The travel and event management specialist Go Arctic is the latest business to join the Arctic Food Lab network. Established in 2008, the enterprise is owned by Sipe Åqvist together with Kirsi Eskola. Åqvist says that sourcing locally has always been at the heart of the company’s ethos.
“Depending on the season, we employ 7–27 people and a host of freelancers in event management and travel services,” says Åqvist.
Pancake and artisan bread the Arctic way
The company offers a wide range of event management and travel services and, in addition, it also runs a chain of cafés with branches in locations where they will best serve local and global visitors. The cafés Vanha Hamina in Ii, Tunnelmatupa in Koiteli and hotel restaurant Liminganlahti have been carefully designed to create an inviting haven to spend time in and relax. The café products showcase local cuisine and produce.
“The pancake has been our flagship product since we opened our first café. It is a delicious, traditional sweet loved by both adults and children. The traditional archipelago bread is made at our kitchen to a recipe brought to us by chef and co-operation partner Mikko Törrö, and most customers agree the bread is simply divine.
Åqvist says that their own-recipe pancake is always made from locally produced flour and, for example, the Liminganlahti branch uses locally produced organic eggs. All products are made from the best ingredients available. The sandwich filling made with the archipelago bread is made of salmon and egg, and both the bread and the sandwich are highly popular.
In the Arctic Food Lab products, special attention is paid to the ingredients. In fact, one of company’s conference packages is built around Arctic Food Lab products with all catering throughout the day based on Arctic Food Lab products. Åqvist does not find focusing on local food too much of a challenge. Certainly, sourcing locally takes more time and effort, but is well worth the trouble.
“The new conference package has been enthusiastically received by our customers. It is important for us to be able to order certain products directly from the producers. This is something we are working hard on to improve even further.
The local approach is part of all Go Arctic operations
It is a central value for the company and, according to Åqvist, their aim is to use locally sourced products and to partner with local partners as much as possible. Go Arctic also serves as an agent for Oulu region travel guides and tours, so the local history is indeed at the centre of the company’s operations. One of our most popular event management products launched by Go Arctic is its local version of the amazing race concept.
“The event is based on the Oulu dialect and local curiosities and phenomena, such as the Bobby at the Market Place statue, air guitar playing and local chocolate. Covering the areas Myllytulli, city centre and Ainolanpuisto, the race has proved a hit product for corporate away days. We are producing a new edition of the race for next autumn, which will include Pikisaari and even Hietasaari.
In the kitchen, creating the menu is team work, involving a large number of people in addition to the kitchen personnel.
“The same goes for our event organisation,” says Åqvist. “We are happy to listen to the ideas of the entire team in our planning.”
Go Arctic’s offers event organisation, away-day and conference services to b2b customers. The company’s other key business areas are the café-restaurants, guided tours and entertainment agency as well as travel services for international tour organisers.
“Conference services form a large part of our service portfolio. Our company has two divisions: Go Arctic Events and Go Arctic Travels. Our service offering is quite extensive but all of the elements support each other. Our personnel are extremely qualified – it is a pure joy to work with such professionals.
AFL was the answer
Åqvist says that communicating about the sustainability of their products was a challenge. Therefore, Arctic Food Lab could not have appeared at a more opportune time. The Go Arctic team hope the brand succeeds and that the network is joined by as many members as possible.
“AFL is a brand that immediately tells the customer that your services and products are local, fair and sustainable, and right there at the café where the customer makes their choices.”
The Arctic Food Lab offers northern Finnish flavours and experiences. It is a brand dedicated to the food of northern Finland showcasing products and ingredients grown and produced in the region. The Arctic Food Lab programme shows the richness of northern Finnish cuisine and the vast potential of the pure, Arctic ingredients through local high-quality, uncompromising expertise. Look for the Arctic Food Lab label on packaging and products in restaurants and shops. The Arctic Food Lab label helps visitors from near and far recognise and learn about locally produced food and the local food culture. The Arctic Food Lab is part of the Oulu 2026 European Capital of Culture programme.
To join the network, contact:
+358 400 163 987
For other inquiries about AFL, contact:
Head of Community