One of the most inspiring stories we heard as children dated back to the 17th century. It concerned Martti Marttinen from Rautalampi, who boldly packed a bag with food and headed out into unknown parts of the world. He went to Sweden and then America, where he became known as Morton.

Martti hardly guessed what a huge impact his courage would have on future generations, as indeed he played a part in the birth of the United States of America. In 1776, his great-grandson, Sheriff John Morton, was among the select group that signed the Declaration of Independence.

Our restaurant was named after that story. Following in Martti’s footsteps, 400 years later we filled our bags with food and left our birthplace in Rautalampi to see what the world had to offer. Since 2010, we have been inviting friends to join us in our adventure, to cross boundaries and pursue their dreams. We know that good things happen to good people and believe that the best stories begin wherever people gather around a table.

Martti’s travels changed the world, but our travels are just the beginning. 

Story continues!

Our story is still being written. At the moment, Morton’s Container Restaurant in Helsinki is open all year round, while the other six restaurants are open during the summer season. In addition to Helsinki, there are Morton restaurants in Jyväskylä, Joensuu, Kuopio, Varkaus, Pieksämäki and Rautalampi, and they are open from May to September.

A lot has happened, and a lot more will surely happen. We’re excited to see what’s next. Thanks for being part of our adventure!

Morton Helsinki opens its doors

Morton Helsinki was opened nearby in Ruoholahti as the first Container Restaurant Morton to be open all year round. Even though the restaurant was opened at a challenging time in the middle of the pandemic, it soon became quite popular.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The Finnish entrepreneurship organization Suomen Yrittäjät (the Federation of Finnish Enterprises) chose Morton’s very own Jarna Kaplas as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

The award also led to an invitation to the Finnish Independence Day Celebration held at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.

2014 =>
More Container Restaurants are opened

The Container Restaurant concept turned out to be a successful one, and the restaurants became popular. The Morton restaurant chain expanded little by little to various locations.

The original restaurant in Rautalampi closed its doors in 2014, as the entrepreneurs decided to focus on the Container Restaurant concept.

The first Container Restaurant
- Little John

In 2013, the three entrepreneurs decided to follow Morton’s example and pack up and leave their home village to explore the world, setting up the first Container Restaurant Morton. The idea was created in collaboration with a company that builds shipping containers in Rautalampi.

This first Container Restaurant Morton was a pop-up restaurant that was open for a week as part of the Rautalampi takaisin maailmankartalle (let’s put Rautalampi back on the map) event held in Helsinki.

the first Morton restaurant is opened in Rautalampi

In 2010, three friends in their 20s, Jarna Kaplas, Petri Virta and Iiro Lyytinen, opened the first Morton restaurant in the small village of Rautalampi.

Inspired by the incredible story of John Morton, the trio decided to name their new restaurant after him. After all, the restaurant was located right where his journey began.

4th of July 1776
John Morton signs the Declaration of Independence

John Morton was serving as a congressman for his home state of Pennsylvania when the American colonies seceded from the British Empire.

Morton is said to have arrived late for the historic meeting of the congress but to have been allowed to vote nevertheless. He voted in favor of independence, breaking the tie for Pennsylvania and swinging the vote in favor of independence, thus contributing to birth of the United States of America.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence is considered the most famous document in the world. John Morton’s signature can be found at the bottom of the Declaration, among those of Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and other great men. Thus, Morton counts as one of the esteemed founding fathers of the nation.

John Morton died about a year after the Declaration was signed. He was the first of the signatories to pass on.

The 1700s
The journey continues to America, the new continent

In the 1700s, many of the families of the slash-and-burn farmers, including Marttinen’s, left Sweden and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to reach the new continent, America. Once in America, the Finns settled on the banks the Delaware River near present-day Philadelphia. Even today, many places in the region have Finnish names that serve as a reminder of the area’s history.

Martti Marttinen also moved to America, where he died at the astonishing age of 106. In America, the Marttinen family changed their name to Morton.

One of their descendants was John Morton, farmer and sheriff, who was also a respected politician and congressman in his state.

The 1600s
Slash-and-burn farmers leave Rautalampi for Sweden

Believe it or not, but this is a true story. In the early 1600s, a group of Savonian slash-and-burn farmers left for Sweden in search of a better life. Martti Marttinen from the mother parish of Rautalampi was one of them. In Sweden, Marttinen was called Mårtensson. The area inhabited by Finns by the border of Norway and Sweden came to be known as Finnskåg, “Finn forest”.