Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

Leave a comment

Delta Heat Offers Best-in-Class Value-Priced Line of Grills and Outdoor Kitchen Equipment


Delta heat grills and accessories add convenience and performance to outdoor kitchens.

Delta Heat is offering a best in class value priced line with retail pricing for built-in grill models starting at $1,529. The line includes a number of storage door and drawer solutions, side burners, trash drawer, drop-in cooler, drop-in sink, and outdoor refrigeration.

Delta Heat has a complete outdoor kitchen offering that stands out on the showroom floor. Free-standing grill models are also available. Standard features for their premier grill offering includes:
• LED control panel lights;
• direct heat and ceramic radiant grilling system;
• 18-gauge stainless steel U-burners;
• interior halogen lights;
• welded construction;
• mirror polished accents;
• double lined hood;
• temperature gauge;
• 9V electronic ignition; and
• warming/cooking rack.

Delta heat grills (such as the 32-inch Delta Heat Premier Grill [model DHBQ32R-B] pictured below) and accessories add convenience and performance to outdoor kitchens, while enhancing the experience of outdoor gatherings. Delta_Heat_Photo_2

The Delta Heat line was completely redesigned for 2013. In addition to a fully featured best-in-class offering, it was also manufactured in the USA.

Customers are responding, as evidenced by year-over-year sales that are up nearly 300%. Company officials attribute this growth to the growing interest in outdoor kitchens among consumers, and their desire to purchase products that are made in America.

Leave a comment

Get Ready Soon for the “Second Season” of 2014 with Outdoor Fire Pits


Agio fire pits are ideal for late season sales.

Officials at Agio-USA believe that dealers who want to capitalize on the so-called “second season,” from August through November 2014, should start planning in January and February. An ideal product category for late season sales is the fire pit, and Agio-USA can help retailers avoid inventory shortfalls and make money during this time of year.

For dealers who wish to finish the season strong, Doug Peppler, senior vice president of Sales, Agio-USA, warns that fire pits are not the product to be out of early. “Don’t hurt yourself because of missed opportunities,” says Peppler. “Essentially, during the most important months for selling chat fire pits, everybody is out of stock, and that is a shame.”

Peppler believes the following philosophies and/or guidelines can boost the odds for a successful “second season”:
• A choice of one is not really a choice. We’re advising our retailers to consider having two or three really good styles on their floors when people come in—and to promote fire pits at the end of the season when people really want to buy. Sell it at a higher margin as opposed to the traditional route of taking major discounts in order to make misses go away.Agio_Photo_Two
• At the end of the season, don’t waste valuable ad space on just getting rid of things that did not sell. Have some things that people want to buy. Plan ahead to be in stock with your most important items at the end of the season.
• Mass merchants have not, and probably cannot, embrace this. Therefore it’s a prime opportunity for specialty and other retailers to take advantage and have a product that’s really not out there when people want it.
• Order chat fire pits that will arrive in your store in mid June, so you can go through the last part of your season having some of the most import goods in your warehouse.
• Buying inexpensive products is not the solution. We think people are looking to buy at a quality level where they’re able to keep that product for a lot longer. Consumers are really weighing that balance between price and quality.

Leave a comment

Power in Pizza Retail at The Companion Group


The Pizzeria Pronto® from The Companion Group.

The obsession with great pizza shows no sign of slowing down, and The Companion Group is helping dealers capitalize with Pizzacraft®, an extensive line of artisan quality pizza stones, tool, accessories and outdoor pizza ovens for crafting and baking pizzas at home.

The company’s new Pizzeria Pronto® pizza oven features patented technologies that allow the oven to create pizzeria-quality pizzas at home or on the go, fast and easy. The oven preheats in 10 minutes and cooks a pizza perfectly in five minutes—and then is ready for another pie. The oven is offered at select retailers and online.

Pizzeria Pronto Accessories – Along with the new portable pizza oven, Pizzacraft® is now offering a line of accessories created specifically for the Pizzeria Pronto.

Accessory Kit
The folding aluminum pizza peel and pizza oven stone brush are essential for cleaning and maintenance of the Pizzeria Pronto®. The pizza peel (pictured, bottom right) conveniently folds for portability and storage. The brush isPizza_Peel provided for cleaning the oven baking stones and has a built-in scraper to remove baked-on cheese and toppings. Each of these items are also sold separately.

Propane Tank Adapters
Pizzacraft® also offers two different propane tank adapters. The 1-pound propane tank adapter will allow customers to run the outdoor pizza oven on a portable tank to travel with. Users don’t have to take the bulky 20-pound tank when traveling. The T-valve adapter is perfect for many outdoor cooking areas, and the adapter can hook up the pizza oven as well as gas-powered grills or other units.

Deluxe Rain Cover
Pizzeria Pronto® enthusiasts can protect the unit from the elements with the custom cover with a secure elastic bottom. The cover is recommended if the pizza oven is stored outside.

Leg Kit
Still in development, the Pizzeria Pronto® leg kit extends the height of the oven to 40 inches from the ground. The kit includes a base for a 20-pound propane tank to conveniently tuck under the pizza oven. The top support brace features a utility rack for keeping pizza making tools handy.

