After several years of successful wood processing from the small Bulgarian village of Chepelare, in the Rhodope mountains, Svetla and Tihomir Todorovs have invested their earnings in a three-storey family hotel which they have called Yola.
"Our business really took off after Echotechproduct, the Bulgarian Wood-Mizer representative demonstrated a band sawmill here", Tihomir reveals.
"We found ourselves witnessing a completely new technology and we and some of our neighbours were sufficiently impressed by its performance to acquire a Wood-Mizer sawmill.
"Since 1993 we had sawn timber, mostly pine, with a small Jonsered band saw and indeed, had watched many sawmills’ varying performances so we knew the good from the bad.
"The thin kerf technology inherent in the Wood-Mizer mills impressed us so much we decided to ‘go the whole hog’ and buy the most productive one. As a result, since 2005, an industrial scale Wood-Mizer LT300 has graced our yard," he adds. Their enthusiasm persists and two years later they bought a second Wood-Mizer, a semi-industrial LT70.
"Of course the LT300 is still the best for me and the LT70 my smaller helper", he confesses.
Despite competition –– there are six other sawmills in the village –– timber sawing proved profitable for the Todorovs. Nevertheless, the family knew they must keep ahead of the game all the time and even diversify. This led to building hotel Yola, which is an acronym of the names of their children, Yolanta, still at school and Lazar, a student. Svetla Todorov comments:
"We produce quality lumber for the local market but we sense the impending crisis as order volumes decline.
"Hence the hotel. In winter we’ll run the hotel for tourists and in summer we’ll saw what we harvested in winter. Such wisdom and prudence will probably pay off for the Todorov family.
"But the timber business is most important to us. It is close to our hearts but we’ll certainly not neglect the hotel and will give it all it needs", concludes Svetla Todorov.
After all: What Yola wants, Yola gets.