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Circle Reader Service No. 3

contents September/October 2016 • Volume 11, Number 5


70 Features



Mallin Casual Furniture thrives in a competitive market because of its reputation for creating relaxing outdoor furnishings. 42

A gardening expert and outdoors lover offers tips on how to create lush backyard retreats. 8 SPOTLIGHT – THE SECOND KITCHEN By Greg Thompson

New technologies and stylish appliance designs are boosting the functionality of outdoor kitchens.


An Indiana retailer succeeds by focusing on two different marketing strategies. 24 HEARTH RETAILER – THE ABILITY TO ADAPT By Sharon Sanders

Sutter Home & Hearth constantly assesses the market, shifting its product mix to meet customers’ changing needs. 28 OUTDOOR GRILLING – DYNAMIC DUO By Kimberly Rodgers

Brothers fulfill the dream of working together by opening a popular outdoor-living store. 32 SHOWROOM SHOWCASE – WE ARE FAMILY By Kimberly Rodgers

This store was built to last; third-generation family owners promise superior customer service and first-rate products. 38



Summer Classics’ unexpected (yet timeless) designs appeal to a wide range of customers. 46 PRODUCT INNOVATION – A GAME CHANGER By Cheryl Dangel Bartolini


Wolf Steel’s Vicenza is on track to alter current perceptions of the practicality of pellet stoves.


Sunbrella has extended its early success through meticulous attention to the details of developing exceptional products and service. 52 INSIGHT – HOUSE WARMING By Cherise Forno

Kozy Heat celebrates 40 years of providing heating solutions for customers. 56



Tempotest continues to expand its brand as customers seek stylish, durable outdoor fabrics.

In Every Issue




Publisher’s Viewpoint

A barbecue retail specialist provides tips for extending the summer selling season. 60

INDUSTRY NEWS Edited by Kris Kyes



Erwin and Sons’ business model—offering high-quality goods at competitive prices, along with first-rate service—ensures long-term success. 62




A patio retailer explains how online competitors are affecting the industry and how manufacturers can help specialty retailers. 93


On the COver | jensen leisure Furniture; www.jensenleisureFurniture.COm Follow us on Twitter: @patiohearth











Circle Reader Service No. 5

publisher’s viewpoint

Print For today’s specialty retailers, there are multiple communication tools to choose from to advertise, market, and promote their businesses, products, and services. From print ads (in magazines, news-

papers, and newsletters) to broadcast- and cable-television and radio commercials to online ads to a litany of socialmedia platforms, the choices, at times, can be overwhelming. Even though today’s technology has vastly expanded the range of options, however, print-magazine ads still work. In some ways, they offer distinct advantages over other advertising platforms. In the February 3, 2016, issue of Adweek, a widely read and highly respected trade publication for the advertising/marketing industry, an article titled “This Is Your Brain on Print: What Neuroscience Says About Why Print Magazine Ads Work” appeared. The article focuses on five aspects of print-magazine advertising. When you consider the consumer appeal of patio, hearth, grill, outdoor-furniture, outdoor-kitchen, and outdoor-living products, the case for making print-magazine ads a core component of specialty retailers’ advertising and marketing strategies is a strong one. First, reading on paper is done more slowly and deeply. “Reading on a screen is faster and more superficial while reading on paper is slower and more deliberate,” Adweek reports. The skim-and-scan method of so-called horizontal reading is common among digital readers (who also search for and squirrel away bits of information for later reading). Research implies that print readers, in contrast, stay in the present longer and can picture themselves experiencing the advertised products and services—for example, wearing the clothing, taking the trip, or driving the car in the ad. This would also hold true for readers putting themselves into the picture or fantasizing about sitting in front of a fireplace or heating stove, dining or relaxing in an outdoor-living area, or grilling and cooking in an outdoor kitchen. Second, attention to paper reading materials is more focused. Multitasking is typical of digital readers, who are likely to be distracted by competing material on their screens (including ads, social-media updates, texts, emails, news/sports feeds, and alerts of all kinds). “More than 20 separate studies found that this hyperlinked engagement leads to lower comprehension and recall,”


Tony Ramos

according to Adweek. Third, memory and comprehension are better for paper reading. “Speed is one thing; comprehension is another,” Adweek says. For reading on paper, comprehension was higher than for reading onscreen in 26 of 31 studies. Fourth, reading on paper engages multiple senses. Paper reading material creates a tactile experience in the reader, and memory and comprehension are likely to improve because we use different areas of the brain to process the information as we see and touch (and to lesser degrees, smell and hear) the pages. Fifth, print ads increase the reader’s desire for products. A recent study, Adweek notes, “found that people were more likely to remember an ad and its context if they saw it in print than if they saw it onscreen.” Those who read the print version of an ad exhibited increased activity in the brain area involved in reward and desire. To any marketer, this must represent a dream come true. All five aspects of the Adweek article are pertinent to the patio, hearth, grill, outdoor-furniture, outdoorkitchen, and outdoor-living industry. The fifth aspect, however—that print ads increase the reader’s desire for products—is what all specialty retailers want to accomplish with their advertising/marketing dollars. Print-magazine ads work!



Circle Reader Service No. 7


By Melinda Myers PUBLISHER Tony Ramos

Take It Outdoors

EDITOR Carol Daus


o matter your budget, space, or gardening experience, you (or anyone) can design an outdoor-entertainment area for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy. Start by gathering ideas and examples of garden spaces from magazines and websites—such as that of Gardener’s Supply Company ( Next, select an area that is convenient and suitable for your outdoor entertaining. Define the space using outdoor rugs and furniture, or use tall planters to serve as the walls for your garden room. A bistro set and a couple of chairs make for an intimate space on a balcony. Those with more room might want to include an outdoor wicker and teak dining set. Fill the planters with ornamental grasses, papyrus, cannas, and other flowering plants to create a living screen. Incorporate an outdoor kitchen, grill, or firepit into your entertainment space. You’ll be able to visit with guests while preparing the meal or enjoying a beverage by the fire. Create a special occasion by getting your guests involved. Have guests build their own pizza; pop it into an outdoor pizza oven, all while enjoying each other’s company. Don’t let limited space keep you from entertaining. Balcony-sized grills allow even small-space gardeners this opportunity. Use multipurpose furnishings to make the most of available space. Storage bins and coolers that also serve as benches and firepits that convert into tables allow you to make the most of every square inch. Don’t forget the ice: A colorful garden trug or metal washtub filled with ice and beverages makes a decorative and functional addition to the party space. Consider investing in a small decorative cart. It will make transporting food and beverages (as well as serving) much easier, and it can easily be moved out of the way when not in use. Add a splash of color and flavor to the space by growing herbs and vegetables, combined with flowers. Portable planters should also be part of the mix. Include ingredients for your favorite drinks, appetizers, and meals. Your guests will enjoy plucking a few mint leaves for their iced tea or mojito, harvesting fresh greens from a salad-garden bar, and dressing up the meal with a few pesticide-free edible flowers (such as nasturtium, calendula, and daylily). Busy gardeners and those who travel might want to try self-watering pots. These containers have built-in water reservoirs to provide a constant flow of water to the plants. This means you need to water less often, while still enjoying healthy and productive plants. Add some height and focal points with topiaries.

Melinda Myers

ART DIRECTOR Cassandra Estes


STAFF WRITERS Cheryl Dangel Bartolini Cherise Forno Kimberly Rodgers Sharon Sanders Greg Thompson SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Greg Thompson CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Jeffrey Kehl BUSINESS MANAGER Susan Razetto CEO & PRESIDENT

Purchase a sculpted evergreen or train vines up a twist-topiary frame to create a bit of living art—and don’t forget to add some garden art and statuary. Extend your enjoyment with outdoor lighting. A few votive candles in old punch cups are perfect for intimate gatherings in small spaces. Add a bit more illumination with the help of solar lighting (available as planter lights, deck lights, post caps, cubes, and spheres). No buried electric lines or extension cords are needed. Use these lights to lead you down the path to your garden space or brighten the space for an evening of fun. Get busy creating the garden room of your dreams. Once you get started, you will be looking for more opportunities to use your quiet getaway and outdoor kitchen—and more ways to enjoy your garden.

Tony Ramos

CORPORATE OFFICE Peninsula Media 21250 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 700 Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 792-7448 Fax (310) 792-7449

Tony Ramos Peninsula Media 21250 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 700 Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 792-7448 (310) 792-7449/Fax (310) 968-3962/Cell

Gardening expert, television/radio host, author, and columnist Melinda Myers (Mukwonago, Wisconsin) has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books, including “Small Space Gardening” (Cool Springs Press, 2006) and “Midwest Gardener’s Handbook” (Cool Springs Press, 2013). She hosts The Great Courses’ “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment” television and radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. At, she offers gardening videos and tips.




SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES: Patio & Hearth Products Report PO Box 2190 Skokie, IL 60076-7890 Subscribe online: Email: Phone: (847) 763-9261



Brings Outdoor Living...To Life

H E A D Q UA R T E R S - 9449 8th Street | Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 Phone: 909 989 9977 | Fax: 909 989 9970 | Toll Free: 866 964 4468 C H I CAGO S H OWR O O M - Merchandise Mart Suite 1667 | Chicago, IL 60654 WWW. GENSU NCA SUAL . C O M Circle Reader Service No. 9





Heat & Glo’s Designers on Fire Campaign Heats Up the Marketplace Heat & Glo®, Hearth & Home Technologies’ premier fireplace brand, recently launched Designers on Fire, a multimedia campaign that highlights signature projects from North America’s premier architects, interior specialists, and design/build companies. The integrated campaign, launched in July 2016, showcases professionally designed projects with distinctive spaces made possible by the selection, design, and placement of hearth products. It also highlights the professionals and companies providing the vision for each project. Mike Swanson, marketing manager for the architect and designer segment at Hearth & Home Technologies, says, “We set out on a mission to find unique, innovative spaces that capture the beauty and functionality of a fireplace or stove. The selected professionals have various backgrounds, but all share the innate ability to create a statement room effectively with the use of a

Above: Nantahala Mountain Cabin by Bach Design Studio Left: DuPont Circle by Samantha Friedman Interior Designs

hearth product.” The Designers on Fire campaign also helps guide trade professionals through the complex world of fireplace selection and placement by providing concrete examples of innovative hearth applications. “Showing a variety of hearth projects with descriptive details about the selection process shows just some of the many options and design possibilities that exist with fireplaces and stoves,” Swanson says. “This ignites inspiration and opens the door to new and

different possibilities for the specification of hearth products.” Each selected project is captured in a comprehensive case study with specifications, design details, tips, a look book, and a biography. Each is featured on the newly redesigned Heat & Glo pro website—which allows other professionals to get a behind-the-scenes look at the details and inspiration behind the project. The designers and projects are also featured in social-media chats, blog outreach, and various con-

Argento and Escape Introduced in Castelle 2017 Collections Castelle is adding a robust lineup of introductions for the 2017 season, including two collections that deliver over-the-top avant-garde appeal. The Castelle Argento and Castelle Escape collections feature casual comfort and avant-garde styling. Each unique collection Argento deep seating and occasional tables includes handcrafted artistry made possible by durable extrudedaluminum construction and ultramodern cushioning. Castelle, which has excelled in recognizing the contemporary trend in outdoor furnishings, has taken this to a new level with the Argento and Escape collections. With Art Deco–like styling and open looped supports, Castelle Argento delivers a fresh and clean profile that is paired with oversized seat and back cushions and decorative accent pillows. This Escape deep seating and occasional tables design creates a style statement with soft curves and high comfort. In the Castelle Escape collection, the unique support elements are the hallmarks of the avant-garde design. Slightly arcing spires create the side and back supports for the sofa, lounge seating, and accent tables. Plush pillows and cushions complete the look, as well as providing tremendous opportunities for customized fabric options. Modern-style glass surfaces complete the coordinating tables for both collections. Steve Lowsky, CEO of Castelle, says, “The initial reception of these two collections has been very positive and exhibits the extent to which Castelle will go to deliver original designs for the specialty and designer marketplace. There is a specific customer for avant-garde outdoor furnishings, and we see the level of interest as an indication of a potential for future additions.”




sumer-facing promotions. “Designers on Fire plays a valuable role in showcasing the myriad products and design applications available today, giving consumers new inspiration and allowing them to rethink what a typical fireplace installation may look like,” Swanson explains. “Heat & Glo products are gorgeous in their own right, but when you have architects and designers installing them in innovative ways, consumers’ eyes light up: They can’t believe how many options exist.” Designers on Fire is also highlighting the latest developments in hearth technology and aesthetics. One emerging technology adopted by designers is that of fireplace heatmanagement systems. This technology makes it possible to install a Heat & Glo fireplace in markets (warmclimate areas) or spaces where fire is desired, but heat might not be. “More and more consumers want the ambience of a fire without the supplemental warmth it provides,” Swanson says. “With heat-management technology, heat can be redirected at the flip of a switch. Some models allow the heat to be distributed into an adjacent room, and others allow the heat to be distributed directly outside the home. This opens the door to new and exciting fireplace-installation options.” The program also reveals that contemporary linear fireplaces remain popular. A more recent

development, however, is the pairing of contemporary models with traditional elements such as mantels, surrounds, or media. “Consumers are adding custom shelving and surrounds to modern fireplaces, using premium finishing material such as barn wood, to create truly timeless designs,” Swanson says. Since Designers on Fire was launched, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from the featured designers, architects, and builders, who have received publicity for their own businesses. Specialty hearth retailers are also benefiting because they use the program to target design professionals in their communities who ultimately drive business to their stores. “Designers on Fire becomes a resource tool for retailers and helps position them as trusted advisors to design professionals in their local communities,” Swanson says. “This is definitely a program that has a positive effect throughout our industry.” The Designers on Fire campaign is just one component of Hearth & Home Technologies’ overarching commitment to the architect/designer community. In addition to showcasing beautiful designs through the Designers on Fire case studies, Heat & Glo also provides Revit® BIM models, CAD drawings, and customizable Construction Specifications Institute specifications, as well as continuing-education courses approved by the American Institute of Architects, the America Society of Interior Designers, and the National Association of the

Castelle’s Park Place Featured at Barclay Butera Event At Monterey (California) Car Week in August, during the Concours d’Elegance celebration, classic/luxury-automobile enthusiasts experienced the unveiling of a custom rollsroyce Dawn designed by barclay butera, renowned designer and author. Also featured was the introduction of Castelle’s luxury lounge seating, Park Place, customized by butera. A VIP hospitality venue was created by butera to feature the custom-designed Park Place sectional. butera recently announced plans to collaborate with Castelle, awardwinning designer and manufacturer of luxury casual furniture. butera not only designed the interior and exterior of the rolls-royce, but also made the custom fabric and finish selections for the Park Place seating. A navy-and-white nautical theme was incorporated in all designs. Decorative pillows embroidered with the rolls-royce double-r logo were featured on the Park Place seating.

