About this project
Tovala enables you to have healthy, tasty, chef-curated meals – in minutes, at home, with no prep, cooking or cleanup.
All meals are made from scratch using raw, simple, clean ingredients with names you recognize. And no preservatives. Ever.
And you can program the Tovala to cook your own food however you want.
- "The fish was 'shockingly good' according to our reviewers and 'could have passed for something you would order in a restaurant.'" - Business Insider
- "Herb-stuffed chicken with a side of asparagus was a revelation: Juicy, delicious bird with great seasoning. Restaurant-quality good." - Wired
- "This new smart oven will make your tiny kitchen a bit more tolerable." - Food & Wine
- "Then there was the food... It came out bubbly, hearty and satisfying." - Forbes
- "Fantasize with me for a moment: Your office replaces the ancient microwave in your kitchen with a few Tovalas... Your desk lunch could go gourmet in 10-30 minutes..." - Mashable
- "Is this the oven of the future?" - PCMag
- "That's amazing!" - Al Roker, The Today Show
Tovala is a multi-function smart oven and food-delivery plan that work together so you can enjoy delicious, fresh home cooking at the touch of a single button.
All you do is scan your meal’s barcode and press start. In 10 to 30 minutes your meal comes out freshly cooked and ready to eat.
The Tovala steams, bakes, broils, and convection heats just like the combination ovens relied on by professional chefs.
Our delicious Tovala meals are curated by master chefs, made from scratch, and delivered fresh to your doorstep, ready to cook. All you do is scan the barcode and hit start.
The Tovala is a connected smart oven — so you can use your mobile device to cook your own recipes!
With our app, you will have complete control to cook whatever you want, however you want - you'll be able to program anything from a complex sequence of cooking methods to just baking, broiling, or steaming at a specific temperature for a specific time.
This means that Tovala lets you do your own experimenting – go beyond traditional cooking methods by employing both wet and dry heat for maximum effectiveness.
You'll be able to make chicken that’s juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside; vegetables that are firm yet fully cooked (and even lightly charred); and preparation times that are incredibly short.
With all of this control, you can create your own combination of cooking methods to execute your own dishes to perfection, all with one device.
If you make something really special, check out our community for an opportunity to share the love with other Tovala users.
And to reduce waste, we will be producing and selling our own reusable containers that you can use specifically in your Tovala.
The Tovala’s combination of wet and dry heat allows you to cook in a way that’s only been possible in a commercial kitchen — until now.
This pairing lets you achieve many culinary goals in a single smart oven.
The Tovala is unique in its ability to not just steam, bake, broil and convection heat, but also for its ability to instantly switch between these cooking methods. That gives you the same powerful high-end kitchen technology that chefs use themselves – all in a single countertop device the size of a toaster oven.
The Tovala even lets you reheat leftovers without having to use a microwave.It takes just a bit longer, but you’ll avoid a heating method that can ruin your food’s texture in the zapping process.
We ran a quick comparison on a few of our favorite dishes to see how long it takes to reheat them in our Tovala versus a microwave, and you sacrifice only a few minutes on each dish for better taste, texture and overall quality:
We at Tovala are passionate and excited about the idea of empowering home chefs and artisan food makers across the country. We want to give them an opportunity to use their creativity to come up with amazing Tovala meals – and then get their brand out to the entire country. And make money in the process!
We are currently building a Tovala-specific recipe-sharing platform where anyone from cooking enthusiasts to celebrity chefs can create and share their own recipes and cooking combinations. Tovala users will be able to share their creations with the rest of the Tovala community, who can then recreate those dishes on their own.
For recipes that show sustained popularity, we’ll produce the meal ourselves so it can be an option for all of our customers – and we’ll pay royalties to the user who submitted the recipe.
We at Tovala have teamed with master chefs to curate the best possible restaurant-quality meals for you to cook at home. This isn’t just a faster food delivery method designed by tech experts; it’s fine dining at home, made easy through the power of technology.
Tovala’s chefs work in professional kitchens using combination ovens to cook their meals. And since the Tovala was inspired by those ovens, our chefs have been able to create Tovala’s family of meals the same way they make plated entrees in their own restaurants.
Years of experience go into balancing just the right combination of cooking methods to bring out the unique textures and flavors in each Tovala meal.
When you use the Tovala, you get the benefits of all those years of experience in your own kitchen, with almost no effort. That's a very smart oven.
We work with our master chefs to ensure that each meal is its own perfectly executed dish. These same chefs carefully calibrate the Tovala’s combination of cooking methods so your meal comes out precisely the way it was meant to taste.
And with dozens of meals in development, Tovala's recipe library will include meals for paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, keto, and low-sugar dining.
