metro line and train stations. Although we considered a wide variety of locations, none of them felt right or they required a massive renovation to fit the kitchens we use. In the end, it was apparent that moving to any location currently available would require considerable renovation, which would be difficult and consume both time and money. We felt like giving up. Then, it was suggested that we could move to the Tuultenristi building under construction in Tapiola, where we could have a say in everything. The choice was easy as we can now get exactly the premises we want.”
Sustainability has been among the selection criteria for new premises from the very beginning. The operations of the Martha Organization are based on specific values; sustainable choices, responsibility, joy in working together, openness and equality—these are integral in the operations of the association.
“Our daily operations are very sustainable. This means that we take people, the environment and the climate into consideration in all solutions we offer to our customers as the themes for various courses and lectures, for example. It is only natural that our premises must also be sustainable. For example, when planning our kitchen, we ensured that all the materials used are as durable as possible and easy to keep clean and that the premises have good recycling systems and customer logistics that allow for as low-emission access to the premises as possible. The Marthas’ principle is to generate as little waste as possible, which is why it is important that the ingredients are stored and kept in ideal locations. This sets certain requirements for refrigeration appliances, as they must be as energy efficient as possible.
Sustainability is also apparent in the location of our premises. It is important that our premises are easily accessible with low-emission options, which is why they need to be located next to good public transport connections.”
“The location of our new premises was determined on the basis of our customers. We studied how our customers access our premises and noticed that up to 70% of them took the metro. We considered other locations first, such as Pasila, but we decided that the metro is not only useful, but the majority of our customers already use it. Rail traffic is the most ecological option among public transport alternatives to visit our courses. Then, we listed the metro station locations that were close enough to the Helsinki city center. We knew that the location matters as the distance between Eastern Helsinki and the backwoods of Espoo is too long. Tapiola is a neutral location that is close to everything, and what’s best, it happens to be a hub of traffic within Espoo.”
“Our expectations are very high as we have had the chance to shape the premises and the materials selected. It is wonderful to have access to a shared system to see how the project is advancing. We can rotate and study the illustrations and each of us is likely to know the location of every faucet or fixture. We are now waiting for the chance to visit the location in person to think about our processes, for example, which routes our customers will take in the premises and how things in general will work in the property.
Our courses are fully booked for the next six months, and we are now facing a situation where we are imagining the premises and their use in advance when they are still under construction. However, I am sure that everything will go smoothly as our entire personnel is involved in the planning of the premises. We have planned the kitchen together and made different plans to see how it fits the space the best. Everyone has contributed, which is why I think that our personnel are already very committed to the new premises.
We are also very eager to move into the new premises so that we can gain new kitchens, a completely new separate studio area and a green roof where we will set up our garden of useful plants and arrange gardening courses. Large planting pots have been installed on the roof for us to plant various useful plants and to teach how to tend to them in our courses. We are living in an era of climate change, and cultivation conditions are becoming increasingly drier and hotter. We will use the south-facing, sunny roof as a sort of test laboratory, where we can test the cultivation of new plants, such as ginger, which has been impossible to grow in Finland due to the climate.”
“Our operations are pretty social and we like to cooperate with different companies. Expect us to ask for a specialist to visit our courses as a guest lecturer, or you can visit our meal preparation courses as a team building exercise. We are really hopeful that there will be a restaurant in the building and, although we have our own meeting service, we cannot arrange catering on our own. I am sure that concrete cooperation will take place.
Along with our fixtures and furniture, we are keeping our traditions: during Christmas, we prepare Christmas porridge for our customers, neighbors, partners and employees. We make dozens of liters of porridge and distribute it to different parties.”
Did you know that if you follow the Marthas’ recipes, you cannot go wrong as they are all tested in advance?
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