Remodeling Industry. “The resources we’ve provided work in tandem to assist architects and designers with their planning and specification efforts for fireplaces and stoves,” Swanson says. “Hearth & Home Technologies is wholeheartedly committed to investing in robust programs that feature and support the important, influential community of architects and designers.” Featured Designers on Fire proj-

The Outdoor GreatRoom Company Relocates Office The Outdoor Greatroom Company™ (OGC), a leader in the outdoor-living industry, is pleased to announce its relocation to larger headquarters in The Outdoor GreatRoom burnsville, Minnesota. Company’s staff at its new headquarters The move brings shipping, production, warehousing, and the corporate offices under one roof. The move was spurred by the significant growth that the company has seen in the past several years. by housing all areas of the business under one roof, services and shipping will become even more efficient. The larger space will promote continued growth for the business and create a more cohesive work environment for employees. The new OGC address is 14400 Southcross Dr. W., Suite 100, burnsville, MN. The company’s toll-free number will stay the same, but the new main phone number is (952) 658-6730, and the new fax number is (952) 658-6731.



The Castelle Park Place sectional and Live Edge table (designed by Barclay Butera) at Monterey Car Week

butera used a unique nautical theme on the luxury items created to complement the style and the oceanside Southern Florida residence of the rolls-royce Dawn’s owner. The maritime theme was carried over into the Castelle lounge seating. “When the company approached me about designing its outdoor spaces at the Quail Motorsports unveiling and its spectacular mansion in Pebble beach, I knew I could count on my partners at Castelle to deliver,” butera says. “The furniture was a huge hit, and we were thrilled

ects: Peak 8 Penthouse, by Donna McAlear of New Mood Design, features a breathtaking vacation home nestled in the Rocky Mountains, with a Heath & Glo LUX gas fireplace. Anya Lane Contemporary Home, by Chris Walker of Christopher Developments, features a tranquil fusion of Asian–inspired architecture and contemporary West Coast design, with an indoor/outdoor gas fireplace. DuPont Circle, by Samantha Friedman of Samantha Friedman Interior Designs LLC, features a gas fireplace insert included in a sophisticated update of a century-old home. Nantahala Mountain Cabin, by Magdalena Bach of Bach Design Studio, features a stunning vacation retreat that has a variety of interconnected spaces, with a multisided gas fireplace. Sommersby Traditional, by Michelle Hollenhorst of Regency Builders, features a contemporary classic, with a fireplace that provides an inviting atmosphere for a connected kitchen, dining, and living area. Custom Transitional, by Jennifer Crome of State Street Interiors, features a modern linear fireplace that blends traditional and contemporary elements. For more information on Designers on Fire and to view the projects, visit


that Castelle’s custom capabilities were able to turn around designs in such a tight timeline. There really is no other source for custom outdoor furnishings quite like Castelle.” Steve Lowsky, CEO of Castelle, says, “Castelle was excited to work with barclay on the product for this event and honored to see our handcrafted furnishings as part of this very prestigious and luxury-focused event. This collaboration provided us the perfect platform to highlight our custom capabilities and allowed barclay’s unique vision to be carried across both symbols of the best of luxury and craftsmanship, rollsroyce and Castelle.”

The Outdoor Greatroom Company Holds Annual Conference The Outdoor GreatRoom Company (OGC) hosted its second annual Outdoor GreatRoom Conference in September at its new corporate headquarters in Burnsville, Minnesota. The two-day event included staff, sales representatives, and a number of customers. This educational event, themed Place Your Bets on OGC, featured showroom, factory, and engineering tours; hands-on product training; and round-table discussions, as well as evening festivities. Eric Cannon, territory representative for the Rocky Mountain States, comments, “It was a fun and informative teambuilding experience.” This event brought the company closer to its customers and provided a lot of feedback on how OGC can help its customers and sales representatives succeed. Steve Shimek, vice president of sales, reports feedback that OGC listens, is fun to do business with, is very innovative, has great customer service, and has good people. OGC is looking forward to growing this event.



Treasure Garden Launches Website Redesign

A vignette featuring Kinza indigo

Sunbrella Vignettes to Be Showcased at The MT Company During High Point Market With a unique ability to create sophisticated environments that balance aspiration with attainability, home-decor authority Joe ruggiero taps into his world travels for inspiration. During the October High Point Market, ruggiero’s showroom at The MT Company will showcase his Sunbrella® textile designs in globally inspired vignettes, dubbed Discovering World Design. “My parents had a great love for architecture and design and encouraged me to travel from a young age,” ruggiero says. “My aesthetic is rooted in my travels, giving a nod to the past and looking to the future. I draw inspiration from around the world for my fabric and furnishing designs, and I look forward to sharing my perspective in High Point.” A serene welcome awaits visitors as they are greeted by a Japanese– inspired bedroom vignette showcasing pattern Kinza in colorway wren. Kinza highlights an ikat pattern—similar to a distressed herringbone— throughout, creating an intriguing optical effect. ruggiero shares his affinity for French culture with a seating area that captures the spirit of France. Featuring Azore in colorway mist, the room is cast with a soft, watercolor-like shade of blue. Indigo, one of the oldest dyes to be used for art and textile dyeing, has been a strong element in home decor worldwide. ruggiero is inspired by this deep, sophisticated color, incorporating a number of playful patterns into a living space in the showroom. Wire, a simple honeycomb design, with a soothing repeat; Slash, a new take on traditional plaid, with a pattern that appears to be slashed into the fabric; and Kinza indigo give this vignette a casual (yet refined) feeling. Inspired by the German bauhaus movement (heavily shaped by Modernism), ruggiero uses shades of gray and off-white, along with textural interest, to create a contemporary living space. Azore in colorway slate adds a touch of softness, while modular upholstered seating creates clean lines in this vignette. Acknowledging classic Americana, a living space fit for George and Martha Washington features a family portrait that sets the tone for this traditional space. Tailored (a fabric inspired by menswear tweed, using chenille fiber for a luxurious feel) in colorway smoke gives the room a masculine feeling, while classic cocktail and wing chairs complete this historic tribute. “Design is universal, but to bring together high-end design, luxurious texture, and performance is an extraordinary thing. My fabrics combine design and performance, so you always get the fade resistance, easy care, and bleach cleanability that Sunbrella is known for,” ruggiero says. He will showcase Discovering World Design during High Point Market, October 22 through 26, in The MT Company showroom on the second floor of 311 N. Hamilton St., High Point.



Treasure Garden, award-winning manufacturer of outdoor shade umbrellas and accessory products, has launched its updated and redesigned website Treasure Garden’s website (www.treasure Providing a fresh format built for a user-friendly experience, Treasure Garden’s new website now presents the company’s product lineup through enhanced and interactive features. Also included in the website is a relaunch of the TG Design Studio, where users can make online selections and custom design one-of-a-kind shade products. An online portal specifically for the company’s dealers, TeamTG, is featured on the website. benjamin Ma, executive associate at Treasure Garden, says, “This website redesign demonstrates our ongoing commitment, as a fashion-driven company, to presenting the latest trends—not only in our products and fabrics, but also the way in which they can be accessed online. After researching current trends and listening to our customers, the design team incorporated these suggestions and ideas within the site. This launch is the result of their efforts, and we are confident the redesigned website is positioned to provide a total online experience.”

Homecrest Selects 2016 Sales Representative of the Year Homecrest Outdoor Living has chosen Tyler Jones as its Sales representative of the Year. Jones received the award at Homecrest’s national sales meeting, just prior to the ICFA Preview Show™ in Tyler Jones Chicago, Illinois. Jones has been a Homecrest sales representative since 2014, successfully covering Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana with his superior customer service, dedication, and amiable personality. Jones enjoys interacting with Homecrest dealers, showing products and providing training to salespeople. Jones says, “I take a lot of pride in selling quality products. Not everyone can sell something with quality and longevity. The whole key is to make connections and friendships in the industry—the relationships I’ve created and will continue to create with my dealers.”

Jason berry Joins Agio, USA As Senior Product Director Agio, USA has hired Jason Berry as senior product director. Berry brings to the Agio team over a decade of experience in the outdoor industry. He will be responsible for various national and regional accounts. He


will report to Leonard Saldana, senior vice president of product development and marketing. John Oppenheimer, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Agio, says, “We are thrilled to have Jason on the Agio team. His experience and expertise in the outdoor industry will make an immediate impact on our company, as well


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LASVEGASMARKET.COM Circle Reader Service No. 13



Momentum Continues to Build for The Fireplace Door Guy For more than a quarter-century, The Fireplace Door Guy has been providing high-quality fireplace doors, freestanding screens, and gas log sets manufactured in the United States. The California company has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a garage workshop, and its hard work has paid off well. Now, with widely expanded manufacturing capability, Danny Vice, owner of The Fireplace Door Guy, is able to make his wares with even more speed and efficiency—all while delivering year round and across the country. “We begin with an in-home consultation for each customer, to take measurements and choose a design that suits the home,” Vice says. “Once we have all of the specifications, we begin the process of handcrafting the fireplace door out of U.S.–made steel. When the door is completed, it is handpainted in an oilrubbed bronze, black, or gray color.”

Many other manucustomer’s individually facturers take about chosen design requests. four to eight weeks to These customers want make one customer’s something made espedoor, but “our turncially and specifically for around time is two to them, either to fit uniquethree weeks,” Vice ly shaped fireplaces/firereports. boxes or to complement “Depending their styles and tastes. on the size of rustic and modern the cusfireplace doors are doing tomer’s firewell these days, and Vice place, our recently added a new doors weigh line of modern mantels to 80 to 100 complete the look of The Fireplace Door Guy offers a wide pounds (of modern fireplace range of styles, sizes, and colors solid steel). doors. “All of our fireOur fireplace place doors are handdoors also come with a lifetime crafted for the individual customer,” guarantee.” Vice explains. “Customers are also For dealers hoping to capitalize on able to create their unique designs. a customer base that craves cusWe have even had inspiration come tomization, products from The from a favorite rug or curtains.” For Fireplace Door Guy are all handbuilt, more information, visit www.fireplace customized (one at a time) for each

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Circle Reader Service No. 14




as future product lines.” For the past 10 years, Berry has worked with Plantation Patterns, where his most recent position was that of sales and marketing manager. Prior to that, he held similar positions at Tommy Bahama Outdoor and at Home Casual.

bryan Echols receives 2016 Sales representative of the Year Award From ICFA The International Casual Furnishings Association named Bryan Echols (Charlotte, North Carolina) as the 2016 Sales Representative of the Year at Casual Market Chicago. The award recognizes an outstanding sales representative in the casual-furnishings industry. Finalists were selected based on leadership, professionalism, exceptional service, communication skills, knowledge, and product-training expertise. After a short stint in the banking industry, Echols realized a cubicle was not continued on page 91


TheSecond Kitchen Outdoor kitchens show no signs of cooling down because consumers desire open-air cuisine.

An outdoor kitchen built and designed by Artistic Cabinetry using products from Danver/Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens

Call it staycationing, cocooning, or simply remodeling, but the outdoor-kitchen phenomenon is still going strong. Manufacturers

Forshaw’s Exterus Express island kit

working to make long-term plans are showing their confidence with big bets on research/development, expanded production capacity, and savvy marketing.

The Grand Turbo 38-inch built-in gas grill from Barbeques Galore

A relatively steady economy has buoyed spirits among industry bean counters. Meanwhile, an occasionally dangerous world has kept potential buyers closer to home—with money to spend on outdoor sanctuaries. Sanctuary ends up being the key word. Even though cooking is still the natural focus of every

The Fire Magic Echelon E790i built-in grill



The Summerset Alturi 42-inch grill



kitchen (inside or outdoors), the opportunities to sell add-on products and accessories are numerous, when the area is viewed as a whole. Combining a pleasant firepit with the irresistible aroma coming from an innovative grill takes into account the entire space. With water features, convenient cabinets, heaters, and more available, customers will take notice. Tempting customers who have the budgets and imaginations needed to realize their outdoor-kitchen dreams requires showing the right products on the retail floor. If you need ideas, these 12 manufacturers are putting in the time, effort, and money required to attract customers who are looking for something special. RH PETERSON Jerry Scott is senior vice president of RH Peterson Company (City of Industry, California). He has seen the growth and sophistication of outdoor kitchens increase in recent years. “We’re seeing people expand their outdoor kitchens, sometimes to offer even more than their indoor kitchens in the ability to prepare meals,” Scott says. “We’re seeing things such as side cookers, rotisserie kits, and refrigeration: things that cook the food and things that keep it cold. People are putting sinks out there.” As cooking capability goes up, fire accessories are a natural addition to the outdoor kitchen’s ambience. Fire tables with a surface for serving meals can coexist with water features and various pieces of creative decor. “With American Fyre Designs®, we introduced the French Barrel Oak line of fire accessories, which mimics a French barrel-wood finish on the tables and the firepits,” Scott says. “That has been extremely well received, to the point that we are looking at possibly doing other


The Cal Flame LBK-701 island

A modular island (finished) from the Galaxy Outdoor modular system—the next generation

A fire table from Bull

A built-in Asado cooker from Coyote

Hestan’s 36-inch grill, in prince, on a door and double-drawer cart

The PRO500 grill from Napoleon

types of wood finishes for this.” TWIN EAGLES For consumers looking at introductory outdoor-kitchen equipment, Twin Eagles Inc. (Cerritos, California) has a third brand (in addition to Twin Eagles and Delta Heat) under the corporate umbrella. According to Brian Eskew, marketing director at Twin Eagles, it’s called Delsol, and it comes complete with “grills, side burners, doors, drawers, and other complementary products and accessories for built-in outdoor kitchens—also available as freestanding models,” he says. A redesigned Twin Eagles grill with accessories is also on the drawing board for 2017. “I can’t say too much, but it is going to have several

aesthetic improvements,” Eskew says. “It will be distinctly Twin Eagles, but we’re making design advances and adding some new product features.” The spirit of innovation at Twin Eagles is spurred by a distinct feeling that the outdoor-kitchen trend is a long way from slowing down. For dealers hoping to take advantage of (and build on) the trend, Eskew advises always paying attention to what best suits a customer’s particular cooking and entertaining needs. “Those are always different,” he says. “Some customers trend toward lots of complementary cooking accessories. Some trend toward lots of organized storage solutions or outdoor-entertaining equipment, such


