- 09 May 19
Kono Pizza are shaking things up with their revolutionary – not to mention wonderfully tasty! – approach to food on the go. Graham Mulcahy, co-founder of Kono Pizza Ireland, explains why pizza in a cone is set to become an Irish festival favourite.
It may seem like the stuff of dreams, but Italian pizza in cone-shaped dough is the genius concept that you probably never saw coming. Convenient, portable and easy to eat on the move (not to mention delicious), Kono Pizza is Ireland’s finest new street food business.
The concept was born in 2004, when renowned Italian chef Rossano Boscolo was looking for fresh approaches to his country’s most famous products: pasta, pizza and gelato. While scribbling down his ideas, the chef drew a cone under a pizza rather than the gelato. Immediately, the gears started turning.
What began life as a doodle soon developed into a worldwide franchise. After proving a hit in continents across the world, Kono Pizza has now found a happy home in Ireland.
“Back in 2017, I was doing some social media hunting and I stumbled across Kono Pizza,” says Graham Mulcahy, co-founder of Kono Pizza Ireland. “I immediately loved the idea. My background was in events and social media, so I had never been involved with food. But I had a working relationship with Alan Dickenson, who worked in food and retail, so I showed him the product. Ten days later, we were over in Italy with the people who own the franchise.”
In December 2018, after several months of research, Graham and Alan launched a store in Explorium, the new science and sports centre in Sandyford. They also have a mobile unit, which allows them to cater for festivals and corporate events.
So what goes into Kono Pizza?
“We bring in the dough, sauce and cheese from Italy,” Alan says. “It’s real, Italian pizza dough, formed in a cone shape to make it portable. The foundation is the same, as it should be: water, flour, yeast, oil and salt. We then use fresh, premium ingredients for the toppings, including great Irish craft foods like Gubbeen Smokehouse pepperoni and Clonakilty black pudding.”
And it’s not just a hot pizza thing. They also offer a Greek Salad cone, as well as a dessert cone filled with Nutella, strawberries, raspberries and bananas. There’s a gourmet range on the way too, featuring wonderful toppings like duck and hoisin sauce, as well as chicken and pesto.
More convenient than traditional pizza slices, Graham believes that Kono Pizza will go down a treat at this summer’s festivals.
“They don’t make a mess,” he explains, “and you can eat them with one hand, so you don’t have to worry about where to put your drink down at a festival. We made around 1,500 pizzas over the three days at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair at the Convention Centre. People just couldn’t get enough of them!”
It’s this portability and speed (each of their ovens can make an impressive 100 pizzas per hour) that makes Kono Pizza really stand out from the festival competition. With that as background, there are big plans in the works that’ll develop over the next few months.
“As well as extending further into the festival market, and expanding our truck fleet, we’re looking to franchise Kono Pizza Ireland – allowing other people to get involved in the business around the country,” Graham says. “We’re also talking to some blue chip companies about putting a Kono Pizza store inside their businesses, and we want to expand into bars that don’t already provide a food service. We’re moving from strength to strength.”
As those exciting plans take complete shape, you can look out for Kono Pizza at Explorium in Sandyford – or at a festival near you! Enjoy!