Now I think that I will probably stay

Working in a well-known Finnish bakery and café

"Before my arrival, I didn't know much about Finland. Now I think that I will probably stay in Helsinki for work, even after my internship period ends!" 

Thibaud arrived in Helsinki in January from Urrugne, Southern France. It is the first time he is visiting a country in Northern Europe. Coming from a town bordering Spain, the cold welcome of the January weather of Helsinki took some time to get used to. Fortunately, the hospitable atmosphere at Café Ekberg has made the transition easy. Working in a well-known Finnish bakery and café has been an exciting experience for Thibaud. Workplace is the oldest café in Finland, was established in 1852, the same year as Helsinki Cathedral was opened.

The Senate Square in Helsinki is one of the oldest parts of central Helsinki. One of the landmarks of the square is The Helsinki Cathedral. 

February in Café Ekberg is busier than usual. The Finnish holiday "Laskiainen", or Shrove Tuesday is celebrated on the 21st of February 2023. Many bakeries and cafes are preparing for the massive demand for a Nordic pastry called "laskiaispulla", also known as Shrove bun. As a result, work can be slightly more hectic around these weeks compared to January or March. "I have made hundreds of these buns just today," says Thibaud. 

Before coming to Finland, Thibaud had no prior experience with Nordic pastries. Still, he says it is exciting to learn more about them. Kitchen work is quite similar in many countries, and many restaurants and bakeries have plenty of international workers in Helsinki. Working methods in Café Ekberg, were similar to what Thibaud was used to, and there were no big surprises in the daily tasks in the kitchen. 

My skills were noticed at work, and I got to do a part of the production of "laskiaspulla", for example. I have the skills required to follow different recipes and do my tasks with good quality. The job is not entirely the same as it is in France. In the Finnish kitchen, there is more freedom. Also, the work is more relaxed and the rhythm is calmer. The managers talk to my workplace tutor in Finnish, who then lets me know if something needs to be changed. 

In addition to working, Thibaud had some time to discover Helsinki and its surroundings at the beginning of his internship period. There is plenty to discover in Helsinki during the winter months. During the first weeks, Thibaud visited Suomenlinna, the seaside fortress on an island covering Helsinki. It is an experience that many visitors of Finland’s coastal capital add to their plans. Another fun experience for Thibaud was a day trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, which is easily reached from Helsinki by ferry. 

Snowy nature in Suomenlinna

Thibaud has been offered the possibility to stay and work in Café Ekberg after the work placement period ends. Continuing work during the summer and possibly longer is an opportunity that interests Thibaud.