An outdoor kitchen from Delsol

An outdoor kitchen featuring DCS products

as drop-in coolers or refrigerators.” Eskew continues, “We have seen, over the past several years, that consumers are trending toward more fully featured and functional outdoor kitchens. They want to be able to use their outdoor kitchens not just when



physically cooking on the grill. They also treat outdoor kitchens as gathering and entertaining places.” HESTAN Built-in offerings proliferate in many outdoor kitchens, but Basil Larkin,

SPOTLIGHT The LBK-401 island from Cal Flame

Bull’s Brahma grill

Barbeques Galore’s 2017 Turbo Elite four-burner built-in gas grill

vice president of sales for Hestan Commercial Corp. (Anaheim, California), points out that some gathering places can also move around—thanks to wheels. “Our Deluxe grill has really shaken the outdoor-grill world,” he explains. Modular islands (not bolted “The design of the cart is like together) from the Galaxy nothing else out there,” he adds. Outdoor modular system— the next generation “Dealers and consumers have absolutely fallen in love with the product, particularly in our 12 exclusive colors.” Napoleon are developing a line of outdoor Larkin reports that the color offering has products, in all product categories, that will live had a strong impact “in our sales and display up to the desires of modern consumers. space. It is so powerful and beautiful that it has Stuteville explains that those customers want been featured in numerous magazines,” he says. high-quality complementary products to go Larkin credits Eric Deng, president of the along with their outdoor purchases. “Products company, for product-development leadership such as high-quality lump charcoal are becomthat always involves a team approach. “On the ing very popular,” she says. “The postindustrialproduction side, we've continued to create even food (or foodie) revolution is driving demand tighter control over quality, we’ve purchased for accessories that make preparing farm-stand additional necessary equipment, and we’ve douvegetables easier (such as Himalayan salt bled our factory-team members from a year blocks) and technology that helps them prepare ago,” he explains. grass-fed, free-range, and wild-caught meats to “We've had quarters where we have welcomed enhance their natural flavor—such as Wi-Fi more than 30 new team members. On the marthermometers indicating that the meat has keting side, we've been busy creating new materireached optimal internal temperature.” als; enhancing our website While the pizza fever is still relatively hot, (; and promoting Stuteville sees “a gradual decline in complemenour additional product awards, such as Vesta, tary products, such as pizza ovens, as people Kitchen Innovations®, and Excellence in Design learn how to prepare pizza directly on or over awards,” he says. the actual outdoor appliances,” she says. Aesthetic sensibility is also changing, with NAPOLEON “every shade of gray outside, from the darkest Kimberly Stuteville, director of sales USA for charcoal to the lightest heather, the trend is to Napoleon Grills (Barrie, Ontario), agrees that lighten up,” she explains. style, design, and technological integration are “In an effort to integrate all the elements,” important elements of modern outdoor she adds, “we see a shift from the vibrant reds kitchens. Stuteville says, “The new trend for and greens on grills to more subtle colors.” products being introduced into the market is to Those include “charcoal, light gray, and even a meet the demands, both functional and fashreturn to porcelain black,” she says. ionable, of male and female consumers.” CAL FLAME Those elements don’t often come cheaply, Many customers who already have outdoor but Stuteville believes that savvy customers are kitchens are keen to expand those areas. Shiva increasingly willing to bypass throwaway prodNoble, executive vice president of Cal Flame®, a ucts. Those “with a bit more discretionary division of Cal Spas (Pomona, California), income want to make a statement in all areas of reports that fireplaces and firepits have filled that their homes,” she says, including the outdoors. role as the go-to product for 2016. In line with that philosophy, designers at



She expects that trend to continue—with the addition of one more crucial item. It’s usually just a few steps away from the outdoor kitchen. “Water is correlated with health and a sense of calm. That is why we offer hot tubs through Cal Spas,” Noble says. She adds, “Fire is more synonymous with entertainment and bringing groups together. This is possibly the reason that there has been a steady increase in sales for our fireplaces and firepits.” Combining relaxation (hot tubs) with cooking in the outdoor setting is not going out of style. For Noble, it comes down to a mindset among consumers who “want to make the home more recreational. They want to be able to step into the comforts of their backyards and take a couple of minutes to escape their worries,” she says. DANVER/BROWN JORDAN OUTDOOR KITCHENS Mitchell Slater is president of Danver™ Stainless Outdoor Kitchens and Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens (Wallingford, Connecticut). His view of outdoor kitchens is a bit different from that of his competitors. “We are catching on,” Slater explains. “We’re making cabinets, versus barbecue islands.” He adds, “We’re in a different version of outdoor kitchens.” Slater reports that the company’s cabinets are easy to install. Their installation also takes less time, he notes. In addition, the cabinets are more current with what designers are doing these days. “Houses are now built with indoor/outdoor rooms, so if you have a room that’s under a roof, for instance, a rock wall doesn’t make sense,” he says. “If you have cabinets that look like they could be indoors—but they are outdoors, and they are able to survive because of their materials—then that fits.” SUMMERSET Earlier this year, Summerset® Professional Grills (Huntington Beach, California) launched the American Muscle grill (AMG), a U.S.– made, multifuel cooking machine. It features patented fuel trays that allow grillers to choose among gas, charcoal, wood, pellets, or any custom combination of fuels—simultaneously.


DAMN NEAR PERFECT. BUT A LITTLE MORE PEACH NECTAR WILL MAKE THAT GLAZE REALLY SING. Introducing Hestan Outdoor, for those who have an obsession with perfection. We tinkered, tested and tweaked until we came up with the most powerful and reliable grill available. 25,000 BTU burners deliver the perfect sear. Ceramic radiant briquettes minimize flare-ups. We laser cut our grates in-house for heavy-duty reliability. And the built-in rotisserie really works (really well). And since we’re perfectionists, we build each and every grill from scratch at Hestan Headquarters in Anaheim, California. We wouldn’t entrust our recipe to anyone else.

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Coyote’s 36-inch S-series built-in grill

Danver/Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens products, in an outdoor kitchen built and designed by Atlantic Outdoor Living

Nick Straubel is director of product development for Summerset. The AMG adds versatility and “brings grilling back to its bare roots of fire, food, and fun,” he says. The AMG coincides with Summerset’s recent move to a bigger and better facility in southern California. It’s designed to bolster the company’s production and product development. “We strive to create products that make sense. As cliché as it may sound, getting there boils down to meeting customers’ wants and needs,” Straubel says. “It begins with listening to customers’ requests for a new product here or a new feature there.”

A DCS outdoor kitchen

He continues, “Here at Summerset, we are avid grillers. We take our own experiences to get what the customer needs and combine those with what they want—to create a product that just makes sense.”

FORSHAW/EXTERUS Rick Forshaw, president of Forshaw of St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri), notes that if standard selections don’t make sense, outdoor kitchens have become more customizable at the dealer level. “Pick your grill; pick your doors, drawers, and storage,” he says. “Don’t forget refrigeration and ice. Then, pick a countertop color, and pick a stone color. Boom: You have a totally custom job that goes together one, two, three,” he adds. Forshaw’s combination gas/charcoal builtin grill remains a strong seller, along with True® refrigeration systems. These durable outdoor refrigerators are constructed with stainless-steel interiors, LED lights, and a choice of locking stainless-steel or glass doors. Putting it all together in a convenient package for retailers is something that Philip G. Chamberlain,

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A Twin Eagles outdoor kitchen


Power Burner

Outdoor Kitchen Accessories

Premium Grills



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SPOTLIGHT national sales manager for Exterus Outdoor, notes is the final piece of the puzzle that makes outdoor kitchens easier to sell. “We offer not only the modular cabinets, but the appliances, grills, and accessories,” Chamberlain says. Those components are available “in addition to the finishes, such as stone, stucco, and a granite-countertop turnkey opportunity,” he adds. “Our product allows customers essentially to design their own outdoor kitchens and get everything from us.” BARBEQUES GALORE Henrik Stepanyan of Barbeques Galore® (Ontario, California) has seen the outdoorkitchen phenomenon firsthand as a manufacturer and retailer. Beyond the core grilling equipment, a long list of accessories can boost sales. “I have a new patio heater coming out in the fourth quarter,” Stepanyan says. “Our new Totum heater will have a Bluetooth– capable music player and ambience lighting. It will provide comfortable heat to go along with music and lights.” Barbeques Galore has made enhancements to its current Turbo line of grills, with double-walled sides in the bowl. Stepanyan explains that these are the only grills in their category to use double-walled sides not only for the hood and the bowl, but now, for the sidewalls as well. Enhanced manufacturing automation at the factory has made for quicker turnarounds. This is a factor that Stepanyan knows is appreciated by retailers. He explains, “Having retail stores allows us to hear what customers look for firsthand. With 20 stores in three states, we take that feedback from customers and turn it into action. Just about every new idea we discuss comes from direct feedback from our customers and associates in the field. We’re seeing more and more island accessories added to sales orders. Customers are really getting creative in what accessories they put in their outdoor kitchens, from spice racks to outdoor bars to dry-storage drawers.” BULL Capturing a full demographic range to maximize the outdoor-kitchen phenomenon is a goal that Frank Mello, vice president of sales and marketing for Bull® Outdoor Products Inc. (Rialto, California), has worked to achieve through products such as the company’s new premium outdoor refrigerator and its commercial-style griddle. Both items have taken off this year; they are “great products at value prices that are really delivering for our dealers in

will include a special burner, with details to be announced later this year. Plans are in place to continue to work with Cal Poly and fine-tune products for years to come. If demand continues at its current rate, Mello will be more than happy. “Complete outdoor-kitchen sales are, frankly, out of control. We have had our factories producing kitchens nonstop, all season long. This category, for us, is clearly ramping up,” he says.

Napoleon’s PRO665 grill

The Hestan 60-inch Deluxe grill, with double side burners, in citra

The French Barrel Oak Cosmo dining fire table from American Fyre Designs

The Exterus island by Forshaw, with a Fire Magic grill and a Big Green EGG

2016,” Mello says. In 2017, Mello and his team are planning to make improvements and additions to the grill line. In the process, they “will be pushing the price points up and adding to the lower price points,” Mello says. “Both help us complete what is already one of the most complete offerings in the industry.” Bull has once again worked with the engineering department at California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University, San Luis Obispo, in an effort to improve its grills—specifically, the heat distribution at all temperature settings. Mello reports that the resulting improvements



COYOTE Jim Ginocchi, president of Coyote Outdoor Living Inc. (Dallas, Texas), has seen his own sales ramp up because of new products such as the Asado cooker, a versatile cooking machine that can grill, sear, smoke, and bake. Coyote’s own bundle of branded lump charcoal and accessories completes the package for consumers who want to explore greattasting grilling. Other accessory upgrades to Coyote grills include Signature grates, which are laser-cut grates specifically focused on individual types of food (such as beef, chicken, fish, and vegetables). “Coyote has also introduced a 24-inch outdoor-rated refrigerator to its lineup,” Ginocchi says. “Coyote is looking forward to adding more new products in 2017, so stay tuned.” A constant product-development phase characterizes the Coyote culture, but Ginocchi adds that existing products are also evaluated for possible improvements. A redesigned firebox is one such example, as is the addition of Infinity™ pro-style burners (for a more even cooking experience). On the marketing side for outdoor kitchens, Ginocchi reports, a newly designed website ( now features “fabulous high-resolution photos, easyto-navigate functions, and a wealth of information—including individual specifications and line drawings for each product. We have also bolstered our social-media presence, partnering with food and design bloggers to get our message out to various channels,” he says. Ginocchi explains that customers appreciate the company’s pragmatic outdoor-kitchen options. They include an outdoor drop-in griddle, a fully insulated bar-top drop-in cooker, and a dual trash/recycling center, all of which enhance the outdoor-cooking experience and provide a great opportunity for add-on sales. For customers who want to cook with more than one fuel, Coyote is making a dual-fuel 50inch hybrid grill with gas and charcoal capabilities. “We also have a true drop-in charcoal grill, as well as the Asado cooker,” Ginocchi says.


“Outdoor-living storage accessories are definitely on the rise, and our full line of storage and combo drawers can answer that call. Our new 31-inch dry pantry also is a great way to store foods and spices outside, in a magnetically sealed cabinet.” He continues, “Grill accessories and refrigeration are also on the rise. Because of the growing involvement of landscapers and designers in the market, as well as the influence of the press, customers are wanting a more built-in outdoor-living space. As such, one area in which we do see a bit of a decline is cart-model grilling.” GALAXY OUTDOOR After almost a decade of hard work, Galaxy Outdoor LLC (Las Vegas, Nevada) earned a patent in 2015 for its modular outdoor kitchen. Now, the Galaxy Outdoor modular system—the next generation is ready for prime time and available through the company’s dealer network. Bruce Spangrud, owner, says, “We believe it will change the way our dealers, as well as the customers, build outdoor kitchens. Customers can buy

A Summerset outdoor kitchen, with a Sizzler 32-inch grill, a side burner, a refrigerator, storage drawers, cabinets, and a pizza oven

them finished or unfinished.” Galaxy’s modular outdoor kitchens are made of 12-gauge galvanized 120 steel tubing, with 100% welded framing. A PermaBase® cement-board surface prevents weather damage, and there are adjustable feet for leveling. “Each modular cabinet is boltable to every other cabinet (in any configuration), as well as to the bars and tabletops,” Spangrud explains. “Every modular piece is interchangeable with every other modular piece. No matter how you lay it out, the pieces are interchangeable and boltable, and you can build a 20-foot island that takes about an hour to install. We are pricing this at $115 per linear foot, with free freight any-

where in the country, and with unlimited cutouts (all the way through).” Spangrud adds, “With our old system, you could only use our stainlesssteel products. With the new system (next generation), we give you a free cutout in the front and a free cutout on the top, so you can put any component, of any kind, within our modular system—at no charge.” DCS Ultimately, avid grilling is a nationwide theme that still serves as the centerpiece of the outdoor-kitchen craze, and DCS by Fisher & Paykel Appliances Ltd. (Costa Mesa, California) approaches the customer with an eye



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toward performance-driven tools. Wilson Hawkins, general manager, outdoor USA, for DCS , explains that the company’s Ultimate Performance grill comes with an infrared burner and a griddle plate. “The infrared burner is best known for its flexibility,” he says. “You can bring it up to the high-heat grill surface (1,100 degrees) and drop it all the way down to a low-and-slow 300 degrees. The griddle provides customers with the ability to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner: scrambled eggs to French toast to bacon to scallops. Both items allow consumers to use their grills for more than hot dogs and hamburgers.” Hawkins continues, “We want people to think outside the norm when cooking and think about all the exciting new foods they could try. With the infrared burner, our grease-management system, and our griddle, consumers have the ultimate performance piece. We are all about performance, and anything we do with our grill will add to the performance. We want our customers to get food of five-star– restaurant quality from the comfort of their own backyards.”