The Companion Group is a manufacturer of barbecue tools, accessories, and other products for cooking outdoors. Founded in 1984 by Chuck Adams, CEO, and Doug Fielding, president, the company is headquartered in Berkeley, Calif, with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Warehouse facilities are located in Hayward, Calif.

The company’s top brands—Charcoal Companion®, Steven Raichlen Best of Barbecue™, Planet Barbecue™ and Pizzacraft® were created to represent a wide selection of quality home cooking products for the barbecue grill and indoor oven. In addition to these top brands, The Companion Group offers extensive private label services to create unparalleled customized programs built on the foundation of strong store brand recognition.

Leave a comment

Infratech Heaters Bring the Warmth During Seasonal Chill


Infratech low-profile electric heaters coordinate with many décor styles.


Heaters are the perfect way to get more use out of indoor-outdoor spaces.

With cool, crisp afternoons throughout many parts of the country, outdoor enthusiasts still want to enjoy the beauty of patio and deck living. With an Infratech infrared heating system, dealers can extend the outdoor living season by months, or even year-round in warmer climates.

Plenty of customers want to sip cocktails under a harvest moon, move the game-day tailgate party outside, or even enjoy an early dinner on the terrace in comfort and convenience. Incorporating an Infratech heating system into the showroom floor display could be just the trick to heat up some Fall/Winter sales.

Infratech heaters offer environmentally friendly, energy-efficient heat, and silent operation, without the harmful emissions, odors or negative environmental effects created by gas heaters or outdoor fireplaces. Enthusiasts can enjoy the changing seasons without impacting the environment or running up their energy bill.

Heaters are the perfect way to get more use out of indoor-outdoor spaces like patios, terraces, verandas, enclosed areas, or any indoor/outdoor setting where heated air cannot be easily contained and re-circulated. Better still, they’re available in a wide range of color and finish options, and can be built directly into a ceiling or wall, mounted to trellis beams, tucked beneath awnings, pole mounted and more, to blend seamlessly into décor.

Whether outfitting a terrace in a residential home or seeking a versatile heating solution for large commercial properties, Infratech offers a wide range of standard and customized design and control capabilities to suit the needs of any space.

These low-profile electric heaters coordinate with many décor styles, to bring casual comfort to upscale restaurants, hospitality and retail establishments, fine homes and more. Control options range from simple systems with on/off switches to comprehensive custom controls that can be integrated into a home management system.

Leave a comment

Remembering Dan Shimek: Family Man, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Dan Shimek, CEO, Fire Stone Home ProductsAPPLE VALLEY, MN – Longtime entrepreneur Dan Shimek died at age 65 earlier this year after a long battle with cancer. Shimek founded a number of businesses, including Outdoor GreatRoom in Eagan, Minn, and the Enjoy! restaurant in Apple Valley, Minn.

As reported in the SUNThisWeek Blog and a number of media outlets, Shimek was a business owner, philanthropist, and a true pioneer in his community. “His light will continue to burn brightly in our community,” said Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland.

According to SUNThisWeek, Shimek and his wife, Kay, opened Enjoy! restaurant in 2004. The Apple Valley district was envisioned as a thriving downtown area, but by 2008 it was filled with empty storefronts and undeveloped lots due to the recession. A savvy businessman, Shimek was able to beat the tide. Three years later, the restaurant’s future became brighter as Central Village rebounded.

Hamann-Roland described Shimek as an ethical businessman who treated his employees like family. Shimek’s generosity extended far beyond the restaurant. An advocate of public education, the Apple Valley resident generously contributed to Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan schools — the school district his own four children attended.

When a devastating tsunami hit Sri Lanka in 2004, Shimek helped fund reconstruction efforts — namely a school —  in one of the island nation’s villages. A school named after Shimek stands as a lasting reminder of his passion for helping others. One year later Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and Shimek and his family again extended a helping hand.

His first venture in the hearth category was Heat-N-Glo, which he founded in Burnsville in 1975 with his brother, Ron Shimek, who died in 2002. Shimek stayed on as president after the company merged in 1996 with Heatilator to form Hearth and Home Technologies in Lakeville.

He retired in 2002, but that was short-lived. Within a year he founded Eagan-based Outdoor GreatRoom Company, which designs and manufactures upscale fire pits, furniture and kitchens for outdoor living spaces. Though Outdoor GreatRoom felt the weight of the recession, it continued to thrive with annual sales in the millions. Aiming to save money and bring business to Minnesota, Shimek moved the company’s engineering, production and manufacturing operation from overseas and Salt Lake City, Utah, to its headquarters in Eagan.

A year after opening Outdoor GreatRoom, Shimek opened Enjoy! and then Paradise Landing restaurant in Balsam Lake, Wis., and a winery called Chateau St. Croix in St. Croix Falls, Wis. “I wasn’t good at golf, and I enjoy business and being around good innovation,” Shimek said in a 2010 interview.

Shimek is survived by his wife, Kay, and children, Jessica Shimek, Danielle (Ricky) Dhaliwal, Kent Shimek, and Richelle Shimek.