- Located in the peaceful embrace of the archipelago, the irresistible Uusikaupunki convinced Anne Lundelin and Timo Etula to leave behind the rat race of growth centres. The active and developing Uusikaupunki is the perfect place for children to grow and an excellent base of operations for two energetic entrepreneurs.
The large terrace facing the sea is bathing in the golden sun of late spring. Timo suggests we carry our shoes, as the broad planks have been freshly treated and it’s still better to walk barefoot.
Timo and Anne’s brand new log house fits astoundingly well by a dirt road, among the houses of the historical wooden house area.
From the beginning, the couple had thought it would be important to have a home that would reflect its surroundings.
“Right from the start, it was clear to us that we wanted a breathable, natural log house.
At first, we tried looking for a ready-built house either by the seashore or in the city centre, but it didn’t take long before we decided to plan building a house of our own,” Anne explains.
By chance, a suitable plot was ultimately found in the wooden house area, right in the outskirts of the city centre. The couple renovated the small house at the edge of the property and then started building a more suitable home for the family of four beside it.
“The plot is the reason why we decided on this one, but we also ended up renovating that old wooden house over there in the process. In fact, it’s a very nice house, too,” says Timo, who works as a construction entrepreneur.
After three busy years working on the construction side of things, the finish line is finally in sight. All that’s missing are a few finishing touches on the house, and tenants have already been found for the smaller house as well.
Next up on the family’s list of things to buy is a boat. And, with the Uusikaupunki setting, that’s only fitting.
“Uusikaupunki is a real boater’s paradise. You can get to the archipelago and out to the open sea in no time at all,” says Timo.
The active family can appreciate Uusikaupunki’s extensive offering of leisure activities. The children in lower secondary school play basketball, Timo plays floorball and all four family members make good use of Uusikaupunki’s offering of outdoor activities and sports.
“At the moment, in addition to our regular hobbies, our family actively plays padel and frisbee golf, for which the city has excellent opportunities. Just a stone’s throw away, there are eight unique frisbee golf courts and a padel court, which was completed last summer. The mountain bike routes have also been improved, and the opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities are good,” says Anne.
“We have many such sports here that aren’t even available in all of the biggest cities. For example, we’ve got that ski pipe,” Timo points out.
As for the youngest members of the family, Timo says that settling down in Uusikaupunki has given them more initiative and everyday creativity.
“We have everything that children in lower secondary school could need, and we’re not so strictly bound by set schedules or driving our kids to and fro. Now, they’ve also got more initiative to do their own things, as the threshold for all kinds of activities is so low here and the distances are so short. If we got the idea to, say, go for a swim or play some frisbee golf, it wouldn’t take very long at all before we’d have everyone together and the game set, so to speak.”
The entrepreneur couple was also fascinated by the growing Uusikaupunki’s bold approach to development. Innovative companies, the extensive job offering and the Wintteri education and welfare centre are examples of exciting development in the city.
The positive atmosphere rich with ideas is a good environment to work in and develop new things. Timo’s construction company operates primarily in Uusikaupunki and its surrounding area, and Anne mainly works remotely from her home office.
“Once a week, I’ll go to the office in Helsinki, which is also no problem if I drive to Turku and take the train there the rest of the way. That way, you can make good use of the commute itself for doing some work as well,” says Anne.
The couple says that they find it inspiring how the entrepreneur spirit shows in everything. For instance, Uusikaupunki has a plethora of brick-and-mortar companies and restaurants full of personality, and the level of service is something people invest in.
“We try to support local services whenever we can, so that they’ll continue to be available. The offering is much more extensive than you would initially think. While Uusikaupunki may be a small town, it has the offering of a bigger city,” Anne says.
Now, having lived in Uusikaupunki for three years, Timo is ready to dub the city the sunniest place in Finland. However, Anne pulls him back on that as the title is already taken.
“But surely Uusikaupunki’s spirit shines the brightest. Yup, Uusikaupunki is definitely Finland’s sunniest in spirit,” Timo says, and Anne seems to agree with this description.
Uusikaupunki – the town with the sunniest spirit in Finland. Sounds about right.