25.10.2019

A genuine family-owned company relies on quality

During its 50-year history, Kouvolan Pesula Ky has adapted to changes in regional structures and markets. When customers get their clothes back clean, undamaged, dry and ironed, mutual satisfaction is guaranteed.

Timo Seppälä is walking through the fresh laundry room, looking at clean and folded clothes. At the beginning of the production line, dirty overalls, tablecloths, towels, sheets, carpets and many other textiles are waiting to be washed. A certain satisfaction shines on the entrepreneur’s face.

Seppälä runs Kouvolan Pesula with his wife Hanna. Seppälä’s mother established the company in 1966, and his father soon joined the team. Timo purchased part of the company in 1991, and he finally took the reins in 2001.

- “When you’ve grown up in a business-minded family, it’s only natural to take the first steps at an early age. Hanna started working in the company in 1996, and she’s in charge of most functions.”

The longstanding family-owned company has always relied on quality. When customers get the right clothes back clean, undamaged, dry and ironed, and on time, everything has gone as planned.

An eco-friendly partnership

Washing with water has always been Kouvolan Pesula’s main service, supplemented by chemical washing. Kiilto delivers separate detergents for white and coloured laundry, as well as for very dirty and sensitive textiles.

- “Cooperation with the then Farmos started as long ago as the mid-1970s. The partnership continued to Kiilto via Lumene, and regardless of what the company has been called, products have always been reliable.”

Seppalä is happy with how Kiilto has been able to respond to their needs, and with how it understands and serves the small company so energetically.

- “Kiilto’s products are effective and their price-to-quality ratio is high. This lays a strong foundation for long-term cooperation. Odourless products, excellent results, even when washing really dirty work clothes, gleaming white sheets and colour-fast laundry speak for themselves.”

According to Seppälä, Kiilto’s competitors have been active but unable to overthrow Kiilto from its strong position, which is also based on its environmentally friendly products.

- “Responsibility for the environment is also emphasised in the laundry industry. All customer groups are showing increasing interest in the environment. Alongside eco-friendly detergents, the sparing use of water is part of environmental responsibility.”

Odourless and clean laundry

The company’s main target group consists of corporate customers operating in the Kouvola region, and private customers who bring their sheets, suits and other household textiles for washing. The City of Kouvola was a major customer for a long time, but a focus on prices resulting from bidding processes put an end to the partnership, at least for the time being.

- “Kouvola has undergone major structural changes that have also had an impact on the laundry industry.” 

These changes have also been reflected in the number of personnel, with the number of external employees dropping to two from a peak of ten. Some local competitors and nationwide chains keep the market active.

- “We’ve also secured our future. We’ve adapted to the new situation, where the amount of laundry from different institutions has decreased. Seasonal variation in demand is also a trend in this industry. In this new situation, we’ve been able to significantly reduce the amount of expensive work carried out during public holidays and reduced the working hours of us entrepreneurs to a reasonable level,”

Seppälä says, standing in the middle of piles of odourless laundry. In Finland, clean laundry no longer smells of any perfume – thanks to odourless detergents. Of course, scented detergents are also available to those who absolutely have to have them.