Marketing Manuevers O’MALIA’S

Twice As Strong An Indiana retailer initiates dual strategies to market his seasonal business.


O’Malia’s sells high-end outdoor kitchens to discerning customers

O’Malia’s Fireplace & Outdoor Living (Carmel, Indiana) looks like one big store. It is, but it is also two separate busi-

nesses. O’Malia’s Outdoor Living sells patio furniture and grills, and O’Malia’s Comfort Living specializes in comfort, providing HVAC services, along with fireplaces. O’Malia’s Outdoor Living carries grills from Big Green Egg Inc., Broilmaster, Twin Eagles, Delta Heat, and Delsol, along with furniture and accessory lines from OW Lee, Cabana Coast, Peak Season, Seaside Casual, and Treasure Garden. Also included in the product lineup are a variety of burners and firepit media, alongside local-stone pavers for DIY firepits. The store, just north of Indianapolis, showcases American Fyre Designs’ outdoor fireplaces and pergolas from The Outdoor GreatRoom Company. There’s a full outdoor kitchen in the showroom, as well as a comprehensive line of grilling accessories, rubs, and spices. Under the same roof, O’Malia’s Comfort Living carries Heil HVAC equipment, along with fireplaces and hearth accessories from Mendota, Travis Industries, Napoleon, White Mountain Hearth, Grand Canyon, Hargrove, Golden Blount, and RH Peterson. Glass doors from Stoll and Design Specialties are shown with some amazing mantels. Scott Horvath, owner of O’Malia’s, says, “We have a unique assortment of mantels, including a locally handcrafted selection of old barnwood mantels, the new MagraHearth concrete mantels, a high-end selection from a master craftsman, and more.” He adds that the store also sells a full line of fireplace accessories and gifts. Together, the combined stores employ a team of 10, operating from



a 10,000–square-foot showroom (with 8,000 square feet of warehouse/office space). Horvath bought the business, which was founded by the O’Malia family in 1966. The family ran a grocery store with a fireplace shop next door. During the first 20 years, the grocery grew to occupy several locations; it was sold in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the fireplace shop added gas grills in the 1980s, and in the early 2000s, it started selling patio furniture. In 2015, Helen O’Malia retired (after 49 years), and Horvath purchased the remaining stock in the fireplace business. Now in its 50th year, O’Malia’s has undergone some drastic changes under Horvath. Among his immediate changes was splitting the business into two distinct companies. “We serve two different audiences,” Horvath explains. “Outdoor living is very much a luxury audience. We keep our product mix at a higher level, so you won’t find a set of patio furniture here for $600 or $800. We carry high-end luxury items.” He continues, “On the fireplace end, we serve all audiences. You can get a set of gas logs from us for $199 or $2,000. That is the primary reason for separating them.” Apart from separating the markets, Horvath has other reasons for running the businesses as dual entities, and they all come down to marketing. “We have historically been known as a fireplace shop,” he says. “When summer rolls around, the majority of Indianapolis doesn’t think of us for patio furniture, so we have a marketing plan for the outdoorliving area. It is more aggressive, to reach those consumers and let them know we have patio furniture and Big Green Egg products, along with firepits and pergolas.”


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Marketing Manuevers O’MALIA’S

To boost sales further—for both companies—Horvath even started a commercial-sales division to reach more contractors, builders, landscapers, and interior designers. Explaining that it is easier to run the store as two businesses instead of one, Horvath says, “It was a little more work up front, but I think it helps us define our seasons better and explain ourselves to the customer better.” OFF-SEASON STRATEGY After splitting the two companies, Horvath added HVAC services to O’Malia’s Comfort Living. He says, “I did it to add service work—to keep our technicians and installers busy year round. It is an innovative industry and a growing industry, so there are growth opportunities, and we already have the infrastructure to make it happen.” A little more than a year into the new enterprise, Horvath is more than pleased with its success. He says, “It’s beautiful. We have made quite a few changes. We’ve added a lot of new technology and personnel, and sales are up; we’re getting good responses on customer service.” Customer service is a particular hot button for Horvath, whose background is in education. He taught business and worked in higher education for 13 years prior to buying O’Malia’s. “Education is in my blood. On a daily basis, we all need to learn and grow professionally. I immediately recognized that we needed a simple mindset (and similar mindset) on what customer service is. That is where you win: with customer service,” he says. To that end, Horvath, who is a big fan of Jack Mitchell’s book “Hug Your Customers” (Hachette, 2003), decided to make the book mandatory reading for all employees. He says, “It was a very easy decision; reading this would make a big impact on us. We do it as a team, so we hold everyone accountable, and we all learn from each other. That amplifies the learning experience.” The bottom line is that Horvath wants his employees to go above and beyond when serving customers. “A customer purchases a patio-furniture set. We need to do more than just smile, shake hands, and say, ‘Thank you,’” he says. “I want our people to do that and then follow up with a thank-you card two weeks later. It is taking that extra step, above and beyond what someone else might do, that will make us succeed.” This being the store’s 50th year, Horvath has been planning a customer-appreciation event. He has brought on new marketing expertise in the form of Steve Pulone, an industry veteran from Los Angeles, California, whose family has been in the industry for many years. “Steve brought an immeasurable amount of experience to the store in 2016, including a new approach

The store offers products from OW Lee, Cabana Coast, Peak Season, Seaside Casual, and Treasure Garden

Outdoor chefs appreciate the grill selection at O’Malia’s

to merchandising,” Horvath explains. The business has spent the past nine months updating the showroom, Horvath says, “to make it relevant for the next 10 years.” For the expertise, he credits Pulone. There was nothing obviously wrong with O’Malia’s before, he adds, “because it was successful when I purchased it— but we needed to update it.” He started by implementing new technology, including inventory management. He also installed televisions throughout the showroom that are interactive and that use a video loop featuring O’Malia’s commercials, along with vendors’ videos. The store has added a zone for kids (with a television airing cartoons and a table with puzzles and books) where kids can play safely while their parents shop. “Some of these buying decisions are relatively lengthy, such as reviewing Sunbrella® fabrics or choosing the front of a fireplace—so with this safe place for kids, their parents can take the time to do what they want to do,” Horvath explains. O’Malia’s also updated the showroom by adding new color, displays, and outdoor signage. Horvath switched out several vendors, too. “We looked at those that were the most progressive companies out there and reached out to them. We worked to establish new vendor relation-



ships,” he says. The store’s marketing has gone online. Horvath uses Google AdWords campaigns, along with Facebook and Twitter posts, to develop new business and reach the store’s existing customers. There is no one person dedicated to social marketing, but the store takes a team approach. “We all try to participate. That is a work in progress: Some people are more comfortable with social media than others,” Horvath says. Horvath and his team have been busy over the past year. It has had its highs and lows, but overall, Horvath is happy with the progress made—and optimistic about the future. “The winter season was warm, which limited how busy we were with fireplaces, but the spring season has been quite busy, as consumers got out early to shop for furniture and outdoor-living products,” he reports. “That dipped a little, as the rains came, in May. We didn’t see the sales growth we wanted in the first nine months, but this has been an excellent summer, and we’re pretty excited about the wintertime.” He adds, “We are positioned to be a local community showroom, designed by family members who live, work, and play in the same neighborhoods as our customers (and who deliver a high-quality product). I believe our business outlook is positive.” Here’s to another 50 years.


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Hearth retailer Sutter HoMe & HeartH

the ability to adapt Sutter Home & Hearth strengthens its product mix and marketing strategy in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Mike duval

In the heart of Ballard, one of the hippest historic neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington,

is Sutter Home & Hearth, a specialty hearth store that has become a local landmark. Over the past 37 years, Mike Duval, owner/president, has strategically grown the business from a wood-stove shop into a high-end hearth business by thinking on his feet, evolving the store’s products, and offering unmatched personal service. Seattle is going through a building boom, so this spunky shop is prepared to turn on a dime (as it always has) to connect with its market and its customers. When Duval opened the retail store in 1979, the market was much different than it is today. “We sold cast-iron wood-burning products. In retail, it’s about timing, and the timing was perfect because of the energy crunch: People were interested in alternative forms of energy,” he remembers. The store opened its doors with a lineup of products unique to the area. “Our product mix is what really propelled the business,” Duval adds. “We were one of the first Vermont Castings dealers west of the Mississippi. We also carried Jøtul and a Danish line called Lange. I was selling stoves even before the shop opened—because we were offering products people wanted.” Business grew to the point that Duval was able to open a second location (in Woodinville, Washington) in 1986. Both stores thrived for many years.

By SHaron SanderS

PHotograPHy By Lauren KeLLy

Product mix is king at Sutter Home & Hearth

new oPPortunity In 2011, the Ballard store was relocated to a new building, just a half mile away, with a bigger showroom, more warehouse space, and better parking. “It was the step up that we needed to take if we wanted to keep growing,” Duval explains. Shortly after that move, the Woodinville store was forced to close



because it lost its lease, after 26 years, but the unplanned closure had a silver lining. “There are tremendous amounts of logistics, inventory, and effort that go into dealing with multiple locations, and the payoff has to be worth the effort. After the closure, we were able to expand and strengthen one store and reach out to more customers in


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Hearth retailer Sutter HoMe & HeartH

grills are a profitable counterseasonal offering

one market. It was a lot better for our management team, as well, because we are in lockstep with each other,” Duval says. The store has already made up for the initial loss of revenue by increasing its open hours and approaching Ballard’s surrounding communities in new ways. One of the changes that has had the biggest impact on the business is the shift, in its marketing, toward using online and social media. Duval does almost no conventional adverting, apart from cable- and network-television commercials. “It’s critical, in today’s competitive environment, to know how to reach your customers,” he says. “In many cases, a hearth purchase is more of a lifestyle decision than a heating decision. Our competition isn’t just with other hearth retailers, but with stereo stores, furniture stores, and other sellers of consumer goods.” The store’s website ( has undergone a major overhaul in its overall appearance, and it is more interactive for consumers. Duval works with an outside consultant to do all media buying, but he prefers to do most of the creative work internally, instead of working with an outside agency. “No one knows the business—and what will attract customers—better than my staff and I do,” he says. MaKing tHe ProduCt King As was evident early on, products have always been directly tied to Sutter Home & Hearth’s success. “We are constantly looking at our market and shifting our product mix to meet people’s needs,” Duval explains. Today, 90% of the store’s sales are of gas products from vendors that include Valor Fireplaces, Mendota Hearth, Ortal, Regency, and Jøtul. Gas inserts are its bread and butter. The other 10% of

sales are of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces from Jøtul, RAIS, and Morsø. Over the years, clean-air restrictions, burning bans, and low-emissions requirements (translated into state law) have slowly eaten away at the local wood-burning market. “It also comes down to convenience. In an urban market like ours, it’s not convenient to burn wood,” Duval says. He notes that it is difficult to watch woodburning appliances take a back seat because they are the company’s roots. “There will always be a core group of diehard wood burners, but we have to evolve with the market if we are going to stay relevant,” he says. Duval and his team are always working to keep the store’s showroom fresh and interesting. That’s not hard, he says, because there is a great deal of innovation in the industry’s hearth products. It’s just a matter of staying on top of the trends and rotating products through the showroom. About 10 years ago, the store started



offering outdoor fireplaces, firepits, and other fire features from companies such as Hearth Products Controls, Regency, and The Outdoor GreatRoom Company. Duval says, “The growth on that side of the business has been remarkable. We sell everything from custom firepit components to premade firepits. We now have a lot of experience with them, so we have gained a reputation as a good local resource. They are a growing part of our outdoor category.” The category also includes gas and charcoal grills, which have been profitable counterseasonal offerings since 1986. In general, Duval tries to avoid switching brands in product categories. “Once you understand a product and have a relationship with the company, it’s much easier to be successful— because you understand each other. It’s a business move that has really paid off for us,” he explains. ServiCe and CoMMitMent Sutter Home & Hearth is proud of the fact that it runs its own installation and service crews. This gives customers a level of reassurance that they don’t necessarily get from competitors. “Hearth products are not disposable, so you have the chance to gain customers for life,” Duval says. “It’s easy to build a relationship with them if you not only supply their products, but service those products as well. This is an important part of our business.” As the store continues to look for ways to grow its business, it works to broaden its customer base. According to Duval, one of his biggest challenges is trying to appeal to millennials. “Any retailer will tell you how hard it is to reach this generation of consumers. I think a lot of it has to do with income, lifestyle, and home ownership, so I know the switch will flip, at one point. Right now, they are the ones playing ‘Pokémon Go’ outside my store,” he says. As Duval looks to the future, he feels extremely fortunate to have a great business partner (John Miner) and employees who are committed to the business. “I’ve heard it said that you take your reputation to work with you every day, and I believe that,” he says. “I’ve always felt that one of the things that has kept me in this business is the satisfaction that I get from satisfying my customers. I love to get positive feedback from people who appreciate what we’ve done, what we’ve provided them with, and how long we keep them satisfied.” He adds that opportunity, in the Seattle market, is limitless. “At last count, there were 26 construction cranes in downtown Seattle, so I know opportunity is out there in residential and commercial business,” he says. “We just have to go after it.”


ZONE HEATING RADIANT WARMTH Valor Radiant Gas Fireplaces are sold exclusively by specialty hearth retailers. Customer appeal, product reliability, heat performance and long-term manufacturer support are all key ingredients when it comes to deciding what lines to display on your showroom floor. Valor is dedicated to providing quality products that exceed industry expectations and in turn, supply homeowners with efficient, cost effective heating for many years to come. For information regarding Valor and dealer network opportunities please contact Paul Miles (Director of Sales) at or visit Circle reader Service no. 31


DynamicDuo Mac (left) and Art Watson

Furniture is the store’s best seller

Good careers alone were no match for the appeal of working together. BY KIMBERLY RODGERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY VESKO RUYCHEV/LILLIAN PARKER

Brothers Art and Mac Watson always wanted to work in business together, and in 2014, they realized that

dream by opening Watsons’ Backyard Living (Auburn, Alabama). Living 350 miles from Auburn—in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was managing an indoor-appliance showroom—Mac was eager to move closer to his family. Art, who was living in Auburn, worked in sales in the pest-control industry. “A very good friend of ours, Rand Cooper, manages Bama’s Backyard Living (Tuscaloosa, Alabama), and he really helped us lay the groundwork, from the beginning. He gave us advice on what lines to carry and why he does what he does. It really opened our eyes and gave us a nice playbook to start with,” Mac says. Art says, “We both were in jobs where people often called with a problem. In this business, people come in happy, leave happy, and stay that way. It is a lot of fun to come to work every day.” Establishing an outdoor-living store in Auburn has proved to be a wise choice for the brothers. “One of the benefits of being here is that there really is no local competition, besides the big-box stores,” Mac says. “We are at least 50 miles from a store that does exactly what we do.” Indeed, Watsons’ Backyard Living offers all the essentials to outfit any outdoor space, including grills, casual furniture, firepits, and outdoor



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Many customers visit to furnish their lake homes

kitchens. Accessories available include a large variety of sauces, spices, rubs, and grill tools, along with umbrellas, sound systems, and decor.

