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.
Al Contarino, Inventor of the KettlePizza, With One of the First Prototypes
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.
George Peters Showing the Current Made in USA KettlePizza and Accessories
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.
Al and His Son Inspecting the Laser Manufacturing Process in Southern New Hampshire
George Inspecting the Custom Bolt Manufacturing Process in Southeast Massachusetts KettlePizza has grown and now is shipping product around the world. We are very proud to be a "net exporter" helping to balance the US trade deficit. We feel that manufacturing in the United States is still, and has always been, very important. Over the years, there has been a steady decline in manufacturing jobs and fewer and fewer people are looking to manufacturing for future employment. One big problem is that manufacturing is directly to connected to design, engineering and innovation. In our opinion, innovation is one of the things that makes our country great and one of the things that will keep our economy growing. We feel that staying committed to American manufacturing will help our country. It is our way of giving back.
This Video Helps People Understand the Importance of US Manufacturing: