At the beginning of 1930s Etolas founder Johan August Etholén worked as a sales manager at the Savio rubber factory. After the Nokia rubber factory bought the Savio factory the entire management of the factory was made redundant. These were the times of depression, and there was no work on offer. However, the father of six had already saved up a small capital for a rainy day, and in 1932 he became his own employer by purchasing three functioning rubber stores.

One of the stores was situated in Turku and two in Helsinki. You can still do business in one of the stores, which is located in Iso Roobertinkatu, Helsinki. Some years later the business started to expand and Johan August Etholén started production of simple rubber products, such as rubber gloves, in the centre of Helsinki at Aleksanterinkatu.

These were the origins of the Etola Group, which today employs a staff of about 1500, 100 of whom are employed by Etola Stores.