History

Our roots are in the 1970s. We have had a long journey in food business - we started with Finnish meat pies and traditional grilled food, now we serve homemade local food made from Finnish ingredients.

1970s - small sausages, Finnish meat pies and Saturday dances

The municipality of Mäntyharju founded the campsite in Tommola area in the early 1970s. At first, there was only small cabins and a kiosk in the area. The kiosk was a famous meeting place for local residents. At the time, the most popular takeaway food was small sausages with a Finnish meat pie.

Tommolansalmi immediately gained popularity since the Tommola dance hall was built in 1968 near the campsite. As a natural continuation of the dancing in Tommola dance hall, people were staying the night in the campsite every Saturday.

The Pulkka family bought the campsite from the municipality of Mäntyharju in 1979. Aaro and Raili Pulkka (father and mother), served their own delicacies in the kiosk: Finnish meat pies and sausages as well as Raili's homemade pastries.

1980s - new restaurant and Raili's popular homemade pastries

Pulkka family built a new restaurant building near the kiosk. The new restaurant called "Tommolan baari" was opened in 1985. The restaurant was known for its tasty dishes and Raili's homemade bread and pastries, like buns, doughnuts and so on.

At the kiosk meat pies and grilled food were still popular, and daughters of Aaro and Raili, Eeva and Merja, worked at the kiosk serving food to campsite customers and passers-by every night.

1990s - grilled food and delicacies on the summer terrace

An ownership change in Tommolansalmi was carried out in 1992, when the siblings Eeva and Merja took the responsibility for the operations.

The kiosk building was rebuilt, and the kiosk became a summer café called Café Salmenlähde, and it also received an alcohol licence. It was a popular venue for campsite customers and residents nearby.

Kebabs and other popular barbecued dishes of the 1990s appeared on the menu. In addition to the traditional cakes and delicacies of Raili, sisters' own pastries appeared on the list.

The Tommolansalmi summer café was also a dining place when the separate restaurant in the area was closed down and food supply focused on the summer café.

2010s - local food and home baked goods

Raili's famous doughnuts and cakes are still on the menu today.

However, Eeva and Merja have added their own delicacies to the menu. They have followed food culture trends of each age: for example, sisters' own homemade gluten free and lactose free pastries are on the menu now.

The sisters also serve various stuffed sandwiches made from Finnish ingredients and delicious salads and meals made from local food.

The menu also includes for example many different healthy and vitamin-rich beverages and berry lemonades from the local farmers.

Today Tommolansalmi is still known for its hospitality and good customer service as well as for its famous doughnuts.

Nowadays another generation of camping-dwellers arrives to the café - adults who have spent their childhood at the campsite now bring their own children to Tommolansalmi.

Old pictures from Tommolansalmi
Old picture of café