Perhaps no Nigerian has heard of the word ‘Ooni’ other than being the name of the throne of the Arole Oduduwa, the Ile-Ife monarch.
The reverred first-class monarch, who is the number one oba in Yoruba land, is known as the Ooni of Ife. He is the representative of the Yoruba progenitor, Oduduwa, according to history. The Ooni of Ife is the permanent Deputy National Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria.
But the name has surfaced in Edunburgh, Scotland, where a white couple manufacturing the world’s first portable wood-pellet fired pizza oven, named the firm Ooni . Though originally established as Uuni, which means ‘oven’ in Finnish, in 2012, the couple renamed the firm Ooni in 2018.
Ooni is owned by Darina Garland and Kristian Tapaninaho who met while studying photography in Rochester, Kent in 2004.
According to a UK company, EY, Darina is the Chief Experience Officer while Tapaninaho is the Chief Executive Officer at Ooni.
Ooni Pizza Ovens, the world’s number 1 pizza oven company, was originally launched through a crowdfunding campaign.The company has grown from seven people in 2017 to a team of over 120 employees, doing everything from design, sales and marketing in-house, across offices in Scotland, Germany and the USA. They have also created a brand new category of outdoor pizza ovens that fit in any outdoor space.
Darina and Tapaninaho, both 40, are a couple team who have worked on various businesses and projects together for almost 15 years. They started their first company together straight out of university before going on to establish Ooni in 2012.
Ooni has won several awards, including the Retailers’ Choice Award at Glee Birmingham in 2015.
As of today the net worth of Ooni Pizza Ovens is £3.3 million while total current assets stand at £4.2 million.
As it is, the name ‘Ooni’ may begin to acquire global recognition in addition to being the name of the throne of the Arole Oduduwa, a classy king whose nationalities are also indigenes of some West African countries as well as Brazil and Cuba.