In the grill category, Watsons’ Backyard Living carries gas, charcoal, pellet, and kamado varieties from top-name manufacturers, including

MARKETING THE MESSAGE Since they began their business, the Watson brothers have worked with an outside public-relations company: createTWO (Auburn). It manages the

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Napoleon, Twin Eagles/Delta Heat, MAK Grills, Primo Ceramic Grills, Big Green Egg, Green Mountain Grills, and Memphis Wood Fire Grills. “One of our big motivators for the lines we carry is that we wanted to have a U.S.–made product in every category that we sell,” Mac says. In pellet grills, that includes products from Memphis Wood Fire Grills—a company based in Bloomington, Minnesota, with a manufacturing plant in Phoenix, Arizona. “In gas grills, some of Napoleon’s upper-end products are U.S.–made, and Twin Eagles/Delta Heat products are all built in California,” Mac says. Ceramic grills from Primo are manufactured in Tucker, Georgia, 125 miles from Auburn. “We have always striven to give our customers the option by offering U.S.–made products,” Art says. “People are interested in products that are made here, and they are often willing to spend more money to buy the product that is built in the United States.” According to Art, the store’s customers are sophisticated about their grill purchases. “They come in here and tell us they are tired of purchasing a grill every other year,” he says. “They want a product that is going to last.” Most of the grills sold are gas models, with pellet grills coming on strongly. “As a region, the South is unfamiliar with pellet technology, since we don’t use pellet stoves here to heat our homes (as people do in the North and Northeast),” Mac says. “After explaining the technology and educating our customers on what pellet grills can do, our sales increased.” Assembly and setup of all grills are provided free within a 50-mile radius of Auburn. Watsons’ Backyard Living also sells all the appliances needed to build an outdoor kitchen. The retailer has established a significant network of builders and contractors who perform installations. “We have developed mutual relationships with people we believe in who can do the work for our customers,” Art says. “We refer customers to them, and they send people over to our store to purchase appliances.” Among all its market segments, patio furniture is the store’s biggest-selling category. Wicker, wrought-iron, aluminum, and recycled-HDPE furniture are popular in the area; Breezesta and Summer Classics are the two best-selling brands. “Breezesta really drives us because it is so durable,” Art says. “We have a lot of lakes in Alabama, and people want furniture they can leave outside without being concerned about it. Breezesta fits the bill.”



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store’s social-media presence and places advertising in local media. createTWO also designed and currently maintains the store’s website ( and manages its email marketing. “We try to stay in touch with our customers, through email, at least twice a month,” Art says. These mass emails might include a grilling recipe or describe a special event at the store, such as a quarterly cooking demonstration. In addition, the Watson brothers host grilling events throughout the year. These include an annual Thanksgiving meal, a breakfast, and an evening called BYOB2: Bring Your Own Beef and Brews. “Participants brought in their own steak and beer, and we provided the sides and dessert—all cooked on the grill,” Mac says. Steaks were seasoned and were then cooked on the attendee’s choice of pellet, gas, or kamado grill, so participants could experience the taste differences. “Across the board, we saw an increase in sales of each type of grill, and customers came back for the seasonings,” Art says. He continues, “A grill is only sold once; then, the customer is out the door. You want those repeat customers who come back for the accessories, seasonings, and sauces.” Mac adds, “It was a good idea from our marketing company—and a lot of fun.”

Watsons’ Backyard Living is a family business

THE FUTURE As grill manufacturers continue to add more advanced components to their products every year, Art comments, “There almost seems to be competition, in the grill business, to see what feature can be added to one-up the other companies. The bells and whistles are great, but ultimately, the consumer is looking for a grill that gets hot, stays hot, and cooks consistently.” Having said that, the brothers agree that the wireless technology now being incorporated into grill products is truly amazing. “As more wireless technology is added, consumers will be able to control and adjust the temperature and fan controls from their phones,” Mac says. Art adds, “The fact that you can basically cook your food on the grill from your chair is one of the biggest grill innovations since we have been in business.” Watson’s Backyard Living is a family business, with either Mac or Art being at the store six days a week. The company is thankful to have the help of Art’s 14–year-old son, “who is our part-time delivery specialist in the summer, and my wife has been on deliveries with us, too,” Mac says. “We want to have smoke in the air, so we cook on the grill and have the whole family come here for lunch. We hope customers will come by, too, and have a sample,” Mac explains. “We want to create a family atmosphere—because this truly is a family business.”

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Showroom Showcase

We Are Family

Offering superior products and turnkey service has been the mission of this family business for more than 60 years. BY KIMBERLY RODGERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB BAKER

Ed and Irene Mayer were newlyweds, in 1945, when they left Chicago, Illinois, to move to the family

farm—25 miles northwest of the city, in the village of Arlington Heights. With railroad access well established since the mid-19th century, the area had grown, with its abundance of farms and nurseries supplying produce to Chicago. In the 1950s and 1960s, Arlington Heights exploded as a desirable place to raise a family because of its excellent schools, its parks, and convenient commuter-rail access to the city. The Mayers’ farmhouse was located on Arlington Heights Road, the main two-lane thoroughfare in town. Using his skills as an ironworker, Ed began an ornamental iron shop in the barn behind the house. Irene, with a hillside for a lawn, wanted a patio set, and she bought a new one in downtown Chicago. When a roadworker asked whether the set might be for sale, Ed sold it to him for more than the purchase price—and the next week, Irene drove back to Chicago to purchase four more sets. After their success, the couple decided to open a patio shop on the property, founding Northwest Metalcraft in the mid-1950s. During the off-season, fireplaces were soon incorporated in the inventory, capitalizing on Ed’s ironworking expertise. Grills were added in the late 1950s, when George Stephen stopped by to talk to the Mayers about selling his new round grill—the Weber kettle—at




their shop. His factory, Weber-Stephens Products LLC, was located nearby. In the 1960s, the first gas grills (from Charmglow) were added to the lineup. Today, Northwest Metalcraft is one of the oldest family owned businesses in Arlington Heights, with the second and third generations of the family working in the business and continuing the legacy created by Ed and Irene. On any given day, there are always family members working at the store, including second-generation siblings Dan Mayer and Dawn Selleck. “We do everything, from sales and service to

Far left: Dawn Selleck and Dan Mayer Top: A decades-long reputation drives traffic through the doors Middle: Sales of fire tables, fireplaces, and firepits are strong year round Bottom: Northwest Metalcraft is one of the oldest family businesses in Arlington Heights

sweeping the floors and answering the phones,” Selleck says. “The best part of working in a family business is that there is always a family member on staff for a customer to talk to—about anything.” What was once a small shop attached to a farm has now grown into a 22,000– square-foot showroom. Its product lines encompass a huge variety of outdoor furniture in different materials and styles, along with fireplaces, grills, mailboxes, and accessories.

The retailer carries about 20 name brands in its furniture category, including Brown Jordan, Hanamint, Kingsley-Bate, and Lloyd Flanders. Grills are offered in charcoal, electric, naturalgas, and pellet choices from some of the best brands in the business (such as Broilmaster, DCS, Fire Magic, and Kamado Joe). Products from more than 40 different manufacturers in the fireplace segment are carried. “Fireplaces are coming on strongly. We are busy all year long doing installations; it’s not a fall or winter item anymore,” Selleck says. Sales are split approximately in half between patio and fireplace/grill products. INSTALLATION AND SERVICE As Northwest Metalcraft expanded to include selling a huge choice of top-name, high-quality products for the home, the installation/service side of the business also grew. “This soon became a very big part of our business; we install and service everything we sell,” Selleck says. She continues, “Our service department is extensive. We not only repair grills, fireplaces, gas lines, logs, and inserts for fireplaces, but also repair furniture and umbrellas and replace cush-



ions. We are a full-service store: We take care of what we sell.” Service is also provided for products not purchased at Northwest Metalcraft, as long as their manufacturer’s line is carried by the store. “We don’t want to touch an item that is an off-brand purchased at a big-box store,” Selleck explains. Installations are performed for everything from direct-vent and wood-burning fireplaces and stoves to mantels, fireplace surrounds, and grills (including assembling products and running gas lines). “A lot of people like us because we are able to do just about all the work ourselves, with our own licensed crew,” Mayer says. “We are a one-stop shop, from sales to installation and service: a total turnkey operation.” While there is competition in the Chicago area, there are not many places that offer the types of services that Northwest Metalcraft provides. In fact, instead of taking away business, the competitors offer some help. “There are a lot of other furniture stores around, but they often send customers to us with a broken umbrella, a furniture repair, or even an order for a special replacement part,” Selleck says. TIME-HONORED REPUTATION Northwest Metalcraft’s decades-long history in the Chicago area drives traffic through the showroom’s doors. “We have a lot of generations from the same family who buy from us,” Selleck says. The store also receives brisk business from area residents who purchase products for their second homes. “We deliver all over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—and we have shipped to the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Bolivia,” she adds. “We have quite a variety of clients, and we try to cater to everybody.” Because of the store’s proximity to O’Hare International Airport, people often visit it during layovers. “There are a lot of repeat customers who have moved away, but they know where to shop and know that we will ship, so they come back and see us when they are in Chicago,” Selleck says. Word-of-mouth advertising is Northwest Metalcraft’s number-one marketing method. Beyond that, the store has a significant presence on many social-media platforms, including Angie’s List and Houzz. “We are also looking



Showroom Showcase

The 22,000–square-foot showroom features many outdoor-furniture lines

Northwest Metalcraft provides installation and service for every product it sells

into bettering our community, getting involved in opening up some outdoor space for cooking demonstrations, and hosting family Christmas events,” Selleck adds. The relationships with customers that have been cultivated through the years have been, no doubt, a big factor in the company’s long-term success. Ed and Irene worked at the store in their 70s and continued to visit it into their 80s. “My

parents didn’t socialize much outside the store because they both worked seven days a week, so their customers became their friends,” Selleck says. The couple continued to live in the original 140– year-old farm house that was attached to the store; it was torn down just a few months ago. “When our dad died, a few years ago, we held his funeral right here in the store,” Selleck says. “He started here, and we thought he should fin-

ish here.” Mayer adds, “It was unbelievable; people came from all over the country who were in their 50s and 60s and who had worked for (and been mentored by) my dad when they were kids.” He continues, “My mom was the one who really started the business. She did all the books and knew how to make a dollar. She was the brains behind the business, and my dad was the brawn.”

Marco Bay Collection

Alfresco Home provides stylish, comfortable, and high quality products at an exceptional value to ensure the enthusiasm and pro tability of our customers.

For more information contact or visit one of our showrooms:

ATLANTA Suite 10-C-116 | AmericasMart

PHILADELPHIA 610.705.8808 | Open daily w/ appointment Circle Reader Service No. 40



CHICAGO Suite 16-120 | Chicago Merchandise Mart


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Comfort Sells Mallin creates a competitive advantage by designing ultracomfortable furniture.

Brenda Pereyda




The Dakoda collection

Mallin Casual Furniture, a division of Minson Corp. (Montebello, California), has been creating beautiful

designs for more than 50 years. Its furniture, tables, firepits, and accessories can be found on the showroom floors of some of the most respected specialty retailers. Patio & Hearth Products Report sat down with Brenda Pereyda, vice president of sales, to dig more deeply into what makes this forward-thinking company thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

Georgetown dining

The Sarasota collection

How has Mallin made a name for itself? Pereyda: Mallin is synonymous with comfort. When people sit in a piece of Mallin furniture, they know it. We have designed our furniture so that when people sit down, they are not sitting on our furniture—but rather, into it. It is as comfortable as a living-room couch or chair. Our pieces are a blend of frames in just the right width, depth, and pitch and cushions in the perfect balance of support and spring. This blend is what defines Mallin comfort. We are in an era where people like to lounge in their outdoor furniture, so comfort is a major selling factor. Mallin is equally known for its unique and innovative furniture designs, which successfully integrate fashion with comfort. What does a manufacturer need to do (or be) to thrive in this arena? Pereyda: Competition is fierce. We set ourselves apart by offering diversity in our furniture collections. People want to customize their outdoor spaces to match their daily lifestyles—and thus, they need choices. A consumer can go anywhere to purchase a basic four-piece set,



so a specialty retailer needs to offer other incentives, such as customization options. This means offering a variety of pieces that can be mixed and matched, including sofas, club chairs, swivel chairs, lounges, end tables, and anything that a consumer need to be make an outdoor space livable. In addition, it is equally important to offer a variety of fabric choices, frame colors, and finishes. This year, we are introducing four new collections, two new finishes, and more than 20 new fabrics for customers to choose from in customizing their own backyards. As consumers’ tastes become more sophisticated, how does the company plan to continue to meet their expectations? Pereyda: Mallin is always working to bring its furniture to the next level. We are a company of listeners, which is what keeps our products fresh and current. We look to our sales reps, dealers, and customers to tell us what is going on in the marketplace, as they are our front line. While keeping in touch with fashion, we are not a company that is producing over-thetop trendy designs. We design for real people. Real people want designs that fit with the aesthetics of their homes and indoor furniture. We offer trendy designs that accompany their lifestyles, where they can relax in the comfort of Mallin. If it is not comfortable, we will not make it. Which Mallin pieces and collections have caught consumers’ attention in 2016? Pereyda: We have a line called Georgetown that has done very well for us. People like its size, its clean lines, its simplicity, and the fact that it is comfortable. The other one is Dakoda. Once again, it has comfort, but it also has a unique rolled-


S A R A S OTA a s i m p l e c o n t e m p o ra r y a s e t h e t i c s

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G E O R G E TO W N timeless look, luxurious feel

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aluminum arm and a patented back-cushion design. Dakoda’s back cushion features aluminum-panel inserts—giving it a clean, upholstered look, which people seem to like a lot. Mallin has made new pieces for both of these collections for the coming year. We have added sling dining to Georgetown (originally, just a deep seating group), and we will add a corner piece for Dakoda’s sectional to increase configuration options. We typically add to groups that are retailing well because it gives dealers a reason to invite customers to come back to their stores to check out the new pieces. Are you particularly excited about any 2017 products? Pereyda: We are really excited about Sarasota, a deep seating collection with a sofa, love seat, club chair, and spring swivel club chair. What is unique about it is that the pieces are shorter and narrower than the standard Mallin furniture height and width. We created Sarasota to capture the condo and small-backyard market, specifically on the East Coast and in the Midwest. We believe this group will take off because there are not many small-scale products in the marketplace that encompass Mallin-level comfort. My travels have taken me all over the country, and I feel strongly that small-scale furniture is a growing trend. Our in-house designers are

good at developing groups and pieces that reflect market trends, and Sarasota is a perfect example of their talent in action. How is Mallin partnering with retailers to help them grow their businesses? Pereyda: Our goal is to aid our dealers in their success. We partner with them in many ways, including providing comprehensive support for their marketing and advertising efforts. Adverting is expensive, and we know that independent retailers have limited resources, so we do what we can to help them create professional materials. If they need product copy or photos, we are able to provide them with high-resolution professional photographs. When we do our product photo shoots, we purposely take extra shots that we know dealers will be able to use in their advertising and marketing efforts. Mallin maintains a complete library of its collections for dealers to use. We have a responsive marketing department that is always willing to send images and sales/marketing materials to dealers quickly, whenever they need them. What will the future hold for the outdoor-living industry? Pereyda: I wish I had a crystal ball, but I do not. Nevertheless, I can say that I am very optimistic about the future of the industry.

