10 Questions: Taru Salminen

Taru Salminen

E-shop entrepreneur, who sells Finnish products to South Korean consumers


  1. Is there a breakfast item without which you cannot start the day?

Yes there is: blueberries, lingonberries and/or cranberries with sour milk or plain yogurt. Eating lots of berries at breakfast ups my energy level instantly. I often do not have time to eat that well during the day, so a breakfast full of vitamins and minerals is a must.

  1. What is your typical working day like?

I usually wake up around 7 am and start by making a five-point list of the most important tasks to be done that day. Then I start doing them and go on until they are finished. Of course, there are more than five things I need to do, but keeping the list to the most important five helps me concentrate on the most urgent and important things. After completing the five I go for a walk or do other kind of exercise and then continue working. Being an entrepreneur I don’t have fixed working hours, so sometimes I finish early, sometimes continue till late at night.

  1. What is the most enjoyable activity in Finland?

Picking mushrooms. I absolutely love wandering in the forests for hours looking for mushrooms in fall.

  1. Do you have time to cook yourself? If so, what is your favourite dish?

Yes, but only when I have guests coming, heh. Then I usually make a lingonberry mousse cake. It is easy to make, no oven needed and delicious.

  1. What is your favourite Korean word?

아이고 ‘Aigo’. It is an exclamation word used in many situations. Even when I am speaking in Finnish, an occasional aigo slips into my speech sometimes.

  1. What has been the most fascinating topic to write about?

Finland as a travel destination. I published a travel book about Finland written together with a Korean friend of mine about a year ago. It was so much work, but it was fascinating to discover new aspects of Finland I didn’t even know of before.

  1. Whom do you admire?

Photographer Hayeon Kim. He documents the lives of street cats in Seoul, hoping to raise awareness about their difficult situation. It is hard to make a living as a street cat photographer, so he delivers newspapers at night while also taking pictures. I think it is worthy of respect to dedicate one’s life to a good cause like that. He has published some photo books as well, so please look up his name in a search engine.

  1. What is the most interesting difference between Finland and South Korea?

This is a hard one. I first think about similarities, for example both nations drink alcohol to become drunk (at least stereotypically speaking, heh). An interesting difference is that Korea has many different hangover soups to eat the next morning, while in Finland there are not that many alternatives – perhaps some salted herring.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

I hope I will live somewhere in the countryside with two or three kids, run a successful company with 50 employees and be able to work anywhere regardless of place and time.

  1. When you visit South Korea, what is the first thing you do?

I go to see my three street cats I take care of in the Hongdae area and give them some delicious chicken meat. Then I go to some restaurant that serves raw fish or seasonal mountain namul with rice and soup.

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