The house was built by contractor Matti Kitunen, who started running the store in 1868. He was one of the storekeepers who were longest in the business in the 19th century. Kitunen was also the first commoner to be elected chairman of the municipal assembly (in the years 1875-1878). Until then, all the chairmen had been members of higher social classes.
After Kitunen filed for bankruptcy, Andrej Klementjeff continued the business, becoming one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs of the village. He was also one of the wealthiest ship owners in his time, whose many ships included e.g. Sulkava’s first steamship, “Aalto”, completed in 1890.
In 1903, the store passed to Klementjeff’s heirs, from whom Juho Hintsanen bought it five years later.