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Consumers’ interest in outdoor living is ever growing. What used to be a luxury is becoming more and more of a norm. I do not believe that outdoor living will ever reach its peak. As long as manufacturers can offer innovative and functional designs, then we will forever capture our audiences’ attention. Just as they do with indoor decor, people will always be changing out their outdoor furniture to match current styles and colors. If you can fulfill their demands, then they will buy. What is Mallin’s biggest near-future opportunity? Pereyda: Our biggest opportunity is in products custom made in the United States. This is where I believe we are going to see growth in the coming years. Specialty patio customers want customization, and we have set up our operation with this mindset. Mallin customers can have their furniture made to order with custom-selected fabric or the customer’s own material, as well as with their own choice of powder-coated finishes. We ship our furniture in a timely manner from our California operation, which is where we upholster all cushions and paint all frames. We are open 12 months of the year and can ship anywhere—at any time. Mallin is able to deliver custom furniture to customers in just a few weeks: That is our strength.

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Objects of Desire Summer Classics’ timeless designs transform ordinary backyards into high-end hideaways. from customers. Gabby was created in 2010 by White’s son, William. Named after his grandmother, Gabby makes transitional furniture, inspired by European antiques, that speaks to consumers’ growing interest in eclectic design. It created quite a buzz in the indoor-furniture industry when it was introduced and has become one of the fastest-growing Gabriella White companies.

Summer Classics



The Peninsula collection

Summer Classics® (Pelham, Alabama) was created more than 35 years

ago to fill a niche in the burgeoning outdoor-furniture market. Today, not only has it accomplished what it set out to do, but it’s leading the way in the industry with its unexpected (yet classic) designs. The modern-thinking company manufactures luxury patio furniture that always inspires. Dealers know it as a company that listens to what the market and consumers want, and that is reflected in its intuitive, fresh take on outdoor-furniture style. Bew White III, founder, started the company after working as a manufacturers’ representative for outdoor-furniture makers for many years. He represented some of the best lines available at the time, but (to him) none of them were just right. White regularly shared feedback that he had gathered in the field with the manufacturers, but they didn’t respond—so in 1978, he decided to go out on his own. He had earned a degree in textile engineering from Auburn University and had been a fabric-company representative in New York; armed with his solid experience in the patio-furniture, fashion, and fabric industries, White was set for success. His company’s first products included plastic umbrella bases, indoor furniture, and linens. Its first foray into outdoor furniture was an innovative line of furniture—made of pressuretreated, kiln-dried wood and coated with weather-resistant marine paint—that enjoyed immediate success.

It was picked up by a number of national retailers, including Crate & Barrel, Smith & Hawken, and Restoration Hardware. White had found his sweet spot. Summer Classics products are now sold in all 50 states and Canada, and the The Avondale collection company is one of the largest manufacturers of luxury outdoor furniture in the United States. Under the umbrella company Gabriella White, Summer Classics has steadily diversified (in various ways) into a number of different companies, each with a specialized niche and market. These include Summer Classics Private Label (including the brand Parker James), which manufactures outdoor furniture and cushions for large specialty retailers; Summer Classics Contract; SC Home (which includes 13 retail stores and licensees, primarily in the Southeast); and Gabby™ indoor furniture. White created SC Home stores in 2001 as laboratories, to show dealers how to improve their sales by merchandising with furniture vignettes. The retail stores have since become an invaluable resource for Summer Classics, showcasing its new products and gathering feedback



FASHION FORWARD Rob Robinson, public-relations manager, says, “Summer Classics is obsessed with design.” He is proud of the lineup of products that the company recently introduced, adding that creativity is at an all-time high. All of the company’s products are designed in-house. “Every piece of furniture starts off with pen to paper, right here in Pelham,” Robinson explains. “Our designers are experts at translating trends and customer feedback into cool furniture. The attention to detail in every piece that we create is something that sets us apart.” Many of company’s new collections and accessories are inspired by modern design. One line that has gained notable attention this year is the sophisticated Midcentury collection called Coast. “It is a departure for us because it is a sling group, which is something that we don’t usually do, so we weren’t sure how it was going to sell,” Robinson says. It was an instant hit because it captures a look that is quite popular with today’s styleseeking consumers. To build on the success of Coast, the company has introduced stainless steel to its product lineup with the Acero collection. Acero is part of the new premium White Label brand (targeting designers and high-end retailers). White Label also launched a wicker group called Carlton, as well as two new dining chairs to round out the Malta, Bali, and Sahara collections.



Summer Classics

Summer Classics has also chosen to mix things up with eclectic design elements, taking inspiration from the indoor Gabby line and applying it to the outdoor world. “The eclectic outdoor room is gaining popularity,” Robinson says. The company’s Club collections encourage consumers and retailers to try mixing groups. There are three distinctive Club groups: Club woven, Club aluminum, and Club teak, all of which can be mixed and matched. “We have also introduced a number of à la carte pieces and accent tables that further play into the eclectic looks that are going to be a strong direction for us, going forward,” Robinson adds. At the ICFA Preview Show™ and Casual Market Chicago, Summer Classics introduced more than 180 new products. They included several collections featuring the company’s exclusive ecofriendly material, Resysta®, which is created with rice husks, mineral oil, and salt. Resysta is a woodlike

material that is impervious to sun, salt, moisture, and insects. It’s the perfect choice for coastal settings. It is currently available in aged gray and brown. ONE-STOP SHOP “One of the things that resonates with dealers about Summer Classics is the fact that it is a one-stop shop,” Robinson says, adding that customers can buy virtually every category of material from one manufacturer: sling, resin wicker, cast aluminum, wrought aluminum, teak, wrought iron, and Resysta. He explains, “We offer everything from a teak look for traditionalists to a contemporary feel for edgy urbanites, which is something very few manufacturers are able to do.” Summer Classics has always been expert in setting itself apart by focusing on details that matter. According to Robinson, there are five things that make Summer Classics’ products unique, the first being its revolutionary UV-resistant N-dura® resin wicker, which

is guaranteed not to lose its color for five years. The second is the NT-1™ nanoceramic prewash, which significantly improves paint’s adhesion to the company’s metal frames. The prewash does this by etching the metal surface, creating 10 times the surface area (for an outstanding paint bond). The third factor is the company’s use on its products of architecturalgrade paint that resists fading. The fourth is its exclusive performancefabric collection, Colores®. The fabric line is created by the organization’s talented design team for its custom cushions. The fifth factor is the company’s Dream Cushion® (standard with White Label products), which provides the ultimate in comfort. The cushion is made of foam with a density of 1.8 pounds per cubic foot, and a pillowtop of blownfiber channels adds softness—with a firm foundation—that is not found in any other outdoor cushion, the company says.

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Summer Classics is as obsessed with quality as it is with design. Over the years, the company has set several benchmarks for quality in the industry. It has its own inhouse quality-control laboratory, where it tests the ability of its furniture to stand up to everything from salt spray to intense UV rays. It also conducts its own double-rub and motion testing. “We used to outsource all of our testing, as many manufacturers do, but the labs we were using weren’t doing a thorough job, so we decided to do it ourselves,” Robinson explains. “Our reputation for building furniture that lasts is something that we take seriously.” As the company looks to the future, it plans to continue to stay in touch with the marketplace. “Styles, materials, and technology change so quickly that we never want to get too settled,” Robinson says. “We want to keep our customers and the industry excited about Summer Classics for many years to come.”

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Product Innovation Wolf Steel


Wolf Steel Ltd. (Barrie, Ontario) has its work cut out for it. It is out

to change current perceptions in the North American market about the viability of pellet stoves. Long left to warm a cold basement or garage, pellet stoves just never had the panache needed to fit into the main living areas of the most stylish homes. While they’ve been welcomed warmly into the main rooms of European homes, the same cannot be said of North American houses. Wolf Steel is setting out to update that now that it has launched Vicenza, a new ultramodern line of pellet stoves designed and manufactured in Italy for North American specialty retailers. After more than a year of extensive research, the company has launched three models approved for North American use: the V3.4, with a heat-output level of 34,600 Btu; the V4.5, with 46,200 Btu; and the V5.2, with 52,800 Btu. Stephen Schroeter, senior vice president of sales, marketing, and administration for Wolf Steel, says, “Our research led us to believe that the North American market was ready for a premium (yet exclusive) pellet-appliance offering such as Vicenza. In order to reach that conclusion, we embarked on a year-long evaluation of the North American pellet market.” He continues, “Then, with the knowledge gained, we spent the next six months investigating established European manufacturers, which included factory tours of four major players. Ultimately, we partnered with the best of the best, La Nordica, which we worked closely with to tune its products for the North American market and EPA standards.”

Wolf Steel’s Vicenza moves the pellet stove out of the basement. A red Vicenza V4.5 pellet stove

STANDING ALONE How does Vicenza compare with other pellet stoves? “It really doesn’t,” Schroeter states. “All of the components in this product A white Vicenza V3.4 are 100% European designed and pellet stove manufactured. It has been rated in several European magazines as the best pellet product, and La Nordica is referred to as one of the top manufacturers in Europe. There is nothing comparable in North America.” A Vicenza It was the V4.5 attention to pellet detail, craftsstove in black manship, and quality that first caught Wolf Steel’s attention at ISH 2015, a global trade fair held in Frankfurt, Germany. Schroeter says, “The fact that La Nordica is also family owned, with similar vision and mission statements, is a benefit.” Vicenza’s sleek, streamlined A Vicenza appearance is only one factor that V5.2 pellet makes it stand out from other pellet stove in gray stoves. The one feature that Schroeter is most excited about is the “absolutely fantastic ability to have remote troubleshooting,” he says. Vicenza units come with a serial port for a laptop or tablet, so if service is needed, it can be performed remotely. In early 2017, an app will



be available to give installers full control of the appliance (including feed and combustion-air adjustments) for troubleshooting. In 2017, Wolf Steel will release Wi-Fi capability for Vicenza. If something goes wrong, a service technician will connect wirelessly with the stove. “We can see the unit, and we can log into that unit to see if there’s anything going wrong with it,” Schroeter explains. “We can see the error codes that are tripping, and we can see if it needs to be cleaned, vented, or simply tuned correctly to make it run perfectly. We can do this all remotely. For the industry, this is superadvanced.” Schroeter adds that the curved, tinted-glass front of the V3.4 is an industry first. “The unit also provides whisper-quiet operation and a unique silent-mode feature,” he says. Other benefits include ductable multiroom applications and LCD-over-LED controls (for ease of use). In addition, the stove exceeds the EPA’s 2020 emissions requirements, allowing it to qualify for every North American rebate program. Schroeter points out that all the components are German made and highly advanced. “For example, this unit has multiple sensors that, at any given time, know what the temperature is—so it knows how to regulate itself for air and fuel and to ensure that it is running optimally all the time. North American pellet stoves are not as automated. These things are bulletproof,” he says. LOOKS THAT MATTER “North American pellet stoves are OK looking. They are functional, but not stylish like a linear fireplace. They don’t have that level of aesthetics. Europeans have made them look very fash-


Product Innovation Wolf Steel

ionable in a home,” Schroeter notes. The three models (in red, black, gray, and white) now on the market can be seen at Vicenza is being exclusively distributed throughout North America and meets all provincial and state requirements. “The line will be exclusively sold through specialty stores only,” Schroeter promises. “There will be no mass selling and no online selling.” To date, dealers’ reactions have been resoundingly positive. “We have had fantastic response. Dealers who ran the units in their stores for evaluation were ecstatic and experienced huge demand. Vicenza not only has the looks, but delivers performance and reliability, making it the perfect package,” Schroeter says. Dealers got to preview the product last fall, when it went on tour (and gained an enthusiastic reception). Wolf Steel knows where the strong pellet-using regions are, so those locations topped the list of tour stops. Wolf Steel also exhibited the Vicenza line at HPBExpo and participated in three large consumer shows in New York, Wisconsin, and Quebec. MANDATORY TRAINING Because the unit is so different from other pellet stoves, Wolf Steel is mandating that any dealer who

wants to sell it must first complete a training session. To that end, numerous two-day, extensive technical- and sales-training seminars have been scheduled for key regions that include Eastern Canada, Quebec, Ontario, and the Northeastern United States. “For someone to qualify as a Vicenza dealer, the successful completion of the two-day technical- and sales-training courses is mandatory. To date, there’s been a high demand, and training sessions are nearly booked up,” Schroeter says. The fight to change the mindset that pellet stoves are for the basement or garage begins with the dealer—so training emphasizes two key messages. First, a Vicenza stove belongs in a living-room setting. The team at Wolf Steel feels strongly that this sleek, modern unit should not be relegated to the basement or garage “like most pellet appliances,” Schroeter says. Second, dealers “need to understand the fact that the female buyer is the target,” Schroeter says. Because these units look great, he adds, they will be accepted by any customer of discerning taste. Schroeter and Wolf Steel are optimistic that Vicenza is poised to take the market by storm. “The demand for more contemporary units has been stag-

gering, in our industry, over the past several years,” Schroeter says. “That is why we came to the conclusion that Vicenza was such an attractive product.” Before Vicenza becomes a household name, Schroeter says, the team at Wolf Steel has much to overcome in changing the North American mentality, when it comes to pellet stoves. That, however, might be easier than the company first imagined. When a dealer installed a Vicenza V3.4 test unit in his store, he got so many requests to order the product (which wasn’t available yet) that he had to disconnect it and put it in the back room. “Once people saw it and saw it burning, they fell in love with it—so once they see it and use it, it won’t be hard to overcome the old perception,” Schroeter states. “The days of noisy and dirty black boxes that provide heat, but next-to-zero aesthetic value, are diminishing,” he adds. “It is time to come out of the basement and play in the exciting part of the home: the living area. Gone are the complicated service and installation aspects of the category; it’s time to bring in the new installer- and servicefriendly technology. The younger generation will revel in the Wi-Fi and app features, as well as the euro design.”

