Top names to take ownership of Savoy and Palace: New restaurant company aims for top of the world

NoHo Partners Plc
Media release 1 March 2019

A new top-notch restaurant company is born in Finland, taking over the operations of Palace, recently awarded a Michelin star, and the legendary restaurant Savoy. NoHo Partners and the following quartet forming the Executive Team of the new company serve as the founders and owners of the new enterprise: Helena Puolakka, Chef returning to Finland from London; Eero Vottonen, Chef of Restaurant Palace; and entrepreneurs Saku Tuominen and Jyrki Sukula.

Helena Puolakka to lead Restaurant Savoy

A world-class chef for more than 20 years, Helena Puolakka is returning to Finland and taking over the development of Restaurant Savoy. At Savoy, she will be in charge of the kitchen as well as the dining room. Previously, Puolakka has worked as a head chef in Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire in London and as chef de partie at Pierre Gagnaire’s Hotel Balzac in Paris. Both restaurants boast three Michelin stars.

“I never considered returning to Finland, but the opportunity was simply too good to resist. I love Savoy and consider it an unparalleled national treasure,” says Puolakka.

“I can assure you that there will be revamps, but there’s no need to worry. I’d rather say that Savoy is going back to its roots. The restaurant will focus on Finnish ingredients. We will prepare state-of-the-art Finnish−French food with a touch of Russian influence,” says Puolakka.

Palace and great prospects

Reinstated on the Michelin star map just two weeks ago, Palace continues on its chosen path, decidedly aiming for the absolute top of the restaurant world.

“Of course, we were delighted with the star and it was a fantastic nod to the whole team. Still, I’ve got to admit that we were left a little hungry. We’ll analyse in detail all areas that have room for improvement, and this new group can help a lot with their insights,” says Eero Vottonen, Chef of Palace Restaurant.

“We’re aiming for a second star, no need to be secretive about that,” Vottonen says.

New company to be called Financier Group

The new company will be called Financier Group. The majority shareholder will be NoHo Partners, highlighting the independence of the new company.

“The core of our operational philosophy, applicable in this case too, is to give restaurateurs freedom and responsibility. We’ll help when necessary, but considering all the top names involved, we are happy to stay in the background,” says Aku Vikström, CEO of NoHo Partners.

Initially, the new company will take over the two classic restaurants, Savoy and Palace. It is likely that some more restaurants will be added in future.

“However, it is certain that the number will stay low. Our goal is to focus on cutting-edge quality both in terms of food and service,” says Saku Tuominen, the future Creative Director of the company.

“Besides developing restaurants, we aim to develop urban culture in Helsinki and take the restaurant experience to the next level in surprising ways,” Tuominen continues.

A legend of the Finnish restaurant world, Jyrki Sukula has been given a tailor-made, exceptional role in the new company. He will be the company’s quality controller.

“I am an internal controller, in a way. I try to look at the big picture and ensure that all details are as they should be, from atmosphere to customer service. Eero and Helena are in a class of their own, but I believe that additional insights are always welcome,” says Sukula.

“Savoy and Palace are sacred places for all Finnish food enthusiasts, and that includes me. To be able to contribute to their development is really huge for me,” Sukula says.

The new company will start operating this spring. Palace will continue operating as usual, and the plan is to bring Savoy entirely under Helena Puolakka’s tutelage in the week following May Day.

The company is also looking for ambitious employees.

“We are looking for employees in the kitchen and the dining room, people who already are top professionals or persons willing to develop into such experts,” says Puolakka, smiling.

Additional information:
Helena Puolakka, +44 7786 175940
Eero Vottonen, +358 40 743 7442
Saku Tuominen, +358 400 605084
Jyrki Sukula +358 400 464 372
Aku Vikström,+358 44 011 1989

NoHo Partners Plc is a Finnish group established in 1996, specialising in restaurant services and labour hire. The company, which was listed on NASDAQ Helsinki in 2013 and became the first Finnish listed restaurant company, has continued to grow strongly throughout its history. The Group companies include over 200 restaurants in Finland and Denmark. Well-known restaurant concepts of the company include Elite, Savoy, Teatteri, Yes Yes Yes, Stefan’s Steakhouse, Palace, Löyly, Hanko Sushi and Cock’s & Cows. In 2018, NoHo Partners Plc’s turnover was MEUR 323.2 and EBITDA MEUR 28.4. Depending on the season, the Group employs approximately 4,000 people converted into full-time workers. NoHo Partners Plc’s subsidiary Smile Henkilöstöpalvelut Oyj employed approximately 10,000 people during the 2018 financial period.

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