Tim Bourne, from Burgess Hill, joined Happy Hot Tubs in May last year following a 14-year career as a bank manager in Brighton. Tim, 36, outlines the wellness benefits of having a hot tub, the history of the company and the excitement of Happy Hot Tubs opening their eighth outlet at Notcutts, Ditchling.

Said Tim: “Having been around hot tubs for much of my life I know first-hand the positive impact that wellness and water can make. I personally use my hot tub for two things, improved family time with no distractions or devices and a sanctuary at night once my children are asleep, to unwind and forget about everything under the stars.”

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When was the business established and who by?
Happy Hot Tubs was formed in 2006 due to an increased demand for a specialist in after-sales support in the hot tub industry. We are proud to be the UK’s largest retailer of chemicals and covers across three platforms, delivering a total of 60,000 parcels last year alone. But our history started a long time prior to that.

Happy Hot Tubs founder Simon Hallett moved from fibre glassing minesweepers to a small local hot tub manufacturer in 1983. After noticing the dangers of untreated water, in 2002 Simon founded BISHTA (BISHTA is the trade association that represents the British and Irish Hot Tub and Swim Spa Industry) and was first chairman. The organisation still plays a major role in the hot tub industry.
Practically born in a hot tub, Simon’s two sons, James and Ed, and younger daughter Lucy, have been present throughout the years, whether packing parcels in the warehouse or selling and delivering hot tubs. They are a major part of the future of the business and continue to help Happy Hot Tubs flourish in a highly competitive market. Happy Hot Tubs truly is a family business in every sense of the word.

In 2013 Happy Hot Tubs teamed up with Watkins: Hot Spring Manufacturer in Vista, California, and this is where we became a Hot Spring Spa dealer, selling the world’s best-selling hot tub brand, with over one million spas sold. A truly perfect partnership for our customers.

Where was the first site?
In 2006 the Cadnam site was opened and to this day continues to flourish.

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Why did you pick Ditchling?
We have been delivering hot tubs throughout Sussex for a long time, now. Having built up and maintained a successful store in Worthing, with many Happy customers for the past five years the natural next step was to branch out into Mid Sussex and Brighton, where we regularly deliver. And where better than the foot of the downs. When we saw the opportunity to be part of the Nottcuts regeneration project, we couldn’t say no. It’s an amazing setting with a new 300 seat restaurant, new state-of-the-art outdoor plant canopy and a stunning light and airy environment to browse, relax and enjoy your shopping experience. It’s a perfect fit for us.

How has the business evolved?
We have to continue to be at the cutting edge of the UK hot tub industry. The move away from just home-improvement or entertainment, a hot tub is now an investment in your health and well-being. Our owners say that they have more energy, sleep better, and can do more with their day. That their hot tubs alleviate stress, aches and pains and improve your mood. Plus, time spent together in the warm water can lead to better relationships outside of the hot tub.

The Argus: Hot Spring Grandee - seven person hot tubHot Spring Grandee - seven person hot tub

What other sites do you have?
We are very excited to be opening our eighth store in Ditchling. Our other sites include Redditch, Bournemouth, Cadnam, Botley, Fareham, Rowlands Castle & Worthing.

How many people now work for the company?
We are a 30 strong team, from a variety of backgrounds including hospitality, engineering, customer service and finance. A harmonious team working towards one goal, to make sure our customers are happy in every sense of the word. 25 per cent of our workforce have been to the USA for factory training and 80 per cent have experienced international external training in Europe with our manufacturer. We are passionate about developing our employees and their future, we see providing opportunities as a big part of our business. We ensure our team have fun and our wellness is as important as our customers.

Most popular product?
This completely depends on what the customer wants from their hot tub. There is genuinely a tub for everyone! Firstly, visualise what you want the hot tub for. Whether it is to alleviate stress, aches and pains or for improved family time, we will have a tub that is perfect for you.
For myself I wanted a hot tub for my family that was easy to move around in, my children could have fun splashing around in but at the same time I could relax in after my bike rides or for that brief 30 mins of tranquillity once the kids were asleep. So, I went for the Highlife Sovereign - and I wouldn’t be without it.

The Argus: Hot Spring Relay – six-person hot tubHot Spring Relay – six-person hot tub

What are your top tips for buying a hot tub?
Invest once and invest well. Buying a hot tub is incredibly exciting but think long term. Your hot tub could be in your garden for the next 20 years and you need to find the right business that will support you through that time. We at Happy Hot Tubs will do everything to help you maximise your hot tub experience, whether its general water care questions, servicing and maintenance or chemical supplies we will look after you seven days a week. And that’s what makes us different!

What can your customers expect from Happy Hot Tubs?
Better water, better massage and better energy. We supply market leading hot tubs and fitness systems that are the most energy efficient on the market, give you a wellness experience that is unparalleled and give you the quality of water that will make you want to use your Hot tub or Swim Spa more. We will support you through the huge amount of options, finding the perfect product for you and completely oversee every element of delivery, installation and aftercare support.
All of our servicing is in house, we do not outsource anything. Happy Hot Tubs has 10 vans on the road at all times providing servicing and aftercare, our customers can be confident that we are always there for them, no matter what.

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What might people be surprised to know about the business?
We are immensely proud to be the International and UK dealer of the year for Hotspring Spas, the largest producer of Hot tubs in the world having sold their millionth spa in 2011. Hotspring Spas have over 800 dealers worldwide so to win awards makes us immensely proud. We are FCA regulated so customers can be sure they are being treated fairly and can buy in confidence.
Happy Hot Tubs Ditchling will be run by Tim and Gary, who both live locally, and can’t wait to bring the Happy Hot Tubs experience to the local area.

What is next for Happy Hot Tubs?
Keep spreading the wellness message and continue to serve our customers to the best of our ability. The people of Brighton deserve Happy.

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