Story of Ooni
Ooni is an outdoor cookware company founded by husband-and-wife team, Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, in 2012.
Ooni revolutionised outdoor cooking when we created a new category and launched the world’s first portable wood-fired pizza oven. Ooni pizza ovens give users the ability to cook world-class pizza in their own backyard in just 60 seconds, heating up to double the temperature of a domestic oven in 20 minutes or less, and costing a fraction of the price of traditional wood-fired ovens.
Why we do what we do
“Connecting people through exceptional food experiences”
Ooni was born out of Kristian’s desire to make awesome pizza at home for his family. The magic of Ooni is not just in the fantastic physical products we make, nor in the delicious food they allow everyone to cook - it’s in the bringing together of people to share in that end product. We love to invent, we love to cook, but most of all we love to share it all with others. That is Ooni.
How it all happened
In 2011, Kristian and Darina were running a creative education company to encourage creativity, innovation and problem solving within school communities.
Kristian was happily getting into making pizza at home. But, he kept coming up against the same hurdle — ‘my pizzas are good, but they’re not great.’ The pizzas he was able to make at home lacked that restaurant-quality taste that comes from a very high heat. Their domestic oven just wasn’t cutting it.
Kristian went on the hunt for a wood-fired pizza oven to use at home, but the only products on the market were very expensive and bulky. Kristian wasn’t an inventor, an engineer or a product designer, but he had a problem that needed solving and he had a great idea. He decided to solve the problem by designing Ooni – a fast, portable, cost-effective, kick-ass wood-fired oven.
This is how Ooni was born: with a simple passion for wanting to cook brilliant pizza at home. After a series of sketches, a number of prototypes and ongoing backyard testing, Kristian created the world’s first ever portable wood-fired pizza oven.
With a passionate vision and great prototype, Kristian and Darina launched their first Ooni project on Kickstarter in November 2012. They quickly swept past their funding goal, and Ooni established a global audience from the outset. It turns out there’s little that unites people more than awesome pizza! It blew folks’ minds to cook incredible pizza in just 60 seconds using their own outdoor oven, for such an affordable price. The product quickly drew supporters, media and retailer interest from around the world.
The story so far
Ooni has continued to define this new cookware category with the release of further pizza oven models – currently including Uuni 3, for 12" pizzas, and Uuni Pro, for 16" pizzas – as well as a comprehensive range of must-have accessories for passionate pizzaiolos and a complementary cast iron cookware series for use in Ooni pizza ovens.
Since its launch, Ooni has grown into a multi-award-winning, family-run business. Based in Scotland, Ooni sells its products all over the world from the USA to Australia, and has a passionate online community alongside outstanding customer reviews across multiple platforms.
Ooni’s growing reputation and quality products have fostered retailer partnerships with some of the world's most trusted and respected retailers and distributors.
Ooni changed the spelling of its name from Uuni to Ooni in July 2018 – read more about this change here.
The Future of Ooni
In the few years since we started, Ooni has won multiple awards for design, innovation and business, and we now ship to over 80 countries around the world, and have seen phenomenal year-on-year growth.
With brilliant products, an innovative product road map, our Ooni Impact Fund, stand-out customer service, a world-class team and passionate global community, we’re on track to realize our ambitious goal of being the world’s number one pizza oven brand by the end of 2020. In pizza we trust!
Nordic roots, creativity and connection
Our products are praised for their Nordic aesthetic – Kristian grew up in Pyhäsalmi, Finland, instilling him with a love for simple, functional design, excellent food and outdoor living. As a boy, his family owned a small supermarket where he helped his mother run the on-site bakery and learned the fundamentals of baking. Now, as CEO (and our resident pizza dough expert) he keeps an eye not just on product design and development, but also on the dishes and flavours cooked in Ooni, too.
Darina’s passion is for people, with a background in innovation and education that’s seen her create platforms and events for bringing passionate people together. As Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at Ooni, she leads on all things culture – from communications to outstanding Ooni experiences for customers, to developing the Ooni team and building new partnerships.
Passion: We are fired up. We love what we do – we love making great food, better friends and awesome products that bring people together. Our passion for ‘making it happen’ fuels our success.
Rigour: We know our products are rock solid, because as individuals and as a team, we’re thorough – it ain’t half baked. We geek out over the little details in order to deliver game-changing product experiences.
Innovation: We invented Ooni to solve a problem. Before the first Ooni, wood-fired ovens were hard to come by, bulky and expensive. Innovation is our foundation, and it remains the heart of who we are, both in our products and in the way we work.
Kindness: you can be a fantastic business, make some dough and be kind at the same time. We believe in doing business with honesty and heart. We were born as a family, and as we grow we do it with kindness towards team members, business partners and customers. We believe in building good and in paying it forward.
Ambition: You can’t heat an oven to 932°F in 10 minutes. Yes, we can. You can’t cook a pizza in 60 seconds. Yes, we can. We were built on disruptive speed and challenge ourselves to grow as a globally recognised brand. Our ambition is fuelled by a desire to enable exceptional food experiences around the world.
Darina and Kristian have made sure to hire new staff thoughtfully, seeking and attracting highly motivated A-players who are aligned with Ooni’s values. As we’ve scaled, we’ve been so excited to attract new team members, with long-time friends and new recruits moving from far and wide to join our team. The development of our staff is a priority – a happy, diverse, motivated team is vital to fulfilling our goals. Being fuelled with communal meals and great pizza helps!
Ooni’s core purpose is to connect people through exceptional food experiences, with a thriving online community to match. We love to see the amazing dishes that people are cooking with Ooni around the world through our Ooni Community group on Facebook. Our community inspire us every day to create new, exciting products.
Ooni has strong customer and community engagement, average five-star customer reviews, and excellent media coverage. In addition to selling directly ourselves, we have a great network of trusted retailers and distributors that are loving helping us shout about Ooni’s virtues!
Ooni is passionate about being a company for good. We’ve developed the Ooni Impact Fund, which donates 1% of all revenue to social and environmental causes. To date, Ooni has also planted tens of thousands of trees in the US through our partnership with the National Forest Foundation. We are always learning and are keen to create the most ‘impactful impact’ as we scale.