Riikka always had great passion and interest for chocolate and had been sampling many different ones over the years. She was born in Sodankylä, located in the heart of Finnish Lapland and later moved to Southern Finland to train as dental hygienist. In 2007 she ended up moving back North to Oulu. The idea of becoming an entrepreneur had been simmering in the back of her mind for a long time. While on maternity leave in 2010 Riikka completed her specialist vocational qualification in entrepreneurship, and since she didn’t have a job to go back to after her maternity leave the time felt right to jump into something new.
“To find out that my heritage could be traced back to Vallonia, Belgium, famous for its chocolate makers as I was preparing to set up the new business further confirmed that this was the right time to jump to the “dark side” and become a chocolate maker” she felt like it was meant to be. Since then, Riikka has trained with chocolatiers in Belgium and Finland to perfect her skills in the artisan chocolate making process.
ChocoSomnia was founded in 2015. The name comes from a combination of English and Latin, Choco for chocolate and Somnia, that means to dream in Latin. Riikka felt this name perfectly described her passion and what the company was all about. It was clear from the start, that the name should also work internationally because she was dreaming big.
How it all started
In the beginning Riikka was making the chocolates in the kitchen of her small row house apartment. When the customer base extended beyond relatives and their friends, it was time to acquire a bigger kitchen. After ChocoSmonia’s first Christmas season Riikka and her family moved to a detached house with a bigger kitchen and started producing larger quantities of chocolate. Eventually a commercial space became necessary. Word of ChocoSomnia chocolate had travelled, and people kept coming to her house to buy it on a regular basis. In 2018 ChocoSomnia’s first chocolate shop and chocolate factory opened near the city centre of Oulu.
The world of chocolate is inspiring, as there are always new skills to be learned and new flavour pairings to create. Chocolate can be a little bit of an everyday luxury or make that special occasion even more memorable. The best part of the business for Riikka is to see how happy and uplifted people are when they get to give or receive chocolate as a gift.
Riikka met Jenna Antinmaa, who had her own company that put together corporate events, several times over the years in different functions of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Association of Northern Finland. The energetic duo immediately got along and found a lot of common ground, as Jenna is also an avid chocolate lover. They had won the Entrepreneur of the Year award on consecutive years, so they knew that both also shared a passion and vision for developing their businesses. In 2019 Jenna sold her company and bought shares in ChocoSomnia, making it a limited company run by two passionate entrepreneurs. Jenna has brought her expertise in event planning to ChocoSomnia and created chocolate experiences such as Chocolate Yoga and Chocolate Tastings. Riikka is now able to focus all her energy to the production side of the business, as Jenna has taken over the role of sales and marketing manager. The network Jenna had created during her previous career has enabled rapid growth for ChocoSomnia in the past years.
In 2020 a third shareholder joined the company. Mika Lähteenmäki has been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years and brings with him a wealth of knowledge about business development, as well as a great passion for chocolate! Mika is not involved in the day to day running of the business but is always ready to come sample new chocolates. His expertise and guidance is also an instrumental part of ChocoSomnia’s growth strategy.
Delicious chocolates and surprising chocolate experieces
Carefully considered taste pairings of our handmade chocolates are now available for everyone! We carry a wide variety of chocolates, that changes seasonally. In the spring the flavours are light and fresh, during wintertime the selection will include more robust flavours that remind us of Christmas and warm us from the inside out.
Our chocolate experiences have also become very popular. The chocolate workshops are perfect for corporate groups as you get to work together as a team in the most delicious setting. A little bit of competitiveness and getting your fingers stuck in some chocolate also seems to work for everyone! This two-hour workshop has given participants exactly what we hoped; new experiences and a little bit of chocolate-y happiness. In addition to the workshops, we also arrange Chocolate Tastings and Chocolate Yoga for groups. In our shop at Isokatu 28, Oulu, you can see the full range of our artisan chocolates, including artisan chocolate bars and chocolate figurines. Come visit us and pick your favourite, we guarantee you’ll leave with a smile!
Welcome to ChocoSomnia!
Master of Chocolate Riikka Ojanen and Master of Sales & Marketing Jenna Antinmaa
We love to take on challenges from our customers so if you have a special request for an event or a product, let us know! If you have any questions, crazy ideas or wish to make a special order we’d love to hear from you!