Santa Cruz Sentinel article
by Ann Parker
Sentinel Food Writer
The company has a story of its own. In the early 1990s, Andrea Mugnaini became the exclusive North American importer for Refrattari Valoriani — a company commissioned by the postwar Italian government to design the first prefabricated wood-burning ovens more than 50 years ago. Located in Tuscany, the third-generation business owners were dubious when Andrea first proposed selling their ovens, but the partnership they struck has been beneficial for both sides.
A dozen years later, business is booming; Mugnaini ships hundreds of the ovens across North America annually. Clients receive a complimentary cooking class and access to a private online Web site offering recipes and information about private events. And Andrea leads biannual customer culinary programs in Tuscany, including a tour of the now-thriving Refrattari Valoriani factory.