In 2011, Kristian Tapaninaho, the inventor of Uuni, was happily getting into pizza making, and his wife Darina and little boy Oskari were big fans of his food. But, he kept coming up against the same hurdle — ‘my pizzas are good, but they’re not great.’ The pizzas lacked that sought after wood-fired flavour that a domestic oven simply can’t provide. Kristian went on the hunt for a pizza oven and realised current options were expensive and weren’t portable. So, he decided to solve the problem himself and designed his own small, cost-effective wood-fired oven.
Kristian wasn’t an inventor, an engineer or a product designer, but he had a great idea and the passion to create it. This is how Uuni (‘oven’ in Finnish) was born. After a series of sketches, a number of prototypes and testing his oven in his backyard, Kristian had made the first affordable and portable wood-fired oven.
To coincide with Kickstarter launching in the U.K., Kristian launched the Uuni project on the crowd-funding platform. The funding raised more than surpassed the goal he set and he established a global audience from the outset.
Uuni was launched on Kickstarter in November 2012 with huge success. The company reached its funding goal within two weeks and successful achieved more than 220% its funding goal by the end of the campaign. The campaign captured the imagination on the pizza community and drew supporters from around the world.
Born and raised in Pyhäsalmi, Finland, Kristian had design ingrained in him from an early age. His family owned a small supermarket with an on-site bakery that he helped his mother, Kasia, run. Most mornings started at 4 a.m. and required a lot of dedication, learning everything there is to know about baking. His upbringing has enabled Kristian to hone his pizza craft, where his eye is not just on product design and development, but on the end product and the foods and flavours as well.
Kristian & Darina and their little boys Oskari (5) and Otto (3) very much live the Uuni lifestyle. Having recently relocated from London to Edinburgh, they are entrepreneurs with a busy family life, but who love spending time together making great food, developing recipes and socialising with friends. The Uuni site uuni.net is a great place to find recipe and ideas and see the Uuni in action on their YouTube channel.
The Uuni team and product range is growing rapidly. The company has won multiple awards for design, innovation and business and now ships to over 60 countries around the world. Uuni is delighted to have a strong community of customers and supporters from across the globe. Uuni grew 235% in 2015 and 340% in 2016 meaning the team are on track to reach their ambitious goal of being one of the top 5 global outdoor cooking brands by 2020.