Business Kuopio


In the Kuopio Market Hall, a unique atmosphere and the community spirit of entrepreneurs come together


The secret to the success of the over 120-year-old Kuopio Market Hall lies in the freshness and quality of the products offered, along with excellent customer service. The operations of the market hall are run by an association to which every business operating there joins. This richness creates a sense of community – everyone has around twenty colleagues, even if they run their own business independently.

It is one of the few market halls that has preserved its original ideology throughout its entire history. Many markethalls, both in Finland and abroad, have transformed into culinary spaces but in Kuopio, food stores such as meat, fish, and vegetable vendors are holding their ground.

– We are still at the same original idea as when the market hall was designed in the early 20th century. The products are sold as fresh as possible directly from the merchants to the customers, says Sanna Sutinen, the chairperson of the Kuopio Market Hall Association.

At the Kuopio Market Hall, there is also an emphasis on slightly different products than what is offered in regular supermarkets. For example, local food is sought to be offered as much as possible, and at the fishermen’s stalls, you usually find fish caught on the same morning. Sutinen jokes that the most abundant catch in Kuopio can be found in the market hall.

In the market hall, there are several operator in the same field, but Sutinen believes that competition, due to the wide variety, creates demand. Different operators also collaborate. For example, bakeries have put together tasting boxes featuring various Runeberg tortes for sale.

The market hall has increased its number of visitors

During this year, the operators of the market hall plan to collectively consider what kind of activities they want in the market hall in the future. The idea is to sit down at the same table to brainstorm possibilities, also with the city of Kuopio. The market hall is one of Kuopio’s most popular attractions and is an important meeting place for the locals who come to experience its unique atmosphere.

In the market hall, there are no roaring escalators or playing music; instead, the soundscape is filled with the murmur of peaople’s conversations and footsteps in the corridors. The peak moments for the merchants are when the hall is filled with people. There have been plenty of those moments in recent years; in 2023, the market hall had over 750,000 visitors. The growth compared to the previous year was almost 80,000 visitors.

– The markekt hall has successfully increased its number of visitors despite a challenging economic situation. The biggest thanks for that goes to our loyal customers and the active center of Oslo, Sutinen rejoices.

The Kuopio City Center Development Association is an important partner for the market hall, with whom events and vitality in the city square area are developed.

The local food event was a success

The Kuopio Market Hall Association organizes various events in the market hall annually, also in collaboration with other actors. One excellent partner is the international gastronomic organization Châine des Rôtisseurs Savo, which contacted us and proposed organizing a local food event in the market hall.

– We also got Taste Savo, the organizations we belong to, involved. Together, we organized ”Lähellä”-local food event last spring, which received very positive feedback. The event featured local producers showcasing their own products and restaurants that had received the Châine des Rôtisseurs plaque, presenting their activities. Our goal is to make the event an annual occurence, says Sutinen.

Last year, the market hall also hosted one-day Christmas markets, which were particularly appreciated by artisans. Many operators, according to Fredriksson, cannot commit to a longer Christmas market, so a small-scale and short-duration event has been a welcome addition to Kuopio’s event offerings.

Community spirit and encounters are important

It is a good thinh for the entrepreneurs of Kuopio Market Hall that they get to be part of the hall’s community. Everyone is doing their own thing, and many are sole entrepreneurs, but they don’t have to be entirely alone. You can stop by the neighboring shop with a coffee in hand, have a chat, and then return to your own work. Sutinen estimates that a sense of community is undoubtedly welcome in the business world more broadly, not just in the market hall.

In addition to a sense of community, various encounters are important in the market hall. For many, a visit to the market hall with meetings with friends is a weekend ritual, and the ”hall greys” gather in its cafe every morning. Sutinen points out that encounters in the market hall are also created by the fact that a product cannot practically be purchased without the interaction between the seller and the customer. Se suggests that entrepreneurs interessted in these encounters should take a note, as a couple of business premises have just become available in the market hall.

– Come and be an entrepreneur in Kuopio’s Market Hall, and you’ll become a part of a fantastic community, summarizes Sutinen.