Spotlight on… Chilli Penguin Stoves

This month we make the journey to Wales to meet the team behind Chilli Penguin and to find out more about the history of the business, their sustainability values and where the unique company name came from. 
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This month, we make the journey to Wales to meet the team behind Chilli Penguin and to find out more about the history of the business, their sustainability values and where the unique company name came from. 

Back in 2001 company directors Stephen and Karen bought a stove for their first home. They loved the stove but thought they could make something even better. They had a design and engineering background and an idea about a little stove with an oven. From the very first sketches they made a wooden prototype and then found a company who could fabricate the components in steel. From building early prototypes in a garage, the company then moved to their first premises, an industrial unit in Caerphilly, South Wales and then a few years later to a workshop at the back of The Fire and Stove shop outside Cardiff, where they joined forces with Jim, the shop owner, who became the third director. 

In 2010 the company were able to move the business to its current base in Pwllheli on the beautiful Llŷn Peninsula. All fabrication and painting work is completed in house in Pwllheli. 


Inspired by a penguin that hated the cold 

A stove company called Chilli Penguin? At the age of three, Stephen and Karen’s son’s favourite book was ‘The Penguin that hated the cold’. Inspired by that, Chilli Penguin Stoves was born. 

The first stove designed featured a little oven box on top, it became known as the Hungry Penguin. The Penguin family has grown since then to include 19 stoves, which now has The Fat Penguin, The Stock Cube and The High & Mighty in the colony/huddle. 

Proud to look after their customers, they are still in touch with the customer who bought the very first hungry Penguin. 


The team at Chilli Penguin are driven to care for our environment with sustainability in its widest sense forming part of their core values and aims. They proudly told David that they love the idea of stoves, objects that warm homes and lives, that can be fuelled by a renewable resource like trees. They want their stoves to burn as efficiently and cleanly as possible, with their product range proudly displaying the HETAS Cleaner Choice certification, in addition to having been Ecodesign compliant for many years and tested for use in smoke control areas. 


Chilli Penguin are constantly working towards reducing their impact on the environment. They use wooden pallets, cardboard packaging, wood wool and shredded waste paper where possible. Company brochures, posters and stove top advertising are printed on FSC paper and use vegetable ink. Chilli Penguin’s branded signs are made from wood and they use a compostable bag to cover stoves with. The pallet wraps are plastic but can be recycled and they are actively looking for an alternative to this. Where incoming products to the workshop are wrapped in non-bio-degradable packaging they will try to reuse this. The company premises are, of course, heated by penguins burning wood. 

Local manufacturing

Much like our first spotlight feature company Town & Country Fires, Chilli Penguin are committed to UK manufacturing. They believe that not only because the UK is good at it, but also every order contributes to the salary of someone local to them or someone who they know. Chilli Penguins are sold through a national network of independent specialist shops who can offer expert advice about the stoves and their installation, with the company owners believing that a stove is a special product and should be sold by specialists. Across the UK, there are over 100 penguin stockists, with Chilli Penguin also having their own small showroom in Pwllheli. 

In addition to the stove range, you can also purchase some cool penguin merchandise, with many of these products hand made in Wales. Their website also has some lovely recipes for cooking with your penguin.  


Recently the team at Chilli Penguin made use of some scrap pallets to create vegetable planters for staff. This has been such a success that the products are now also sold in the Chilli Penguin showroom, with the money raised going to support a local mental health charity. 

Learn more 

Find out more about Chilli Penguin by visiting their website. 

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