Each weekly menu will consist of four to six options, with a combination of new recipes and popular favorites.
We're building a world-class test kitchen; this will let us develop more meals and expand our rotating menu of Tovala dishes for you to enjoy.
But for now, here are 5 dishes that will be in our rotation that we're excited to share with you:
Each week, Tovala's menu will consist of rotating options that are a combination of popular classics and new creations.
Your selections will ship once a week in our cold-packed Tovala Meal Boxes. Each box will hold two to three meals. You’ll be able to order single or double portions of each recipe, and if you order four or more total meal portions, shipping will be free.
One example of a Tovala Meal Box: two portions of Black Pepper & Coriander Crusted Salmon with two portions of Honey-Roasted Acorn Squash. Another might be one portion of Ginger-Marinated Pork, one portion of Stuffed Chicken, and one portion of Miso-Glazed Sea Bass.
We plan on pricing our meals from $10 to $15 depending on ingredients.
We will ship anywhere in the continental US.
We’re also building a loyalty program, ensuring that the more meals you order, the more you’re rewarded.
We’re still building out our meal packages and delivery program. What we’ve detailed is our plan for launch, but we are more than open to feedback and making changes as we progress. Our goal is to get you the meals you love in a way that you love!
The Tovala smart oven takes the cooking capabilities of professional combination ovens used in commercial kitchens and adds Wi-Fi enabled automation. Like those ovens, the Tovala steams, bakes, broils, and convection heats at up to 550 degrees F, and holds to within a 3 degree F range. Better than those ovens, the Tovala automatically manages the cooking chamber and achieves a range of culinary techniques by rapidly switching between cooking modes.
Sophisticated control algorithms in the microcontroller combine temperature measurements with information from the recipe to regulate the cooking environment thousands of times per second. This means the Tovala accurately controls for differences unique to your home or office, such as ambient temperature and elevation. The result is your meal cooked perfectly from start to finish.
Remotely update oven firmware automatically, just like your favorite apps, so you always have the latest and best features.
Particle PØ Wi-Fi module
Broadcom BCM43362 Wi-Fi chip
Requires a single 120V 60Hz outlet capable of providing 15A of power. This is your standard US wall outlet.
With 1500W of power distributed optimally and automatically to the heaters, fan, and boiler with automatic cycle control and mode switching. In layman’s terms – your Tovala requires the same basic power as a microwave or toaster oven.
External: Height - 13.25 in Width - 19.75 in Depth - 14.75 in w/ handle, 13.75 in w/o handle
Internal chamber: Height - 9.25 in Width - 13 in Depth - 12.25 in
Weight: 26 lbs
Our engineering team kicked off their work with our manufacturing partners last fall and have been evolving the Tovala production units ever since. We’ve partnered with an oven manufacturer in the food industrial park in the Guondong province of China for sourcing and the manufacturing customization needed for the Tovala. Our partners have the capacity to build tens of thousands of units each year and can scale up or down as needed.
We visited their facilities last year and got some shots of the very first Tovalas!
The amazing team at The Product Manufactory helped us get our beta prototypes built incredibly fast. They have been designing and developing connected hardware products for years and their help was instrumental in getting Tovala developed so quickly.
To help us steer clear of any pitfalls associated with the complexities of sourcing our oven in China, we’ve been working with The Product Greenhouse. They have 30+ years of experience in sourcing products and navigating the hurdles of getting those boxed, containerized, shipped, dropped and put into our facilities in the US. This experience will keep us on schedule and make sure you get your Tovala on time.
Special thanks to Y Combinator for invaluable guidance and for reinforcing the imperative to be decisive and execute.
Thanks to all of our beta testers, and to the companies that hosted us for demos across Chicago and the Bay Area. We deeply appreciate the feedback you gave us on the meals and the appliance.
Thanks to The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the team at the New Venture Challenge for helping us bring David's idea to life.
Thanks to Gravity Tank for helping us develop our idea and brand following the NVC.
Risks and challenges
Fulfilling food delivery for the entire US is an undertaking that we do not take lightly. It will surely take us some time get it right over the next several months, but we've already begun working with several potential logistics and shipping partners on long-term solutions. Nationwide food distribution is a proven solution, with great services like Blue Apron and Plated getting it right. And we're confident that we can continue working with our partners to do the same.
We've already begun working with our manufacturing partner, have visited their facilities, are working through the custom manufacturing process already, and have built the foundation of a strong long-term relationship. While any number of hurdles can arise throughout the production process, we have an experienced sourcing partner in our corner in The Product Greenhouse, so we're confident that we can solve any manufacturing challenges if they arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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