About Us

Let me introduce the Karelian Pie ambassadors.


ヤーホー! Ilari desu!

Ilari Laitinen (ライチネン・イラリ) is an award-winning designer from Finland. Ilari completed his Bachelor of Art Degree from Lahti Institute of Design with a thesis project at Nestlé’s R&D Center in York, UK – the home of Kit Kat biscuits. This project allowed him to take his interest a step beyond his comfort zone, by leading an explorative design process to develop new and healthy food products.

Ilari, who also has studied in the International Design Business Management (IDBM) Master’s program at Aalto University, has ever since maintained a lively interest in food culture and food-related services, building bridges between producers and communities. He has been working as a design strategy consultant for both established brands and startups. Ilari also currently works as as a method coach and course instructor in the ME310: Global Design Innovation program run jointly by Aalto University and Stanford University.

Oh! And there’s one more thing you should know about Ilari: he has a passion for everything about okonomiyaki and Kansai-style dishes!

For more information about Ilari-san, click here.


Moshi moshi, Jaakko desu!

Jaakko Kalsi (カルシ・ヤーッコ) is a Aalto University graduate and a former student of Musashino Art University. It seemed that he would be a student for life. After studying foreign languages, literature, pedagogy and graphic design he finally graduated from International Design Business Management (IDBM) Master’s program. Jaakko is currently working as a service designer and design researcher in Helsinki. He wants to understand how and why people think and behave as they do, and furthermore, to design products and services that make life simpler and more fun.

If there is a food related design challenge in sight, Jaakko wants to get his hands on it. He has tackled food related systemic challenges for Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture by promoting children’s vegetable consumption and fighting national overweight.

Jaakko is a passionate chef, but he has a long way to go before mastering the Japanese kitchen. Before that he’s going through every hole-in-the-wall restaurant in search for the tastiest bowl of ramen in Japan.

For more information about Jaakko-san, click here.