What's in the Mailbox: Letters, Bills, Pizza?

What's in the Mailbox: Letters, Bills, Pizza?

Food & Drink

What's in the Mailbox: Letters, Bills, Pizza?


By Cari Martens

Colin MacFadyen of Auckland, New Zealand, has a rather unusual mailbox. I know what you’re thinking, but no, it’s not one of those goofy mailboxes shaped like a bald eagle or a Guernsey cow. This mailbox doubles as a real wood-fired pizza oven.

Photo: Jason Oxenham

The structure is situated on MacFadyen’s fenceline, and he’s decorated it with handmade tiles and geckos. Being the neighborly sort, he’s invited folks on his street to use it whenever they’d like.

The idea for the oven came to him when he attended a pizza party where guests made their own dough and cooked their own pies. This inspired MacFadyen, a residential builder, to build his own pizza oven, as a way to give something back to his community.

As past president of the New Zealand Circus and Juggling Association, MacFadyen says he has a lot of international circus performers coming to visit, and he thought having a pizza oven to be used by him, his guests, and the neighbors on the street would add to the festive atmosphere and sense of community.

He’s had several neighbor groups that have taken him up on the offer, bringing their own firewood, pizza dough and ingredients, though MacFadyen notes that you can cook meat and other things with it as well. ‘It’s based on a French oven,’ he says.

There has been one anonymous complaint sent to the Auckland City Council, which sent an inspector to look over Mr. MacFadyen’s ‘multipurpose letterbox.’ Council service manager Chris Horan says he will be speaking to MacFadyen about some of the concerns the city council has about the oven.

Mr. MacFadyen says if he does have to move the oven to comply with council regulations, he has a plan to place it further inside his property but still make sure it’s available to the neighbors on his street.

He sounds like a really nice bloke. And his letterbox sounds a lot more practical than one of those cow mailboxes.

For more insights and innovations check out CultureWaves®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank – events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life – entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Trends.

Have you seen an innovative product that will impact our food lives in the future? Let us know at Editor.


20 Sep 22

If you haven’t had pumpkin soup, you are missing a delightful dining experience. This savory soup is ideal for one of those first (…)

28 Aug 22

Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette of Little Donkey in Cambridge, Massachusetts, add miso to their addictive banana bread to give it a (…)

More TFC