Jänö – vegan grill kiosk

When the city of Helsinki announced that they were going to auction off five of the traditional kiosks from 1950s in May 2016, Joonas Pekkanen got an idea. Could there be enough people interested in vegan food that you could purchase one of the kiosks through crowdfunding?

The idea got an enthusiastic response on Facebook, and so we decided to try out this wacky idea. We founded a cooperative, started a crowdfunding campaign and in two weeks collected more than 40 000 euros – and won the auction. The kiosk, located next to the National Museum and representing a functionalist style, was named Jänö (Rabbit, in Finnish), and celebrated its opening already in August 2016. Hundreds of people showed up already on the first day. Even when the dishes were made as fast as possible, the line to the kiosk was tens of meters long all throughout the day.

Jänö operated with success all throughout the autumn of 2016, after which it was closed for a thorough renovation. Also solar panels were installed on the roof. Nowadays Jänö is open for the summer season, but closes for winter. But it is also more than just a kiosk. It organises events and pop up restaurants, and we even have our own juice, that can be bought in many stores.