Aare Leikola, Founder of Metos
- In 1922, Oy Metalliteos was founded by Aare Leikola and his partners for the purpose of mass-producing metal products. The first mass-produced product was lion buttons for the Finnish Army.
- The company mastered a new material: stainless steel.
- Stainless steel table tops were the first Metos products to find their way into professional kitchens.
- At decade’s end, the company moved from rented premises on Fleminginkatu to Elimäenkatu Street.
Metalliteos expands its premises on the corner plot of Elimäenkatu and Kuortaneenkatu in the late 1930s. The wooden building got the nickname Siberia from the workers. There were no much talked about ventilation problems in the lower floor, as the building had a genuine dirt floor.
- In 1931, Metos produced its first commercial cooking pot, which was delivered to the Paimio Sanatorium.
- In 1938, the company produced the world’s first factory-made electric sauna heater.
- In 1935 –1938, Metos invested in factory expansion. At decade’s end, a section of the factory was destroyed in a devastating fire.
- The first project to include all kitchen equipment was delivered to Alko Salmisaari kitchen, just before the Winter War broke out in 1939.
Metos manufactured the world’s first prefabricated electric heater in 1938. The stove was delivered to SOK’s office in Vaasa and the test drills were taken in a beach sauna in Tuusula on Rusutjärvi. Metos gave up the manufacture of heaters in 1983.
The fire of 1938 destroyed a significant part of Metos’ production facilities. The picture shows the shutdown work in progress.
- Metos trademark was more widely utilised. It was officially registered only in 1960.
- In 1940, Metos made equipment for the Helsinki Summer Olympics. The games were cancelled due to war, but the equipment was put to good use nevertheless. The pots, for example, served the local food supply centre for more than 40 years.
- During the war, Metos provided the armed forces with, for example, ski bindings and tent stoves.
- In addition to ski bindings, Metos manufactured other consumer products such as steel money boxes.
In 1940, Metos supplied pots for the Helsinki Olympics. The Games were not held due to the war, but the pots served at the Helsinki Food Center for more than 40 years. This individual in the photograph, after actual power use, still reached the Metos Museum in full use.
Metos has also manufactured a few consumer products. One of the best known is a metal savings box made in the 1940s and 1950s with at least oval, rectangular and square base plates. The bottom of the box is stamped with O / Y Metalliteos and a number indicating the bank. At flea markets and online auctions, the price of tickets varies between 20 and 65 euros, depending on the condition.
Founded in 1950, Metos News is one of the most widely read customer magazines in the industry.
Before moving to Kerava, Metos’ sales exhibition has been located in Helsinki over the years at several different addresses, including Mannerheimintie, Fennia House, Arabia, Elimäenkatu and Yrjönkatu. The picture is from the Yrjönkatu exhibition, which opened its doors in 1956, opposite Hotel Torni.
- The first Metos Uutiset (Metos News) customer magazine was published in 1950. It is still published under the same name.
- Metos launched customer trainings in different parts of Finland.
- In 1952, it received a major equipment order for the Helsinki Summer Olympics.
- Exportation commenced in the mid-decade.
- In Finland, the opening of an equipment exhibition on Yrjönkatu Street marked an important milestone in 1956.
- At the end of the decade, Metos got a new owner. In 1959, its majority stake was bought by Instrumentarium and Metos became part of a listed company.
Education has been part of Metos’ operations since the 1950s. Hostess days held across the country were so popular at the time that not everyone who was willing could fit in. The announcement is from 1957.
As the kitchen equipment base grew, maintenance became an increasingly important part of the service package. The year of establishment of Metos Service can be officially considered to be 1962, when it was formed into its own business unit. The picture shows a service car photographed in front of a Turku service point on Ampumakentäntie when the license plates of the vehicles were still black-based.
Metos Micronic, which saw the light of day in 1965, was the first microwave oven made in Finland. The oven has the same power as today’s small household microwaves. The power deficit is offset by stylish details such as liquid cooling and teak wood moldings.
