Pyhäjoki & Neighbourhood
Neea Heinula työskentelee äitinsä Netta Grekulan omistamassa Katri ja Aleksi -kahvila-ravintolassa. Ravintola on saanut nimensä Netan isovanhempien mukaan.

Neea Heinula works at café-restaurant Katri ja Aleksi, owned by her mother Netta Grekula. The restaurant was named after Netta’s grandparents. Photos: Kai Tirkkonen

Entrepreneur completes his work on time and as agreed

Toni Grekula from Pyhäjoki says that an entrepreneur’s best reference is being true to one’s word.

The Grekula family is a family of entrepreneurs. Diversified entrepreneur Toni Grekula manages transport company Liikenne Grekula and does machinery contracting, while his wife Netta runs the café-restaurant Katri ja Aleksi. In addition to these businesses, they rent apartments and machines. They also did stonework a while back, but have since abandoned the production of shale.

“The business has got a little out of hand,” Toni Grekula admits.

There are entrepreneurs on both sides of the family. Netta Grekula says that her grandmother had a café in the village and her grandfather was a tailor. She named her café after her grandmother Katriina and grandfather Aleksi.

Toni Grekula says that an entrepreneur’s best reference is being true to one’s word: taking care of what was agreed.

Whole family involved

Netta’s children from her previous marriage are closely involved in the life of the entrepreneur couple. Her daughter Neea is the most involved: she can fluently transfer from the café to behind the wheel of a taxi or a bus. Netta, who used to be a taxi driver, can also drive a vehicle when required. Several family members have a bus driver’s license.

“I guess you have to be somewhat crazy,” the Grekulas say when talking about their entrepreneurship.

The story of Liikenne Grekula started a little over ten years ago, when the company purchased its first minibus. The taxi service started around the same time.

Fennovoima speeded up the first steps of the company, as it needed someone to transport visitors to the Hanhikivi peninsula. The Grekulas laugh when describing how they purchased their first presentable bus at night from Southern Finland, only a couple of days before the first booked tour.

Since then, they have purchased more stock and expanded the operations, and Toni Grekula has become a full-time entrepreneur. Now they have around a dozen vehicles ranging from buses to trucks. In addition to taxi service and charter traffic, the Grekulas handle school transport. Offering taxi service to customers of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) means that someone has to be on call at all times, most often the entrepreneur himself.

Toni Grekula admits that the running of the company, which employs less than ten people, takes a lot of time. In addition to developing and marketing the company, the entrepreneur must be involved in all daily operations.

“24/7,” he says when asked about his normal week.

As promised

Toni Grekula says that an entrepreneur’s best reference is being true to one’s word: taking care of what was agreed, such as transporting thousands of visitors during a Hanhikivi 1 open house event or making sure that Fennovoima employees get to the airport on time.

In addition, you must be able to handle uncertainty, and self-discipline is another important word for Grekula. You must also clear some room for hobbies, such as cross-country biking or a short trip with the wife.

Netta Grekula says that being a grandparent is a great way of getting away from the job. What could be better than bustling around with two kids under the age of two?

“We should decide where to build a play house in our yard. Being a grandparent is the best time of your life!”

Liikenne Grekula’s stock includes vehicles for almost any occasion from personnel transport to freight traffic and machinery contracting. As a small entrepreneur, Toni Grekula is always involved in the daily operations of his company, meaning that he is often driving a vehicle himself or on stand-by to leave at any time.

 

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