Helsinki Mills is a milling company owned by the Puhk family. The family’s roots are in Estonia,
where they founded their first mill in the 17th century.
In the 1930s the Puhk family saw a business opportunity and set about to expand into Finland. Eduard Puhk, the second oldest of the Puhk brothers, arrived in Helsinki to look for a place for a new mill.
The suitable premises were founded by the sea in Sörnäinen.
Helsingin Mylly ja Kauppa Oy was founded at a meeting in Helsinki on 8 October 1934. The industrial premises underwent a renovation to allow the mill to begin operations by the following autumn. The new mill was the first and only one of its kind in Helsinki, with an output of tens of thousands of kilos per day. At the company’s helm was Eduard Puhk, who settled in Finland with his family.
WWII began in 1939 and in June 1940 the Soviet Union occupied the entire Baltic region. The Puhks’s assets in Estonia were confiscated and, by the autumn, all the brothers, with the exception of Eduard, had been arrested and sent to a prison camp in the Soviet Union. They were never heard from again. Devastated, Eduard never recovered and died in Helsinki in March 1943.
In 1962, the Helsinki Mills milling process was completely redesigned. A neon sign, depicting Mylly-Matti, the chubby brand figurehead, representing Helsinki Mills’s flour products, was erected on the front of the Helsingin Mylly building. In the late 1960s, the decision was taken to focus on milling only.
Company launched the Myllärin home baking range. The first Myllärin product was the Myllärin Sämpyläjauho bread mix. New and unique, the flour mix was created with home bakers in mind and especially designed to lend itself to bread rolls.
The confined premises in Sörnäinen started to lack in space. Logistics were a challenge because of a rise in road traffic as well as the gradual dismantling of the local railway line, which would ultimately leave the mill cut off. In response, the decision was taken to sell the premises and look for a new base for the mill. Eventually, an excellent new location was found in Järvenpää, eastern Uusimaa, where the company’s new facilities were built. In 1992, construction work on the most technologically advanced mill in the Nordic countries was completed in Järvenpää.
Soon after the inauguration of the new mill, another significant decision was reached and AS Balti Veski, an Estonian subsidiary, was founded in Tallinn. AS Balti Veski sold the Veski Mati products in Estonia and remained part of Helsinki Mills for more than two decades, before it was sold in 2015.
With the purchase of Oy Polar Mills Ab, company’s own production grew to comprise cereal flakes and organic products. The company expanded to two agriculturally significant areas in Finland, the wheat farming area of Uusimaa and the oat farming area of Pohjanmaa.
Exporting of organic oat products began.
The consumer product line was relaunched, packaging re-designed and product selection updated. The new slogan ”Pure and delicious every day” that ties all our operations together, was established.
Own bioenergy plant that uses oat hull waste to generate heat was established at Vaasa mill.
Company acquires the Närpiö-based Oy Topfood Ab. TCompany acquires the Närpiö-based Oy Topfood Ab. The investment allowed us to begin the production of Finnish muesli and breakfast cereal products, to adopt new technologies and expand our product offering.
Gluten-free production facilities established in Vaasa.
Company started selling gluten-free oat products.
Helsinki Mills Overnight Oats was nominated ‘Export Product of the Year’ by Lidl Finland.
Vaasa unit expanded once again.
The consumer brand Helsinki Mills – The Nordic Oatventure brand, which is targeted at export markets, was launched.
Oats were brought to cooking, when a range of oaty meal ingredients was launched.