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This summer, Helsinki will see the grand opening of its newest and largest market hall, spanning over 4,000 square meters, within the Itis shopping center in East Helsinki. This market hall is unique as it is the first of its kind located outside the central city area and within a shopping mall. It represents a significant addition to the region, which has lacked permanent market halls or squares until now.

The new market hall is part of a major renovation project that began in 2022. Situated in a prime location, it aims to blend the traditional market hall atmosphere with the modern amenities of a shopping center, providing a unique shopping experience for the local community.

A Community Hub for Diverse Culinary Experiences

"Itis has always been a cornerstone of the local community. Our goal is to meet the everyday needs of our customers, from grocery shopping to services and leisure activities. We recognized the need to expand our food offerings, as food is a wonderful way to bring people from different cultures together," says Christoffer Jansén, the shopping center manager.

The market hall will feature over 20 vendors offering a diverse range of delicacies and products from around the world. Shoppers can expect to find fresh fish, meats, vegetables, fruits, spices, coffees, and teas.

Prominent food retailers such as Sopilka, Kalinka, Mezza, RF Asian Market, and the Italian RAO will provide fresh delicacies from various cultures. Ekström's meat and fish counters and Itis Maatilapuoti's selection of local and small-producer delicacies will also be featured, offering a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

New additions include a Fazer Café, which will serve everything from breakfast to lunch, as well as coffee throughout the day. ROUND Bakery will attract customers with its delicious vegan products, and visitors can watch the bakery in action from the café. For those seeking traditional flavors, Corint Bakery will offer a wide variety of breads, pies, and sweet desserts. Dessert lovers can also indulge in treats from Vanhan Porvoon Jäätelötehdas, Momochi, and Creps & People Café.

The market hall’s restaurant offerings will include the Chinese soup restaurant Mala Master, the Mexican eatery Sexico Tacos, and EAT Poke, known for its poke bowls.

Strengthening Community Ties

Itäkeskus is a rapidly developing area, with Itis shopping center playing a crucial role as the urban hub of East Helsinki. The concept of the market hall evolved from Itis’s brand strategy centered around the slogan "Room to Be You." The goal is to provide a community space where people can spend time, do their weekend grocery shopping, have breakfast, or enjoy a drink after work.

"We believe that in the future, shopping centers can better meet the needs of their communities by tailoring their offerings based on data from online shopping. Community engagement will remain central, with shopping centers becoming even more integrated into local life. The role of shopping centers as accessible community spaces will not diminish but rather strengthen. The need for social interaction and the significance of personal encounters will continue to be essential," adds Jansén.

As the opening of this expansive market hall approaches, excitement is building for what promises to be a vibrant new addition to the Helsinki retail scene, enhancing the cultural and social fabric of East Helsinki.

HT

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