Circle Reader Service No. 51




Design Is a Decision Sunbrella succeeds on every level because of its meticulous attention to detail.

Fabrics from the Shift collection

a bit confusing, but Voorhis has pondered this conundrum for almost two decades. “People want to be individuals,” he explains. “They want something authentic. They want things that really show who they are. The more artisanal, handmade-looking items Hal are popular right





The venerable Sunbrella® brand (Glen Raven, North Carolina)

has ridden fashion’s waves, from the bold to the subdued, and the fabric of global culture inevitably weaves its way into the company’s many designs. A team that includes Greg Voorhis, design director for Custom Fabrics (Sunbrella brand), keeps its collective finger on style’s pulse. Voorhis and members of his design team look closely at the market as a whole, but also observe how people live. The task involves traveling around the United States and abroad, attending trade shows, and checking out retail stores—all in an effort to anticipate trends (or start a few). Many consumers, however, do not necessarily want to be part of a trend. It can be

Natural looks and textures are trending

now: chunky textures and natural looks in the fabric,” he adds. A handmade look can be difficult for an enormous mill to achieve, but this is where “industry meets artistry,” Voorhis says. The industry portion of the equation can be found in any of the company’s many facto-



ries, the largest of which is in Anderson, South Carolina. At a million square feet, the totally vertical operation brings in fiber, with spinning, weaving, warehousing, and shipping all performed under one roof. NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY Managing a global manufacturing business does not happen on autopilot, and the pressure of the job largely comes from “the pressure we put on ourselves to serve the customer,” according to Hal Hunnicutt, vice president of marketing. A team led by the head of operations worked to redesign the Anderson factory specifically to serve its customers. The redesign team envisioned the customer experience, from the driveway to the parking lot to the lobby. As customers go through the security gate to the waiting room to the meeting area to the manufacturing plant, all facets are planned. “We thought about the meals that we serve, the fabric showings, and the ease of departure,” Hunnicutt says. “We mapped out the entire experience specifically for existing and potential customers who want to know more about us. We are always extending invitations.” Sunbrella’s market share is hard won, and Hunnicutt is keen not to take his customers for granted. Thousands of new designs come out every year, thanks to three North Carolina facilities, with weaving done in Burnsville and yarn spinning done in Burlington and Norlina. “We have manufacturing facilities in France (near the Belgian border) and in China as well,” Hunnicutt says. “We are serving furniture manufacturers in the United States, Europe, and China for indoor furniture—and even for awning and automotive applications.” Sunbrella’s parent company made awning fabrics at least as far back as 1908, and prior


Circle Reader Service No. 53



to the 1960s, the fabrics were largely cotton canvas. “Cotton doesn’t last very long outdoors, and the company began researching man-made fibers, ultimately developing a fiber technology that was highly UV resistant,” Hunnicutt says. He adds, “We commercialized Sunbrella, in 1961, as a substitute for cotton canvas, giving it a five-year warranty and its basic awning stripes. It became very popular because the durability proved to be everything we said it was, and the marine industry adapted Sunbrella for marine canvas.” This rich history has built the company’s iconic status, with Sunbrella eventually transitioning to outdoor furniture in the 1970s and 1980s. Hunnicutt says, “With post-9/11 staycationing trends, people started investing in their homes

and in their outdoor-living areas. That market really took off, and we began to develop that market with better looks, textures, and styles. We also realized we had an opportunity to translate Sunbrella to indoor applications.” Whether for use indoors or outside, blended yarns continue to sell well, and they remain a core feature of Sunbrella’s product styling. Voorhis credits their success to “more natural looks and textures, which are definitely trending for big and small lots,” he says. Some yarns, in particular, are generating greater volume. According to Voorhis, forest green is popular, along with Pacific blue; both are used in large quantities for marine applications. Marine trends might transfer to outdoor furniture (and vice versa), but all trends tend to be cyclical.

Circle Reader Service No. 54



“Different parts of the marketplace work on trends,” Voorhis says. “We are looking at all different aspects. We’re looking at what our customers are asking for, pop culture, the art world, what our specific industries are doing, indoor and outdoor furniture, and fashion.” He continues, “These days, design is perceived as somewhat mixed. As a homeproduct maker, we have to look at all of those different aspects and mesh them together. We are creating trends and trying to serve our customers by studying and sharing our findings, and we are also being influenced by what other people are doing.” Being copied is the most sincere form of flattery, but Hunnicutt believes that imitation among competitors is more likely to be an inevitable case of influence by an industry powerhouse. The influence of society applies to all manufacturers, with economic indicators even driving color selections. “When you are emerging from an economic recession or people have had a couple years of bad news, we see an acceleration in bright colors, and we try to hit those pretty hard,” Voorhis says. “In other times, more muted colors work. Global design trends and art influence our design team.” For many companies, attempts to instill a truly inspirational company culture amount to the creation of a corporate platitude—with little substance to back it. Hunnicutt and Voorhis point out, however, that any entity that manages to survive the ups and downs of 135 years must actually take its own corporate virtues to heart. Companies that did not survive challenging times “never adapted,” Hunnicutt says. “What’s unique about Sunbrella is that it has always had this tremendous ability to innovate, adapt, think, and create—and it was never so emotionally attached to a piece of business that it wasn’t prepared to walk away, if it became no longer viable.” Always privately held by the Gant family, Sunbrella “has been careful to listen and stimulate creative thought,” Voorhis adds, while giving people space to think and innovate. When Voorhis joined the parent company, 20 years ago, there were eight operating business units. Not long after, it showed its ability to make hard decisions. “We exited some businesses around the late 1990s and early 2000s,” he says. “Ownership consolidated down to two businesses, and then we made some acquisitions, and we are back up to three. There’s just always something new going on here. The company’s philosophy has kept it really healthy, nimble, and able to adapt to changing times.”


Circle Reader Service No. 55

Kozy Heat


HouseWarming Kozy Heat’s inserts, fireplaces, and stoves have been bringing families together for more than four decades.

From left: Hannah, Jim, and Heather Hussong


Kozy Heat® Fireplaces (Lakefield, Minnesota), an innovative

leader in delivering high-quality, sustainable heating solutions, is celebrating 40 successful years in the marketplace this year. Dudley Hussong, now chair of the board for family-run Kozy Heat, established the company in 1976, while working in his father’s millwork shop in Southern Minnesota. Heather Hussong, marketing manager, says, “He had a strong background in factories.” Dudley created the first Kozy Heat product, a wood-burning fireplace, as an efficient way to keep the millwork shop warm. After he partnered with Roland Koster, a mason, demand quickly grew, in the area, for more fireplaces to heat homes and businesses. After Dudley’s son, Jim (now CEO), teamed up with his father in 1984, the company continued to expand, with a new emphasis on nationwide distribution channels for both wood and gas fireplaces. Over the years, as Kozy Heat has added new product lines, it has continued to craft products that are both efficient and productive. Hussong reports that as she and her sister, Hannah (who works in the engineering department) joined the company, representing the next generation, they maintained the commitment to delivering unparalleled service and to keeping the company’s reputation for making the best fireplaces, stoves, and accessories in the industry. “We really strive to make products of the best quality that we can,” Hussong says. “We put the Hussong name behind every product.” Hussong notes that one of Kozy Heat’s biggest advantages is the family management of the company. “We are a family-owned and -operated three-generation company,” she says. While the company specializes in both wood-burning and gas fireplaces, Hussong says,

The Bayport 41 fireplace

The Slayton 60 fireplace

Kozy Heat currently sees more demand for gas products—for several reasons. A gas fireplace is ideal in cities, where finding a reliable wood source might be more challenging than it is in rural areas. Gas is also convenient, it can be a little cleaner, and gas units might require less maintenance. “Our Chaska 34 gas insert is our most popular insert,” she says. This insert is available with log, glass, or rock media to complement any living space and decor. With a high efficiency rating and delivering 34,000 Btu, this insert offers a high heat output and an electronic ignition system. Style options for the Chaska 34 are numerous, with different lighting kits, trims, and linings available to create a customized look. Contemporary gas inserts such as the Chaska 34 are a convenient way for homeown-



ers to convert a wood-burning unit into a gas fireplace without losing the ambience of a wood-burning fire. The Bayport 36 is the most popular Kozy Heat fireplace, Hussong says. The direct-vent gas fireplace comes with either a log set or glass media and delivers 26,500 Btu. Both the log and glass Bayport 36 versions feature electronic ignition. An owner can also use a remote control to operate the Bayport 36. Kozy Heat continues to make improvements to its current product line while bringing new fireplaces to market. The SP34, a directvent gas fireplace, was released at HPBExpo and has been well received. The SP34 is priced competitively, Hussong says, without sacrificing flame or performance. It is a convenient out-of-the-box option for customers: easy to set up and use. It is equipped with electronic ignition, high-quality lifetime glass, many other design features, and remote-control options. Kozy Heat’s wood-burning, zero-clearance Z42 fireplace is another strong product. The 60,000-Btu, EPA–certified fireplace is 73% efficient. Its large burning area can accommodate 22-inch logs. For both gas and wood fireplaces, Kozy Heat works to maintain eco-friendly standards (while still delivering optimal heat output). “We’re always striving to make efficient products,” Hussong says. She adds that it is particularly important for the company to remain in the forefront of technological advances, meeting efficiency standards that allow customers to receive tax rebates for product purchases. Staying up to date on consumers’ and dealers’ needs is another priority of Kozy Heat employees. In order to manufacture and deliver its products in a timely fashion, Kozy Heat recently made two additions to its production plant and added a second work shift (to increase production and fulfill orders more effectively). For the future, Hussong says, Kozy Heat will continue to build steady growth in each of its product lines. It is also planning to celebrate its 40th anniversary by focusing on quality, efficiency, product safety, and excellent customer service.


inspired bydesigned life, by Couristan.

As the pioneer of outdoor floor coverings, Couristan offers the most expansive assortment of outdoor/indoor area rugs with exclusive constructions, a multitude of color choices and award-winning designs unlike anything else on the market. From exquisite hand-hooked constructions to meticulously power-loomed options, today’s hottest trends can be found in the uncompromising quality of Couristan area rugs.

Circle Reader Service No. 57 | 800.223.6168

High Performance Hard-wearing Tempotest fabrics come in a wide range of lush patterns, colors, and textures.




Tempotest USA (Carrollton, Texas) has continued to grow

Bellini fabrics

since it was launched, in 2013, in response to demand from the U.S. outdoor market for Parà Group’s leading Italian performance fabrics. This expansion has enabled the company not only to provide faster delivery for Tempotest fabrics, but also to give customers a cut-yardage solution—and even better customer service. Parà, founded in 1921 near Milan, began by manufacturing cotton fabrics to cover mattresses. This was a booming business between the two world wars, according to Marco Parravicini, CEO of Tempotest USA and grandson of the company’s founder. During the 1940s and 1950s, Parà was in the forefront of another popular industry: The company focused on producing paper fabrics used in the automotive industry. “During the 1960s, Parà was the first company in the world dealing with solutiondyed acrylic fiber for outdoor uses,” Parravicini says. He adds that this synthetic fiber was invented by the Italian chemical company Montedison, and Parà developed such a strong relationship with the company that in 1964, Montedison sold its successful trademark, Tempotest, to Parà—for $1. “In the same years, Parà started another strategic and crucial business cooperation with DuPont, inventor of Teflon®—which we are still using to finish all our outdoor fabrics,” Parravicini says. Parà now sells its awning, marine, and casual-furniture fabrics under the name Tempotest (in 125 countries). “Tempotest has the widest range of colors available on the market, with 150 solid colors plus a limitless number of designs,” Parravicini says. Parravicini explains that Parà has continued to expand its brand because it keeps product quality a priority. It does so by maintaining full control over the production process in its 1 million square feet of factory space. “Today, Parà is a group of fully inte-

Fabrics from the Club collection

grated textile mills taking care of spinning, weaving, dyeing, printing, and finishing,” he says. “Each single step of the textile chain takes place inside our four production plants, which are all in Italy.” Tempotest USA provides, in addition to its vast product offerings, the highest-quality material for optimum outdoor performance and durability. It uses finer yarn counts than its competitors, for a more luxurious finished product. Jeff Jimison, national sales manager for Tempotest USA, says, “All our fabrics are designed, colored, and woven in Italy, so our styling is fashion forward—because the company is so close to (and influenced by) all that is going on in the fashion capital of the world, Milan.” The company’s Teflon Extreme shields fabric from many substances that could otherwise damage outdoor fabrics, such as soil, coffee, and wine. “The Teflon helps keep the spill from soaking in; it lays on top of the fabric to be wiped or blotted up,” Jimison says. “It also lets the fabric dry more quickly, and it repels liquid spills before they become problems.” Since its inception, Tempotest USA has introduced three new stock collections to the product line: the Molto Bene, Club, and 300e books. These are in addition to the popular big black book of solids and the Lido collection. “Our big black book is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of solid solutiondyed acrylic fabrics available on the market today,” Jimison says. This collection includes canvas solids, textures made from bouclé and chenille yarns, and textures made using a variety of weaving techniques. “We’ll be expanding this book, this year, to add colors to the very popular Raffaello pattern and an all-new textural fabric, called



Caravaggio, in many colors,” Jimison says. “This book is wildly popular with designers, as it provides solids with a very upscale and sophisticated look and feel.” The new Club and Molto Bene collections offer consumers fresh color options in jacquard, stripe, and dobby patterns. “Our newest book, Club, is being very well received by the trade,” Jimison says. It consists of five jacquard patterns, including geometrics and a chevron. “Some are pocket weaves that allow our designers to use several similar yarn colors to produce very saturated color and subtle colors changes, for a high-end look and soft, cottonlike hand,” he says. The collection also includes cabana stripes in different widths, available in everything from neutrals to jewel tones. “It’s a very contemporary interpretation of classic design elements,” Jimison explains. Jimison has noticed that textured solids are in high demand this year, as are chunky or bulky weaves. “Neutral colors (such as white and black) are doing well, but grays are very strong in our sales numbers. From light silver to darker tones of charcoal and slate, they all seem to be doing well,” Jimison says. “We’re also getting good results and comments about the darker blues, as well as the reds and oranges.” The company’s new offerings include a collection of double-wide fabrics (120 inches or wider) ideal for the outdoor marketplace. “Consumers are driving this, with their desire for bigger panels for cabanas, pergolas, porches, sunrooms, and indoor spaces that receive a lot of UV exposure,” Jimison explains. “Since these fabrics are all made from solution-dyed acrylic yarns, they are extremely resistant to the harmful effects of the sun and are mildew and stain resistant.” Another new product is StarScreen®, a woven screen fabric without PVC. “Since it’s made from PET yarns, it is more elegant and beautiful and has a nice textile look and feel, compared with the PVC-coated products normally found in these applications, and it is also flame retardant,” Jimison says.


