Skill and focus

In the past few years, many entrepreneurs have experienced unexpected challenges. However, the entrepreneurs of Bistro Holvi have not been discouraged by the turbulent times. They have kept on doing what they do with determination, courage, and creativity.

The deepest essence of Bistro Holvi lies in the will and courage of entrepreneurs Roope Rask and Pia Montonen to prepare high-quality, homemade food with a professional touch.

– When the bistro opened in early 2018, we were happy and terrified at the same time.  However, we had strong practical knowledge of the work, and all the groundwork had been properly laid. Since then, we have been able to keep our focus in the right place, say Pia and Roope.

Bistro Holvi has managed to grow its turnover and staff throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  The challenging times in the restaurant industry have not discouraged the entrepreneurs from developing their business.  In the spring of 2020, the bistro was forced to close its doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, but only a week passed until Pia and Roope had an idea.

– We had to turn the business on its head and figure out to get people to enjoy restaurant food when the doors were closed.  We sat down with an advertising agency to come up with a comprehensive plan from packaging to advertising. Once the plan materialised, people quickly found their way to our kitchen’s walk-up window to pick up their orders, says Roope.

Encouragement to take the first steps

The story of Holvi began in September 2017 in Mikkeli, when two colleagues, Roope and Pia, decided to start planning their long-started time dream. The idea of starting their own restaurant originated when they were given the opportunity to buy their old place of employment.

– Although we were professionals in the restaurant industry, we started with a fairly thorough groundwork.  We got to experience the first steps of entrepreneurship together, say Roope and Pia.

Before their dream could be turned into reality, the entrepreneurs made numerous calculations and analyses together with Heli Tavasti from the Enterprise Agency Mikkelin seudun Uusyrityskeskus and a bank official. In addition to helping with practical matters, the business professionals encouraged the new venture.

– We were uncertain and a bit scared. Then I told Pia that if the bank trusts us and Heli trusts us, perhaps we should too, Roope says, laughing.

In the early days, Heli was impressed by the entrepreneurs’ motivation and professionalism.

– Bistro Holvi is a good example of combining a long-term dream with strong experience in the industry.  They have a clear vision, roles, and the tenacity and perseverance required for successful entrepreneurship.

Taking on new roles

When they became entrepreneurs, Pia and Roope had to rethink their positions. Despite a decade of experience in the field, they still lacked a clear picture of entrepreneurship or the role of a manager.

– As an entrepreneur, sometimes you drive a car, sometimes you wash dishes, and then you jump back into  the  role  of  CEO.  We want to lead by example and participate in the work, says Roope.

– We are very happy with our employees, and as managers, we always aim to consider the personality and individual situation of our employees, Pia adds.