The Poikatalo

One example of a Finnish Boarding House was the Pokatalo (which means the bachelor’s house in English). This boarding house did not fare well at first. Olli Turpeinen has his own analysis of why this boarding house failed and he says, “A good guess would be that they hired two cooks.”[1] Because it was so difficult to run a successful boarding house one extra employee, more specifically an extra woman,  was enough to cause an economic disaster for a Finnish boarding house. Ironically, “It was there (the Pokatalo) that young Finns, tired of paying twenty-five cents a meal, banded together to bring down the cost of living. They hired Silma Alina, and Hanna Sulkko to cook and run the place for them.”[2] In the attempt to bring down the cost of living, the Finns actually raised their expenses. They were forced out of the business and Ida Wirkkala, took over the business and ran it successfully for years.[3]

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[1] Turpeinen, 12.

[2] Turpeinen, 12.

[3] Turpeinen, 12.