Dan and Cindy Sarazin are the owners of a small business in Lake Linden called U.P. Foods.
What started out as just jams and jellies has turned into an assortment of Finnish treats sold in local Copper Country grocery stores.
Being a small company located on a road with little traffic presents its challenges, but sweet opportunities are just around the corner for the Sarazins in the form of the FinnFest tori.
â??It gives the businesses of this area a chance to participate, it brings in a large number of people, and a lot of very badly needed dollars to the community, which helps all the way around,â?? explained Sarazin.
The tori will be one of the biggest spectacles at FinnFest with over 90 vendors from across the country and Finland.
An exact headcount of people coming for the festival isnâ??t possible, but the FinnFest board says the tori will be the hotspot for vendors and visitors alike.
"If estimates are five thousand coming to FinnFest, I would say all five thousand of those people will come through the tori, which is kind of the meeting, the gathering place," explained Alana Nolan, the FinnFest Tori chair.
For visitors, the tori will provide a diverse selection of foods, crafts, music, and more to choose from, but vendors like the Sarazins face the challenge of knowing how much they need to prepare.
â??Weâ??re dealing with a perishable product, so you have to try to estimate as best you can that you have enough product to go around, but that you donâ??t overproduce,â?? said Sarazin.
Each business coming to the tori has the task of bringing something unique to the table. The thing that U.P. Foods is bringing that is unique is their Finnish squeaky cheese and their wide variety of jams including thimbleberry jam.
â??It is going to be a challenge for the vendors for the different products,â?? said Nolan. â??You know, how is my sisu shirt different from someone elseâ??s sisu shirt?â??
But the Sarazins say uniqueness is what defines the U.P., not only the products offered, but the service that comes along with it.
â??Our attention to details, our attention to the customers, paying attention, really listening to what they like, what they want, trying to be creative with prices and doing our best for our customers,â?? added Nolan.