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Member of the month

Luukas Castrén

Meet Luukas - our member of the month in July! Introduction round: Who are you and where are you from? I’m Luukas, born and raised in Helsinki,…
von Ben Roth |

Office Club Mitglied des Monats Luukas Castren

Luukas Castrén

Meet Luukas - our member of the month in July!

Introduction round: Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Luukas, born and raised in Helsinki, Finland. I've spent the past six months in Berlin launching the business of Huuva in Germany. Huuva builds and operates delivery and takeaway-only restaurants in neighbourhoods outside city centres with scant food offerings. We license menus from established, well-known brands and allow customers to mix and match meals into a single order.

What made you come to Berlin?
My ending up in Berlin was derived purely from business reasons. Based on our growth hypotheses at Huuva, we decided to start our expansion outside of Finland in Berlin. Many drivers supported the decision. To name a few, Berlin’s vibrant street food and restaurant scene and emergence as one of Europe’s leading tech hubs were crucial factors. Last winter with heavy Covid restrictions was not the most uplifting time to arrive in Berlin, but once the spring began to bloom, I can admit to having developed a crush on the city.

What exactly do you do? What's in the pipeline for the near future?
I’m leading Huuva’s global expansion and currently focusing on the German market. The position is a versatile, end-to-end role in which I’m leading the formulation and execution of the company’s growth strategy. Some of the best parts of the job are the privilege of hiring and building teams in a new country and partnering with ambitious restaurateurs.
The team in Berlin focuses on launching the first Huuva kitchen, which will happen in mid-July. After the launch, we expect to open several Huuva kitchens this year and continue building the country team. In practice, this means hiring skilled kitchen staff, finding suitable real estate, and partnering with local restaurant heroes to serve the local customers the most exciting and sought-after delivery and takeaway meals.

Since when do you cowork at Office Club Berlin Prenzlauer Berg?
We started with the virtual office services in October last year and upgraded to a private office room in April 2022.

What is the benefit of using a coworking space for you?
The virtual office service was a lightning-fast way to get a valid business and mail address in Berlin. Additionally, the mailing service helped with administrative tasks when there were no Huuva representatives in town. Later, once we had the requirement to have a private room for the team, it was easy to upgrade the previous service to a private office. In general, Office Club provides a convenient and professional working environment with flexibility, time-saving office services and additional benefits like conference rooms and beverages (especially Club Mate).

Which questions / problems could you help your coworking neighbour with?
If someone plans anything related to Finland, I probably have an information advantage on many things related to my homeland. More seriously, all things related to growth strategy and execution are my bread and butter. Currently, items on my table include HR, building standardised processes, and partnership development with restaurants, F&B brands and real estate stakeholders. Lastly, I'd love to hear tips and recommendations for backcountry skiing and touring trips in the Alps and Northern Norway.

Do you have favourite spots in Berlin? Something to recommend / consider especially for people coming here?
Piri's in Neukölln serves some of the most exciting (and spiciest) chicken burgers in town. The classic Piri Burger is a safe starting point.
Mangiare Berlin in Arminius Markthalle (Moabit) is doing some of the most ambitious and delicious Neapolitan pizzas in town. The two truffle pizzas are magnificent, and the owner, Alessandro, has some great wines to pair with your pizza.
If you still haven’t had lunch at Core, right next door to Office Club, I recommend this lovely Korean restaurant run by a friendly couple. The lunch menu has five Korean specialities, Bibimpab with extra chilli being my go-to dish.
Lastly, Martkhalle Pfefferberg on Schönhauser Allee has a variety of food to choose from – Taqueria el Oso with magnificent tacos and Gully Burger with Indian flavoured burgers being my personal favourites.

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Thanks a lot and all the best to you!



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