In the heart of the Kent countryside where people enjoy pheasant shooting and quad biking, an odd-looking thatched structure stands with some garden furniture underneath.

This is a lapa, a large South African gazebo-style structure, which has made its way to these shores thanks to entrepreneur and Great Britain triathlete Craig Ormiston.

His Borough Green-based business the Lapa Company celebrates its 10th anniversary this year in far better shape than it was when he started the company with a computer and a phone in his infant daughters bedroom in Kings Hill.

Craig Ormiston, with one of the lapas his company installed at Kentfield Country Estate in Offham

In its first month, the company made 123 from selling two wooden poles it imported from South Africa to build its lapas. Today, it is a near 2 million turnover a year business, building a range of outdoor living structures.

They are stunning, said Mr Ormiston, who was inspired to set up the company by his South African wife Vanessa.

They are very simple. There is nothing in the UK like the traditional lapa, which is made out of hard wood with a thatched roof.

No one uses traditional techniques from South Africa to construct the products.

Part of the lapas success has been down to the long time it takes to make them. Each takes four to five weeks to construct, which limits the amount the firms 12 staff can build each year. It also makes the product more exclusive.

Typically the business makes eight to 10 lapas every 12 months, selling for up to 30,000.

View post:
The Lapa Company in Borough Green celebrates 10th anniversary of making African-themed buildings

Related Post
February 25, 2015 at 8:12 pm by admin
Category: Gazebos