The idea behind the machine hit CEO Carlos Ruiz while he was traveling and couldn’t find authentic Mexican food anywhere, Sandro Meyer, chief marketing officer of Flatev, told Digital Trends in an email. Ruiz tried to make his own using his mother’s recipe, but the results weren’t exactly what he’d hoped for.
“Carlos started dreaming of a tortilla appliance that would be just as consistent and easy to use as his single-serving coffee maker,” said Meyer.
Ruiz teamed up with his flatmate Jonas Müller, a mechanical engineering student at the time, and the two went on to co-found Flatev. The company has since partnered with the engineering and manufacturing team behind Nespresso and Jura Coffee Machines, both of which also have pod-based options.
“Our vision is to bring fresh bread onto every table in the world,” said Meyer, explaining how people have gotten used to industrial offerings. “We want to enable everyone to have artisan tortillas at home.”
While Flatev only makes tortilla dough pods currently, the company plans to branch out into other types of flatbread. “Tortillas are just the beginning of what Flatev can do,” said Meyer. “Many cultures around the world have their own type of flatbread.” He cites roti and crepes as examples, so start imagining all the gastronomic possibilities.
Flatev’s options at present include corn, flour, cinnamon, chili, and more. The dough contains all organic and non-GMO ingredients, and is free of preservatives and additives. The pods’ contents can last up to 45 days in the refrigerator.
Flatev is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter, with early bird prices starting at $199, 60 percent off the machine’s future retail price. The company plans to roll out the device in the U.S. in 2017.