Our Story

Kota Grills

We are an independent, family-owned Canadian company committed to bringing the Finnish Kota grill experience to North America.

Finnish Tradition

In Northern Finland, wooden 'grilli kota' or grill cabins can often be found tucked away in the wintery arctic landscape. Inside these cabins are blanket covered benches surrounding a wood-fired grill, with a chimney rising up through the ceiling. An assortment of food is usually cooking over the wood fire; meat hanging from hooks, soup boiling in a pot, a fish braising on the open flame. Everyone gathers inside to stay warm and safe from the elements. Magical.

How We Started

The company was founded when Oliver Dawson, an entrepreneur and connoisseur of all things eclectic, by chance of work stumbled across a 'grilli kota' in a small outdoor patio restaurant in Northern Germany. Lured by the glowing fire through the glass pane window of the fairy-tale-like hut, he was immediately enchanted. Determined to learn more, Oliver was led on an entrepreneurial pilgrimage to the heart of arctic Finland, where he met the esteemed grill-makers POLAR METALLI. From this meeting, a great partnership was formed by virtue of a shared vision to bring the Kota tradition to North America.

Polar Metalli

Polar Metalli, is a family-owned Grill-maker in the heart of Finnish Lapland. With a newly expanded factory and state-of-the-art fabrication quality, Polar Metalli, with their product line Polar Grilli, is known as the leading manufacturer of Kota Grills in Europe. We are proud to be the exclusive North American representative for Polar Grilli products.

Who We Are

Kota Grills founders, Oliver Dawson and Lisa Johnson share a love for outdoor living, art, design, and time spent with their family. When not managing Kota Grills, Oliver is an opera singer and business consultant, while Lisa Johnson is an acclaimed landscape painter whose work is shown in art galleries across Canada.