- In the 1960’s, Finland enjoyed a period of substantial growth. Metos Service was founded in 1962 and a regional sales network launched around the same time.
- In 1962, the Merivaara factory, part of the Instrumentarium Group, was built in Kerava. It first concentrated on manufacturing hospital furniture and later housed some of Metos’ operations.
- In 1965, history was made when Metos Micronic, the first microwave oven built in Finland, was launched.
- In 1967, Metos stopped manufacturing hospital equipment and focused on professional kitchen equipment and sauna heaters.
Kerava’s business premises were built in several different stages in 1963-2002. This was what the site looked like in 1964, when the first phase of the factory was completed. The plot is partly on President Juho Kusti Paasikivi’s former agricultural lands.
Metos added kitchen design to its range of services as early as the 1950s. At that time, the investment was groundbreaking, as the professional kitchen industry, like many other industries, was very production-oriented. The photo above was taken in 1979, when the computer-based AutoCAD system was not yet in use.
Washing machines have been made at Metos since the 1940s. The Novos Metos 015, sold at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, had a novelty water-pressure dome lift, the valves of which can be seen on the right side of the machine.
Metos News of 1971 the restaurant side of the special issue, which introduced the newly completed Tampere Näsinneula Metos kitchen. The article, which introduced trends, claimed that “pizza is coming”.
- In 1972, Metos’ production was moved to Kerava, Finland.
- In 1972, Metos expanded to Sweden by founding its first foreign subsidiary (Metos Storkök Ab) and buying the first foreign manufacturing unit, Accord AC Ab, which produced refrigeration apparatuses.
- In 1976, Metos administration, marketing and sales were transferred from Helsinki to Kerava.
- A separate Marine department was established.
M / S Scandinavia, like many other luxury cruise ships, got a Metos kitchen in the 1980s. The virgin journey began in New York at the foot of the towers of the World Trade Center. The ship is still sailing in the Caribbean, but the twin towers completed in 1972 in the picture no longer exist.
Training events organized by Metos have always been popular. In a picture taken in 1985, Veijo Vanamo lectures in a full hall in the training class connected to the equipment exhibition.
- In the 1980’s, Metos established good trade relations with the Soviet Union. In 1980, the company secured a substantial order for the Moscow Summer Olympics.
- In 1982, exports surpassed domestic sales for the first time.
- In 1983, Metos stopped making sauna heaters and concentrated solely on professional kitchen equipment and related services.
- In the 1980’s, Metos expanded its operations to cruise ship kitchens and delivered large cruiser projects. Also Norwegian sales unit was launched in the 80’s.
The top product of the 1990s was a Culino pot and a Culimix mixer. In 1997, Culino won the prestigious Apria Prize at the Equip’hôtel trade fair in France.
- The recession of the early 1990’s also weighed heavily on Metos. Markets collapsed simultaneously in Finland and the primary exporting countries, and the company had no option but to downsize.
- Instrumentarium-owned Metos and Hackman’s institutional kitchen unit were merged in 1994, marking the birth of Hackman Metos Oy Ab. Hackman became the majority shareholder and acquired the whole share capital in 1998.
- At decade’s end, Metos entered a period of substantial growth and internationalisation. In 1998 alone, it made 8 acquisitions and launched own sales companies in baltic countries and Russia.
- In the 1990’s, Metos built its present service network in Finland, becoming the only company in the industry that can offer the support of its own service network throughout the country.
Metos’ own service network expanded in the 1990s to cover the whole of Finland. The systematic recording of the installed equipment and the maintenance measures performed on it in the databases, which began at that time, raised the speed of the service to a whole new level.
Metos Center was completed in Kerava in 2002.
- In 2002, Metos expanded its operations in Italy by buying several manufacturing units.
- In 2002-2003, Metos expanded its operations in Belgium and the Netherlands buy acquiring companies focused on production and project deliveries.
- In 2002, Metos Center, Europe’s largest professional kitchen equipment exhibition and training centre, was opened in Kerava, Finland.
- In 2004, Metos found a new owner, when Italian Ali Group acquired the shares of Hackman Oyj.