Kuura, the Finnish hot tub store making ripples across Diss
Having moving to the UK from Finland, a mother-of-three is bringing a slice of Scandinavian life along with her after opening up her own hot tub store in Diss.
Jaana-Mari Ala-Korpi opened Kuura, the town’s first ever hot tub showroom, in May – specialising in the wood-fired variety, as well as saunas.
Two months on, the 47-year-old has described a groundswell of interest – with the current difficulty in holidaying abroad leading homeowners to look for ways to add a dash of luxury to their gardens instead .
Originally from Tampere, southern Finland, she moved to Finningham seven years ago after her husband, Raimo, took a job selling compact loaders at a firm in East Harling.
“Hot tubs and saunas are a part of Finnish life,” said Mrs Ala-Korpi, who had worked as the manager of a translation agency in her home country.
“Almost everyone will have a cottage by the lake, which will have a hot tub, or if they don’t, they will know somebody who does.”
“After I moved here, I thought there’s probably a market for this; in Norfolk, you have lots of rural areas where you might not have access to electricity.
“And now people are staying in, not sure if they are going anywhere this summer, so they’re thinking about investing in their homes instead.”
The wood-fired hot tubs she sells, manufactured by Finnish company Kirami, offer a more authentic, sustainable and accessible alternative to the more traditional – here in Britain, that is – electric variety.
“People like the idea of a wood fired hot tub,” said Mrs Ala-Korpi, who now lives in Redgrave.
“Not only are they a beautiful feature in the garden, you can get around five or 10 years from them, too.”
Since opening the showroom, in Cobbs Yard, Mrs Ala-Korpi is delighted with her initial success.
“It’s gone even better than I expected,” she said. “I sometimes hear people walking past the showroom, saying ‘wow, hot tubs, in Diss?’
“People are interested, and they will come in with lots of questions about how they work.
“And I just I adore having a shop here.”
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