“I have been a loyal, dedicated fan of the Kuuma Stove for over 20 years. You see, my experience with AUTHENTIC sauna goes back to when I was traveling around Scandinavia. When I returned to North America as a young man, I vowed to recreate the wonderfulness I experienced in Scandinavia, including an authentic wood burning sauna. I found it with the Kuuma Stove. Even better, I found a family owned third generation stove company in the small town of Tower, MN and its owner Daryl Lamppa. I installed my first sauna stove in my cabin sauna not far from the Lamppa Mfr. factory on Lake Vermilion, Tower, MN.
The stove is still in use today, 25 years later. Moreover, my cabin sauna has given me and my family countless hours of satisfaction, and even more hours of great memories.
I have another Kuuma wood sauna stove steps out my backyard door in Minneapolis, where I have created my “up North backyard retreat” sauna. This sauna has seen more than 1,400 saunas, and is still going strong.
What’s more is that I began building saunas for others, and have lost count with the number of stoves I’ve purchased for now loyal sauna enthusiasts.
I have finished my “build your own” sauna ebook. In the book, I specifically recommend the Kuuma Stove. I am proud and warmed to know that I have, indirectly and directly, steered folks from all over North America to the small town of Tower, MN and Lamppa Manufacturing.
Daryl, to me, embodies many key values. Values that I have tried to embody in my own work and values that I’ve tried to impress upon with my two sons (each of whom have grown up with sauna and take saunas regularly. Their first saunas were before they could even talk or walk!).
More people and more companies, in my opinion, should learn and practice their own versions of Daryl Lamppa’s achievements and values. I would like to summarize a few here:
1. DIY. Daryl epitomizes the Do It Yourself value system that is present in Northern Minnesota. For generations, people have grown up to learn how to make their own devices, and fix things themselves. This value system goes way deeper than saving money. It gives people an identity to their product and empirical knowledge to bring forth to solve other challenges. The DIY ethos empowers one to take control of their own actions and life.
2. Innovation. Though Daryl’s grandfather made sauna stoves, it was Daryl who spent countless hours designing, testing, modifying, perfecting the efficient burning of his sauna stove. Some would laugh and even make fun of his graveyard of welded parts and used materials. But innovation never follows a straight line. Innovation is not efficient. Innovation takes countless tries, left turns that end up nowhere, and thousands of often lonely hours of focus and dedication. Innovation requires dedication. Daryl has dedication. The result? Daryl has harnessed up to 70% more efficiency in the wood burning process thanks to “gasification” – the burning of smoke gas within the heat chamber (vs. losing it up the chimney).
3. Green. In the old days, stoves required a lot of wood to burn. Sauna stoves were all fed from the outside. Main reason is that it took many hours and lots of wood to get a stove up to temperature. It didn’t make sense to Daryl to see smoke going up the chimney. Sure smoke isn’t good for environment, but Daryl saw wasted fuel. Daryl Lamppa was green before there was green. To the Kuuma user, this means one can take a sauna with an armful of quality firewood – just a few sticks – vs. constantly needing to stoke the stove. Green.
4. Dedication. Daryl has quietly gone to work his whole life dedicating himself to the company that has last name on the front door. If he didn’t weld the stove being sent out the door, he at least personally inspected it. This kind of dedication to one’s product is rarely seen today. But it’s coming back. Just like being green before there was green, Daryl epitomizes Made in America pride and dedication to craftsmanship. Enough people have been burned with cheaper goods made overseas to create awareness that there are places in our own country where great products are being staged on loading docks, ready to out perform the competition.
Daryl is a role model for America.
We need more Daryl Lamppa’s. “
Happy New Year guys,
5621 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419