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Hobby Becomes Big Hot Tub Business

Wānaka’s Stoked Stainless Steel Hot Tub company which was launched a decade ago was ranked as one of New Zealand’s fastest growing companies in the 2022 Deloitte Fast 50 reinforcing its position as a market leader.

Creating a bespoke wood fired spa tub for relaxation after their mountain biking endeavours started out as a hobby for Dan Young and Andrew Horton but when they decided to base the operation in Wānaka it developed into a fully-fledged operation.

“We met while working at a South Island engineering firm which made tanks for the wine and dairy industries,” says Dan. “We are both sheet metal engineers and the idea for our own hot tub business was spawned from the many hours we spent mountain biking and yarning about how good it would be to have the perfect tub to relax in afterwards.”

“Our personal preferences were different with Andrew keen on a hot tub without jets because he wanted to soak longer to ease his back pain while I wanted to try a tub that wasn’t made of cedar.”

The pair set out to design, plan and prototype a hot tub made from marine grade stainless steel with a wood cladding. It soon very became apparent they were on to a winning design.

“Our expertise was with stainless steel so it was an obvious choice to work with that material and we spent several years refining the prototypes,” he says. “As soon as people tried the hot tubs they loved them and the business grew from the get-go.”

The company has a range of handcrafted cedar wood fired hot tubs and electric spas including the Stoked Stainless Spa Pool, Plunge Pool and Square Spa Pool. In the planning is an ice-cold plunge pool expected to be popular with sports people and health followers.

“During the past ten years we have gone from hand producing one or two tubs a month to our streamlined team rolling out multiple tubs a week with monthly containers of tubs being exported to Australia. The overall hot tub design is still in keeping with the original prototype made from marine grade stainless steel and cedar sourced from British Columbia while insulation is key to ensuring running costs are kept down. We have also patented certain aspects of the design and production is bespoke to our factory.”

“What people like about our hot tubs is that they are functional, beautiful, versatile and handcrafted in New Zealand,” says Dan. “It’s been challenging but also very rewarding and we still get a thrill every time a hot tub rolls out the door.”