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höfats: The hottest start-up from Bavaria

The charcoal grill CONE – Photo: höfats

Open fires outdoors are their theme: The line-up of höfats encompasses fire baskets, braziers, lanterns, BBQs and accessories. The products unite purist design with impressive functions. This year the young company was distinguished with the Bavarian Founder Prize in the category Start-ups.

Christian Wassermann (l) and Thomas Kaiser – Photo: höfats

The history of höfats began in 2015. The firm was founded by the student friends Thomas Kaiser and Christian Wassermann in the small village of Unterthingau in Allgäu. The two of them had previously studied mechanical engineering in Kempten and subsequently product design in Berlin. This combination of studies is today clearly reflected in the product range of höfats. “As designers and engineers in one we have our own totally original way of coming up with and developing new products. Our products are on the one hand chic items and on the other hand really good tools,” emphasised Kaiser. The success proves him right: Over the past three years, the company has indeed won 26 international design prizes – including the industry’s most famous distinctions, i.e. the reddot design award.


The trade visitors were able to convince themselves about the visionary ideas of the company and their implementation at this year’s spoga+gafa in Cologne. For example, the company had the charcoal grill CONE on board. This grill excels with the comfort of a gas grill because it is the first one that enables the heat to be effectively regulated. This is possible because the distance of the source of heat to the grilled food is coupled with the air supply. If great heat is needed – for instance for the initial heating of the BBQ – the charcoal grate and thus the source of heat can be raised. In order to reduce the heat the grate is lowered and this automatically curbs the air supply too. Since the charcoal grate can also be set at the height of the funnel edge, CONE can also be transformed into a fireplace after the barbecue.

In the case of the fire basket CUBE that was also developed by höfats, the fire fun can be safely and cleanly brought to an end at any time. After use the stainless steel cube is simply turned upside down. It is designed in such a way that the brazier inside always remains balanced due to the gravity. So, the charcoal doesn’t fall out, but the flames are safely extinguished. If no fire happens to be blazing in CUBE, it can be used as a useful, versatile piece of outdoor furniture. It can be used as a stool, bench or a side table.


“The alignment of höfats is far away from mega trends such as the digitalisation or electrification,” is how Wasserman described his company. “Instead we occupy ourselves with a beneficial parallel shift to fast-paced everyday life. Because we are convinced: The more people that stare at the displays of their computers and smartphones, the more they long for a balance towards original pastimes. They enjoy being outdoors, are fascinated by the embers of a crackling fire and are impressed by experienciable mechanisms.”

The current highlight in the company from Allgäu’s success story: In July, Kaiser and Wassermann were presented with the 2018 Bavarian Founder Prize in the category Start-up in Nuremberg. It is the highest distinction for founders and entrepreneurs in Bavaria and honours special and outstanding achievements in the establishment and preservation of companies. The prize was conferred for the 16th time during the annual Enterprise Conference of the Bavarian savings banks.

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