Family company in the third generation
Our family's roots are in Karelia, which our grandparents, Eino and Toini (in the picture), had to leave behind during the the Second World War. In 1947 they bought land near Helsinki and started farming. The farm was named Tuomelan Tila (Bird Cherry Farm) and so starts our family company's story.
Helsinki and cottage life
At first our grandparents were farmers, until Eino noticed that people from Helsinki started to build summer cottages nearby at the forest lakes. Because Eino was an innovative man, he decided to build lakeside rental cottages, thus becoming a pioneer in the Finnish cottage rental business.
"I don´t care, I´ll just put a road there!"
In the local community people thought that Eino was a bit soft in the head. "No one will rent a cottage so far from Helsinki and there is not even a road to the lake!" they said, but it didn't stop Eino. Instead he built a road through the woods and swamps so that people could reach the cottages.
Six cottages in ten years
In the following ten years, Eino built six wooden summer cottages. Their floor plan was the same as the home that had been left behind to Karelia. Eino's brother Armas helped with the construction. The first summer cottage is still in our family's use. Eino finished the last one in 1977 when he was 62 years old.
The time of log cottages
Our father Teuvo had been interested in building since he was a child. In 1972 he asked Eino if he could build a cottage. Eino said "You go ahead and build, I am too tired".
Teuvo wanted to hand carve the cottages from logs and make the cottages liveable year-around. He cut the timber from our own forest on top of Haukkamäki (Hawkhill). Teuvo first built Villa Armas, that again had the same familiar floor plan from Karelia and later he built Villa Eino and Villa Anna.
Named after family members
Our guests often ask where do the names of the cottages came from. Eino was our grandfather, Armas was his brother and Anna their sister. All the cottages are named after family members. It's our way of keeping them in our minds and remind ourselves of the company's roots.
Deadwood log villas and the third generation
In 2011 it was time for the next generation. The five summer cottages our grandfather had built needed renovation and we decided to rebuild them as high-quality hand-carved log cottages. We focused on quality over quantity and wanted the cottages to fit the surrounding woods of Nuuksio National Park as well as possible.
According to our father if you wanted to build the best possible cottage, you must build from hundreds of years old deadwood (or snag), and so we did. The first deadwood log cottage, Villa Taavetti, was finished in 2012. It was followed by Villa Maria in 2014 and Villa Juhani 2017.
Vacation rentals and business events
During the past years we have focused on building new as well as developing our business. With our new high-end log cottages, we have started to attract business events from meetings to customer events and recreational days. Currently half of our revenue comes from business guests. We offer accommodation, catering and all sorts of nature inspired activities to our guests. We are transforming our business from plainly renting cottages to a full-service house that provides its customers all the services from accommodation to activities. We want to take care of our guests, so that they can enjoy their stay in the woods.
Future of the family company?
We will be finishing our last deadwood cottage, Villa Adele, by May 2020. The villa will will incorporate everything we have learnt in the last almost 60 years of travel business. We aim for it, and all of our cottages, to be one of the finest in Finland. We are now and continue to be a sustainable Finnish company that respects nature all the way. Everything we do, we do properly and out of our passion for our work. Our grandfather was an innovator, ahead of his time, when he started building summer cottages and we want to continue on that path. Our mission is to be part of developing sustainable Finnish tourism and restoring peoples connection to nature. The fourth generation has already been helping around the family business, so we think the future is looking quite bright!