For the Love of ItalOven
ItalOven is one of our featured Virtual Exhibitors for the HOMEMAKERS virtual event starting on 1 September 2020. Managing Director, Cedric Burger and Director, Elsa-Marie Fouche have collectively built the brand for over 21 years and offer customers a wide variety of choices, products and services. The company was established in 1984 in Cape Town, making ItalOven one of the leaders in pizza ovens and other braai-related products.
We were lucky enough to ask both Cedric and Elsa-Marie a few questions, which bagged us a lunch date with the two at Cedric’s home, to see his oven in action for ourselves.
Why should homeowners own a pizza oven?
“The versatility of the pizza oven is great! You can cook, grill and bake in one. From boiling up some hearty stews to baking your Ouma’s favourite rusks – the pizza oven is way more diverse than we give it credit for. It is also very light on fuel. You do not need many pieces of wood to heat your oven for a simple dish,” says Cedric. Customers regularly play “show and tell” by sharing their new food experiments in their pizza ovens with the ItalOven team.
Elsa-Marie continues, “We have made many different specifications to our ovens giving customers more variety”. Pizza ovens have a very long lifespan if they are installed correctly. She says “the secret to a good pizza oven is in the materials and layers used when making the oven”.
Do you offer any other products or services?
“We also specialise in the installation of outdoor kitchens and everything that goes with that. Some clients require more than just a pizza oven. They want the oven, the braai, the fire pit, the bar fridges etc. We supply all of that”, says Cedric. Elsa-Marie says they are also the only company that installs hand-built traditional Italian ovens in South Africa, which is a speciality job in its own right. “Our designs allow you to keep a constant temperature, which is something very few pizza oven designers can replicate,” she says.
Grade your love for pizza from 1 to 10?
“Well, we both also own pizza joints with a lot of happy customers – so there’s your answer”, laughs Cedric.
How has 2020 changed the way you do business?
During lockdown level 5, ItalOven could not do business as usual, but as soon as they could, they were very busy. “In retrospect, lockdown led to cold ovens, and that was good for upgrades and repairs – ovens take about 56 hours to cool down before you can get to work on them,” says Cedric.
“The other thing is that we get customers from all over the country and I do not have to visit these people anymore to do a quote. Everything can be done online and it also saves money, because sometimes quotes get turned down – even after you’ve travelled hundreds of kilometres to a potential new client,” says Cedric.
Now customers can just give ItalOven a video call and show them the area and what needs to be done. “We have always been very active on social platforms and being visually available during the HOMEMAKERS virtual event is very beneficial for us,” says Elsa-Marie.