The first step towards the Looftlighter was taken in 1997 when Richard barbecued a whole chicken while having people over for dinner. When it was finally done the chicken only tasted of lighter fluid which resulted in anger and a phone call to the nearest pizza place. He knew he could come up with a better way to light a barbecue and decided to do something about it. Richard took a toaster, poured charcoal into it, turned the air flow around in an old vacuum cleaner and realised he’d discovered the fastest way in the world to get the charcoals going.
In 2003 he took his ugly prototype to the Swedish Inventors Association in Stockholm who loved it but gave him an advice. They told him how he needed to put a 100% into his invention and couldn’t keep working with theatre. He quit his job and started up Looft industries in 2005 together with with Sweden’s Honorary Consul General in New York David E.R. Dangoor, The CEO of Biogaia Peter Rothschild and business man Jan Annwall. Richard then travelled to China to find a suitable factory. After much hard work and many rejected factories he finally found a manufacturer he could work with and came back to Sweden in 2006 with a container of 5000 Looftlighters. When he called up the main buyer at Nordiska Kompaniet, the best department store in Stockholm, she hung up on him. He then took his grill, set it up on the street outside the shop and called up again to ask for one minute of her time. Impressed by his persistence she came out and placed their first order right there in the street after Richard’s 60 second demonstration.
Today the patented Looftlighter is sold as a BBQ- and hearth-fire lighter in more than 30 countries in North and South America, Africa, Australia and Europe. Until today more than 300.000 Looftlighters have been sold worldwide.