By: Elmo Ropponen

The old Vaasa Bakery building in the idyllic Ylämylly area of the municipality of Liperi in North Karelia was given a new life a year ago. Sooci, a stock and sauce company established by experienced culinary professionals Kiril Rainos and Timo Melto, moved into the building. The company produces and delivers hundreds of thousands of litres of sauce each month.

At the heart of the kitchen, fresh local ingredients are stirred in large pots, without any additives.

“We buy surplus beef and chicken bones from meat processing companies. We roast the bones to cook stock. We sell some of the stock and process some of it into sauce bases and ready-to-use sauces,” Managing Director Kiril Rainos explains.

Sooci’s customers include professional kitchens, such as restaurants and companies creating experiences for customers across Finland. Sooci’s products are also available at well-stocked grocery shops.

Finland’s best chefs have participated in Sooci’s product development, and its recipes are carefully fine-tuned. Sooci has also launched entirely new types of products: in addition to traditional chicken, beef and vegetable stocks, the company produces Japanese ramen broth, even for vegans.

“We want to make work easier for professional kitchens. Only a few kitchens continue to make their own stock,” says Rainos.

Timeless work outfits communicate professionalism

“Stirringly good employee,” says the print on the back of the grey work outfits. Sooci has 11 stirringly good employees, and the company promotes sustainable development. Ethical values and sustainable design are important to Medanta, which is why Medanta was a natural choice when Sooci was looking for a work clothing partner. Medanta provided Sooci’s employees with new work outfits in spring 2019.

“Instead of choosing standard designs, we wanted to contribute to the end result. I had cooperated with Medanta earlier, so I knew that they invest in customer-specific design,” says Rainos.

Medanta and Sooci held a joint brainstorming session, and the employees’ ideas were also heard. According to Rainos, work clothes need to be timeless, as well as communicating professionalism and high quality, which are important to Sooci.

Medanta’s environmentally friendly Eco Denim fabric was chosen as the material for the trousers, shirts and jackets. Eco Denim is made from recycled polyester and sustainable BCI cotton.

Production Manager Esa Hautanen (right) and Sooci’s employees are pleased with their new work outfits. The outfits have been designed by Medanta in cooperation with Sooci. The employees’ wishes were taken into account.

The fabric is high-quality, even in terms of technical properties. It is flexible and breathable in all circumstances in the same manner as sports textiles. The fabric also has an antimicrobial treatment. The work outfits are washed after each wear, meaning that the material needs to be durable.

“As well as being comfortable to wear, work clothes must meet the criteria set for the food industry: no extra buttons, and pockets below the waist,” Rainos explains.

Sooci’s employees want their work clothes to communicate their sustainable values. Pictured here is food worker Maaret Sorjonen.

For the love of sauce

Rainos says that the employees are more than happy with their work clothes.

“The work outfits have been made using modern technology, but they have a traditional feel. They also communicate our sense of humour. We feel that safe, ethical and stylish work clothes are also part of the company’s marketing.”

Sooci is in the process of putting together an environmental and sustainability information kit to communicate the company’s ethical values to customers and other external stakeholders.

“Work clothes are one way to highlight our values,” says Rainos.

Despite being a young company, Sooci has been received well in the market. There is clearly demand for stocks and sauces made from Finnish ingredients. Ready-made sauce bases make work easier for professional kitchens – without compromising on quality.

Many people have asked Rainos about the origin of the company name. “Soosi” is colloquial Finnish for “sauce” – so why Sooci?

“The name was supposed to be Soosi, but the Finnish Trade Register considered it to be too general. We needed a new name quickly, so we went with Sooci. Knowing the history, it’s funny that so many advertising agencies have asked us about the creative team behind the name,” Rainos says with a laugh.

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