Story of Uuni
When good wasn’t enough..
In 2011, Kristian Tapaninaho was happily getting into pizza making. 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 the existing products on the market were very expensive and bulky. So, he decided to solve the problem himself and designed his own small, cost-effective wood-fired oven.
At that time Kristian and his wife Darina were running a creative education company where they often worked with teachers and young people to encourage creativity, innovation and problem solving within schools. Kristian wasn’t an inventor, an engineer or a product designer, but he had a problem he needed solving- how to make a great pizza in any outdoor space- he had a great idea and the passion to create it. This is how Uuni was born: after a series of sketches, a number of prototypes and testing the oven in his backyard, Kristian had made the world’s first portable wood-fired oven. Uuni could heat up in only 10 minutes and cook a pizza in 60 seconds- a true revolution in outdoor cooking!
To coincide with Kickstarter launching in the U.K., Kristian and Darina launched the Uuni project on the crowd-funding platform. The funding raised more than surpassed the goal they set and Uuni established a global audience from the outset. The affordability, innovation of the product captured the imagination on the pizza community and drew supporters from around the world.
Born and raised in Pyhäsalmi, Finland, Kristian had excellent food and a love of outdoor living 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.
Uuni began its journey with the world’s first portable wood-fired pizza oven and we have now have our latest version, the fantastic Uuni 3 which helps people produce delicious food in minutes (even seconds). In 2017 Uuni launched it’s 2nd core product- Uuni Pro which is the world’s first quad-fueled oven. It boasts double the cooking space of Uuni 3 and allows users to cook up to 16 inch pizzas, large breads and joints of meat- so is super-versatile. The Uuni product range also includes lots of accessories to enable brilliant cooking outdoors.
Kristian & Darina and their little boys Oskari and Otto very much live the Uuni lifestyle. Having relocated from London to Edinburgh, they are entrepreneurs with a busy family life, 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. Uuni is delighted to have a strong community of customers and supporters from across the globe. Darina and Kristian have made sure to only hire only A-players that are aligned with the key values of Uuni: Passion, Ambition, Rigour, Kindness and Innovation. We are proud to say that the growing team is exceptional and fully committed to serving our global customer base. Uuni’s purpose is: Connecting People with Exceptional Food Experiences.
The company has won multiple awards for design, innovation and business and now ships to over 80 countries around the world. Uuni has on average grown 250% year on year and is on track to reach our ambitious goal of being one of the top 5 global outdoor cooking brands by 2020.
We are passionate about being a company that is driven by values and we’ve developed an Impact Fund which donates 1% revenue to social and environmental causes.