It’s yet another rainy Monday which means that it’s a perfect time to meet a sporty and motivating young man, whose past entrepreurship experiences will definitely bring cozy summer nights to your mind. Meet Hardi-Mikk!
Introduce yourself briefly
I am a 21-year-old student and a small entrepreneur from Haapsalu.
Three facts about you
- I’m crazy about alpine skiing: I would go and do it any hour of the day.
- I’m a foodie.
- I have played tennis for 14,5 years.
How were the Hoov and Ruum created, and what exactly are they?
Hoov and Ruum are two bars, one building apart from each other, in the heart of Haapsalu Old Town. Hoov is an outdoor bar, and Ruum is an indoor bar, as the names (in Estonian) suggest. It all started with the idea that young people in Haapsalu did not have a place where they could spend their time and socialize, to have a drink or two and to dance until the late hours. As I was completely inexperienced in running a business, I didn’t want to go on this journey alone, so I decided to talk about the idea with a couple of very good friends, who were sceptical at first, but were later happy to come along with my idea. I wouldn’t have ever been able to do it as well without them, as we have come so far together.
It took much longer to build Hoov than we had anticipated, and there was a lot of uncertainty involved in the process, so we just had to start and then learn on the go. That’s how it went! It took about 4-5 months to get the whole thing done because we were all freshmen, and we didn’t have a lot of money, so we decided to build and do as much as we could ourselves. Green thinking and recycling is a growing trend, and we were able to tackle that as well. The opening took place in the second half of May. There were many thoughts on my mind that day, and when the first early customers were ordering cocktails, we were only finishing installing the last terrace boards. Everything went insanely fast. During the evening, around 1000 people visited us. By the end of the evening, we were extremely happy about the fact that we could reach so many people with what we were doing. “Every year we will open one more place,” we had jokingly told each other afterwards, but so far, this has been exactly the case. We knew we wanted something more right after the summer and one season of operating in Hoov. This is where the story of Ruum began, and thanks to our previous experience, its development was much faster and more conscious. In May-June 2020, we had already opened two venues. We are still utterly satisfied and hopefully, we will continue to grow more.
What was the hardest part about opening the venues or keeping up with your daily work?
I really like the field I work in and I would say that there is nothing overwhelmingly difficult but sometimes I would like to get more sleep because I also work at the bar and at times I work even until the morning hours.
Are there any other plans to open a bar in the future, or are there any other ideas?
The short-term plan is to open 3 more bars outside Haapsalu. The long-term plan is to expand to Europe and to create a franchise. There are also plans to enter the alcohol and bar accessories market, but we will talk about it when the time comes.
If you could set aside all responsibilities at the moment and the covid didn’t exist, where would you go or what would you do?
I would take the first plane to go skiing in Austria, as it is my second favourite hobby next to tennis.
What are your favorite bars or restaurants in Estonia not including your own bars?
There are actually a lot of good venues but to name a few, I really like Kaif, Underground Frank, Väike Kuuba, Kärme Küülik, Mon Repos, Dietrich.
What else do you do other than managing Hoov and Ruum, if you happen to have some free time left?
I try to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends. I also play tennis and train in my free time. From time to time, I also like to try new food. In summer, I like to go to the sea, where it’s peaceful and the sun is shining, as it acts as a good break before going to work at the bar.