The Ozpig story started with Allan and Assunta Shepherd, who had recently retired with their plan of life on the road. They finally hit the mighty Murry River and spent six months traversing its banks. The Shepherd’s soon learned that having an open fire for warmth and cooking was not to be as easy as first thought. Simply put, there were too many places along the Murray River that didn’t permit open fires.
With Allan’s creativity and Assunta’s love for food, the idea of the Ozpig was born as the Shepherd’s went about creating a solution for their love of fire and cooking. Born was a unique design that could pack down into itself, preserving critical space in the back of the caravan. When the unit was set up, it was high off the ground with a spark arrestor that slid over the top of the chimney to arrest hot embers and ash from flying out.
With its unique chimney design, the unit was also very efficient, so what you would burn in an open fire in an hour could last all night in the Ozpig. With Assunta’s love of cooking came the open-top design. Featuring a circular barbecue plate that could slide over the fire, this created a large flat cooking surface while also having the functionality to be removed to fit a frying pan, wok or camp oven - so Assunta had all cooking options available.
Allan and Assunta quickly realised they were not alone in facing the challenge of not being able to enjoy all a fire has to offer while out on adventure and as such, bought the Ozpig to their first show at the Gympie Muster in 2006. Demand exploded with Allan’s larger-than-life personality out front, gathering the masses from far and wide to listen intently about this ingenious new unit to hit the market. With Assunta whipping up incredible dishes on the Ozpig, flavour born from fire had arrived and people started to fall in love.
To meet demand, Ozpig Australia Pty Ltd was set up and the guys hit the road attending caravan and camping shows across the country. Not long after this, Allan and Assunta’s youngest son Anthony joined the family business. Bringing a background in boiler making, he immediately got to work on product development and improving production. With a focused eye on detail and a passion for delivering quality products built to last, Ozpig started to expand.
As demand continued to increase, Ozpig overhauled their branding and introduced a fresh new logo and website. At this time, Ozpig’s dealer network grew to over 100 stores across Australia and expanded operations into New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom and Europe.
It was time for this little piggy to fly! It was at this point that the journey took a sad turn with the sudden loss of Assunta at the end of 2014 and Allan in mid 2015. With Anthony at the helm, the next 12 months understandably were quiet as the focus turned to family after such a devastating loss. With Allan and Assunta’s legacy now in place, Anthony set about expanding the range thanks to the invaluable feedback from the people who drive us to continually improve. You.
After 13 years of feedback and watching the market progress through the growth of adventure and camping, more and more of Ozpig’s loyal customers kept coming back with the same statement. We want a smaller pig for the campervan and we want a bigger pig for the back deck!
This set about the development of the Ozpig Traveller and the Big Pig and both products were launched in 2019. The Traveller is our paired back and dedicated adventure-ready model with the Big Pig dedicated to home use and achieving maximum flavour and heat from cooking over wood. With the inclusion of the Oven Smoker, the Ozpig range now sits just as comfortable at home as it always has out in the bush.
Many things have changed over the years but our passion for our product and giving people the best unit on the market continues and we thank you for your loyalty to Ozpig and for believing in flavour born from fire as much as we do.
- The Shepherd Family