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KettlePizza founder, Al Contarino is an inventor who had a passion for grilling. His main frustration was that whenever grill lids were opened or removed, all the stored heat would be lost stalling the cooking process. In 2005, he started developing a new type of gas grill that maintained the heat when the lid was opened. Countless hours and a substantial amount of money went into the patented design with the hopes of licensing to a major grill manufacturer. Five years later, Al was completely frustrated with the challenges of licensing his ideas and he decided to focus his efforts on developing a product that he could design, manufacture and market completely on his own. This new product was KettlePizza.
In May of 2010 Al built his first prototype of the KettlePizza. He called his friend and fellow inventor, George Peters, to check out the design of a crude pizza oven insert made to fit on top of common charcoal kettle grills. The prototype seemed to solve the problem of maintaining high temperatures throughout the cooking process and so they decided to invite some friends over for a pizza party. Everyone loved the pizza and the concept. That was all that Al and George needed to hear, they knew they had a winner.
In the upcoming months, Al and George took on the challenge to design, manufacture and sell the KettlePizza right out of Al's barn in Massachusetts. They made the challenge even harder by pledging to source as many of the KettlePizza components as possible from American suppliers. The goal was not just to build a product and a company, but to create US jobs.
Sales started on Ebay, then the KettlePizza website and soon after that Amazon.com. Customers continued to respond and the company had to move to a new manufacturing and distribution center in Groveland, MA. Now, KettlePizza has numerous selling partners, has multiple patents pending and has exported their products to over 50 countries. We feel that our story portrays one of true American ingenuity and success.
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