A Scandinavian kitchen design company based three hours from Helsinki is opening a new showroom in May at the corner of Lake & James.
Björn Freudenthal, vice president of sales and marketing in North America, said Puustelli’s showroom is different than most. Customers will walk in to find a large demonstration kitchen, flex lounge and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Kids can play in a children’s area while parents walk through mudroom, bathroom, laundry and home office spaces. With five kitchen vignettes in the showroom, staff members are also planning cook-offs and other events.
“We envision talented local chefs visiting our events and we envision fun cooking classes offered by our very own co-owner Chef Anna from Finland,” Freudenthal said in an email. “The idea is to have homeowners come in and experience a Puustelli kitchen and play with it.”
Freudenthal said staff see a chance to provide an alternative to ultra high-end European furnishings at a lower price and a comparable level of quality.
The Miinus kitchen line is built around a biocomposite frame that doesn’t expand or contract in high-moisture areas. There are no volatile organic compounds and no formaldehyde added in cabinetry making to impact indoor air quality. According to a 2012 press release put out by VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, the biocomposite design aims to achieve the smallest environmental impact possible.
Ceramic countertops are scratch-resistant and nonporous to prevent stains. Freudenthal said the countertop is extremely durable, withstanding more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
“The only thing that’s harder than that is a diamond,” he said.
The showroom is opening at a newly constructed office building at Lake & James, which also houses Peterssen/Keller Architecture and Clinic Femina. It’s a spot where 15,000 vehicles pass daily, Freudenthal said, and he praised the building’s architecture.
“This looks like us, more modern,” he said.
Design concepts by Puustelli range from darker industrial Brooklyn-based styles to simple and fresh Asian-influenced looks and European aesthetics with earth tones and graphics.
“The Scandinavian and Nordic roots that are here, they are drawn to the roots in the design,” Freudenthal said.
Puustelli will appear at the Minneapolis Convention Center’s Home & Garden Show Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5, as well as the Southwest Home Improvement Fair March 25 at Burroughs Community School.