Urban Bonfire Co-Founder and President, Ryan Bloom, recently sat down with our Director of Content and Growth, Josh Cooperman, who also hosts and produces the Convo by Design podcast. In this conversation, Ryan shares Urban Bonfire’s origin story, from the bonfire at his family’s country house, to a 400 square feet outdoor kitchen appliance store in Montreal, to a full-service design and manufacturing company specializing in high-performance outdoor kitchens for clients and partners throughout North America.
The bonfire “became a community gathering place for the people around our lake. It was the greatest joy of my youth. (...) What I wanted to do with Urban Bonfire, in the original iteration, was to merge the country sweet with the city smart. The urban need for style, design, curation and merchandising.”
He shares his and Co-Founder Stefan Marchant’s inspiration and engineering behind Urban Bonfire’s line of outdoor kitchens and accessories, the features of the Bonfire framework like the flexibility and adaptability of the track system, the versatility of the self-leveling toe kick, and the brand’s design philosophy.
“We engineered thoughtful features that the consumer, dealer, designer, installer would find useful and beneficial and further promote the idea that it doesn't have to be complicated to achieve the aesthetic and the useful end-result that the consumer is looking for. And we did this with a constant need and thirst to improve.”
He explains, “if it doesn’t work indoors, we’re not going to do it outdoors. [...] We fundamentally believe that we are actually doing a service to the consumer on a long-term basis. [...] If you decide you want to switch out your garbage and recycling module, you can pop it out -- you don't even need a screwdriver -- and replace it with more storage space, another shelf or another drawer. This ease and flexibility of adapting to user experience in real-time terms is very important to us because I consider our product to be a forever product. I want to be in someone’s home for life.”
He finishes with his thoughts on how the outdoor space industry will be forever changed after 2020, and how Urban Bonfire is adapting to these changes. Listen to the full conversation on Apple Podcasts here.