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Circle Reader Service No. 59

SHOP TALK Urban Bonfire

Creating the Endless Summer Here are some perfect strategies for extending the summer selling season. BY RYAN BLOOM

Ryan Bloom

As a specialty retailer in the outdoor-cooking industry, I eagerly await summer all year long. Even as the summer sun still

shines, though, we are all too aware that the chill of fall and the darker, shorter days are coming soon. Outdoor living and cooking have long been associated with those glorious summer months. Many people spend the bulk of their summer leisure time at cottages, lake houses, or campsites. It is, indeed, the best time to connect with family, friends, food, and the simple beauty and calm of the outdoors. This is also the time that consumers buy, upgrade, and use their grills most. All of a sudden, there is an energy in the showroom. Customer volume increases, and people get excited about new equipment, accessories, events, and recipes. Even in Southern states, where there is less impact from the fall and winter months, the average consumer still goes into hibernation mode, when it comes to outdoor cooking. Retail sales of grills and accessories start to taper off at this time. This is when many grill retailers offer huge discounts—just to get inventory off their floors. It is the time that consumers are looking at price reductions and deals, rather than at world-class service and the overall experience. As a fundamental principle, we do not offer discounts—ever. Even though we are located in one of North America’s worst climates, we believe that adding value to the client experi-

ence is a far better (and more profitable) strategy than offering discounts. Once clients get a discount from you, they will never feel good about paying full price again. It takes the least amount of creativity, strategy, and work to offer discounts on products. Does it cost money to deliver a high-quality customer experience year round? Absolutely: Customers’ expectations concerning service, staffing, warranties, and well-merchandised showrooms do not diminish when they look for discounts. They will always expect the same experience that they would if they were paying full price. In discounting, only the retailers or dealers lose, as they must provide the same quality of customer experience (but with a reduced profit margin available to let them do so). Inevitably, the customer experience suffers—and the retailer loses, in the end. Clients remember far more about negative experiences than about price savings. Our strategy for combating these long, cold winter months is to add tremendous creative value to our customer experience. Our mission is to reduce the mindset that grilling is only for summer and to help engage clients to think about grilling and outdoor cooking as year-round activities. We schedule events, classes, and promotions; practice customer engagement; and create social-media content that is fun and playful. In addition to our Harvestfest corporate dinner, we hold interactive events that cover seasonal topics (and more). They include smoking and jarring tomatoes, for delicious pizza and pasta all winter long; cooking a Thanksgiving turkey on the grill; smoking fall vegetables, such as squashes and beets; cold smoking fish, cheeses, and nuts; and making school lunches that your kids will adore. Besides promoting food/cooking-based events, we do our best to get people thinking about their future outdoor-kitchen projects as early as possible. If clients wait until May to start planning their dream kitchens, they prob-



ably won’t be using those kitchens until late July, missing half the summer. If they begin making plans and designs in February, they can be using their kitchens in early June, maximizing the season. We also do tremendous marketing and outreach to designers, architects, builders, and trade partners during the fall and winter months (to get a jump on projects for the following summer season). In addition, to continue gaining revenue— and to help offset the cash-flow impact of our off-season—we design gift sets of tools, specialty foods, and accessories that people purchase during the holiday season. With simple packaging and creatively themed product bundling, we create a great revenue stream from our existing inventory (and never have to offer discounts). There is no full solution to the challenges of seasonality in the grill/barbecue business. This is the reason that so many grill retailers are also in the heating and fireplace businesses. It’s a safe bet and is a proven model for combating the issues of seasonality. As we developed our model, however, we decided to stay focused on outdoor cooking. Even though our winter months come with challenges, we stay true to our passion and focus. On one hand, the winter months can be hard on cash flow, staff costs, and marketing budgets. On the other, the slower months give the incredible gift of time to work on our business (versus always having to work in our business). As a result of our focused business model, we have a far more passionate staff and clientele. Cooking is multisensory. Everything we do during the fall and winter months is designed to keep those senses alive and firing—so our clients continue to be our ambassadors, and the summer truly becomes endless.

Ryan Bloom is the owner of Urban Bonfire (Montreal, Quebec), a highly successful interactive retail store that specializes in selling grills and outdoor-kitchen products, as well as outdoor-living experiences.


Circle Reader Service No. 61

Shaping theFuture

Erwin and Sons


Erwin and Sons continues to provide innovative products to the casual industry.

Relax club chairs and a granite-top firepit in the tobacco finish

The Monte Carlo collection in the truffle finish The Santa Cruz sectional in the ash finish

One of the most trusted, respected, and experienced names in the outdoor-furniture industry, Erwin and Sons (Woodstock, Georgia), continues to

grow at a lively pace. Erik Dych, vice president, attributes the company’s continued success to a variety of factors, beginning with building and maintaining solid personal relationships. “Through years of direct-importing experience, we have developed strong relationships with our customers, the great majority of whom have been with us since day one,” Dych says. “We always put our customers first. I think it’s critical to understand each dealer’s individual needs and to continue to earn that dealer’s trust on a daily basis.” Erwin and Sons’ retail dealers throughout the United States and Canada are varied in their geographic, demographic, and businessmodel needs. They run the gamut of singleand multiple-store retailers and include boutique and specialty shops, pool and patio stores, and garden/hardware centers. Their diverse needs are met by Erwin and Sons’ unique direct-container program. Jake

Erwin, president, says, “We offer dealers the extraordinary opportunity to select an assortment of furniture styles from over 50 premium collections, as well as finishes, cushion fabrics, and tabletops, all within a single-container order. No one else in the industry offers that kind of flexibility.” Erwin and Sons’ 40- and 20-foot container programs have the added advantage of cutting out warehousing and additional freight expenses. This shaves off a nice percentage of cost. EXPERTISE Founded in 1983 by Jim and Judy Erwin, the company established close alliances and partnerships while its staff traveled throughout Europe and Asia. Prior to the development of (and demand for) outdoor wicker, Jim was importing handcrafted natural-rattan seating and bedroom furnishings, along with handpainted wood cabinetry and metalwork. Years later, Dych (followed by his halfbrother, Jake Erwin) joined the business—as the sons referred to in the company’s name. In the 1990s, with the introduction of all-weather wicker, the company shifted gears, growing the business and helping to shape the wicker market into today’s ever-expanding industry. As a pioneer in all-weather wicker, the com-



pany has remained in the forefront of the market. Over the course of three decades, it has seen a number of competitors come and go, but Erwin and Sons has remained on top. Dych says, “We know what works for us: a great product line, matched up with the most personalized service in the industry. We are by the side of customers before, during, and after the sale—and to make sure each one is happy. I think that’s critical to long-term success and what sets us apart.” Working well into the future to understand and meet consumer trends, Erwin, Dych, and Lynn Shoop (chief marketing officer) work with furniture designers and travel extensively throughout Asia several times a year. While overseas, they supervise production on all new lines. Quality control is always top of mind, with Erwin and Sons overseeing every aspect of the manufacturing process, from the extrusion of frames to handweaving of the resin, stonetop manufacturing, and cushion construction and upholstery. TODAY’S FOCUS Erwin and Sons manufactures a wide range of premium outdoor furniture, including all-weather wicker and both cast and extruded aluminum. Dych explains, “We start with high-quality raw


aluminum, which we extrude on-site. The piece is then shaped on a jig, and every joint is welded 360 degrees around, for superior durability. Our HDPE is also melted and extruded onsite. This has to be done at precise temperatures to make a durable and lasting resin that won’t snap or break. Each piece of furniture is then handwoven by local artisans. It’s amazing to watch and truly an art form.” Stone tabletops of polished marble and granite have continued to be in great demand since they were first introduced. Lightweights™ tabletops are aptly named, since the stone is hand laid over a lightweight honeycomb base. The stone top is then factory sealed to resist moisture and outdoor elements. The Lightweights line gives consumers the look they want, without the heavy lifting. Erwin and Sons’ custom cushion program has been a huge success. Leisureluxe™ Supreme Comfort cushions and decorative pillows are manufactured in-house from a huge array of over 350 stocked performance fabrics from

Sunbrella®, Outdura®, and others. Receiving made-to-order cushions alongside their choice of furniture frames streamlines the retailer’s ordering process and ensures a perfect cushion fit. It also means that furniture frames won’t sit in a warehouse, waiting for a domestic cushion shipment to arrive. Another major benefit: Having cushions ride in the container results in a lower landed cost—and, therefore, retail price. Erwin and Sons has seen the need for value-priced collections (in addition to its range of premium collections) and has been working, over the past several years, on their development, maintaining top-quality construction and attention to detail. The new value collections of handwoven resin, in both aluminum and steel, have been extremely well received. Dych says, “Our customers repeatedly tell us they rank both our premium and value brands well above other manufacturers’ brands, in terms of quality and workmanship issues. That’s something that makes us quite proud.”

INNOVATION AND PERSONAL ATTENTION Dych understands the necessity of change in the industry. He says, “We are always working to stay on top of the market, concentrating on new trends and exploring better manufacturing methods and materials. This past July, we introduced our new line of Tidewater tables, which were a huge hit at the ICFA Preview Show™.” He adds, “Our partnership with Tidewater Tables LLC (Townsend, Georgia) has added an exciting new dimension to our offerings. Tidewater Tables’ Lowcountry coastal motifs, paired with modern casting technology, result in a natural, weathered-wood look with the strength and durability of stone and virtually no maintenance. The tops look identical to weathered wood, and they mix and match with Erwin and Sons’ new eclectic line of aluminum table bases to create a variety of trendsetting new looks.” To underscore Erwin and Sons’ personal attention and dedication to serv-

Circle Reader Service No. 63




ice, Erwin adds, “We’re living in an electronics-driven world. Personal attention is a quality that seems to be disappearing in business. It’s exasperating when you can’t get a live person on the phone. That is not the case with us.” There are no automated phoneanswering systems or annoying voice prompts at Erwin and Sons. Calls are answered personally by associates, with Erwin, Dych, and Shoop accessible to customers directly. They spend time discussing local markets or assisting callers with the order process. Providing help in selecting styles, finishes, and fabrics for an individual store, based on locale and customer demographics, is part and parcel of their daily work. An amazing collection of highquality goods at direct pricing—combined with industry expertise, personalized service, on-time delivery, and a positive sales experience—is the crux of Erwin and Sons’ business model. It’s a successful one that is sure to carry the company well into the industry’s future.

Kingsley-Bate From left: Katie Bradley, Alex Robson, Jessica Fox, Clay Kingsley, Brian Blakeney, and Patti Durbin

Winston Furniture John Whitlock

Louisiana Grills Steven Matz

Malibu Outdoor Living Steve (left) and Mike Dicenso

Lloyd Flanders From left: Lou Rosebrock and Warren Juliano; Dudley and Jessie Flanders

OW Lee Terri Rogers (left) and Leisa Rogers McCollister

American Fireglass From left: Ryan Maloney, Jim Donaldson, Johnny Vento, Matt Doll, Dave Wick, and Rich Piereth

Sunset West Wes Stewart

C.R. Plastic Products Ted Scott and Meaghan Robinson

Alfresco Home Joseph Cilio

SunVilla Matt Weiss and Christy Peterson

Jensen Leisure Furniture Hlodver Olafsson and Janet Wansor

Agio, USA Mike Gaylord (left) and Todd Wingrove

Castelle Steve Lowsky

Windward Design Group From left: Amber Schinas, Melanie Goodwin, David Peace, Carrie Morales, and Molly Leggio; Christine and Rod Krasley





Sunbrella From left: Greg Voorhis, Alexis Maklakoff, and Allen Gant III

Treasure Garden Margaret Chang and Oliver Ma

Poly-Wood Megan Pierson (left) and Jenni Owens

Patio Renaissance From left: Mark Gorr, Albert Lord, Alec Chiu, and Andrea Dibello

Big Green Egg Lou West (left) and Jerry Stone

Summer Classics Bew White

Mallin Casual From left: Kenneth Chen, Brenda Pereyda, and Amber Chen

Telescope Casual From left: Bill Vanderminden, Kait Rathbun, and Henry Vanderminden IV

Tempotest USA From left: Jeff Jimison, Ben Cain, and Jeff Rocque


Homecrest Standing, from left: Tim Dejong, Lindsay Borgmann, Tyler Jones, and Kelly McComb; sitting, Marilou Heltemes

Tropitone From left: Jennifer Morse, Demetrius Linebarger, and Frank Verna

Ratana From left: Godfrey and David Leung; Rosita Ling


Pelican Reef Allen Calzadilla Skyline Design Marie Ferreira


Saber Grills Gary Butler

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6 Hot Products to Sell Now Sunbrella

Miles Industries Introducing the L3 series, an addition to Valor’s popular line of linear gas fireplaces: 14 inches wider than the L2, the L3 boasts the same trim designs and fuelbed options, as well as the same height and depth dimensions. Compact firebox engineering and standard 6 5/8-inch venting systems make the L3 versatile in design and application. A highly effective radiant and convective heater, the L3 combines luxury design with impressive zone heating. Contact: www.valorfire or (800) 468-2567. Circle Reader Service No. 90

All-new Delsol Grills Delsol products are designed with passion and are engineered to perform. Perfected by a passionate group of experts in high-performance grills and outdoor-kitchen equipment, Delsol products are engineered with the lasting satisfaction of your customers in mind. Final assembly and a detailed quality inspection are conducted at the company’s factory in California. Every grill is fire tested and packaged in the United States. A wide range of built-in accessories will complement the 40-, 32-, and 25inch built-in grill models. Built-in grills’ retail prices start at $1,199. Contact: or (800) 422-0091. Circle Reader Service No. 91

Designed to be mixed and matched, the Sunbrella® Shift collection features classic designs interpreted in a contemporary fashion. The collection comprises six patterns—Spotlight, Loft, Escapade, Connect, Integrated, and Radiant—that cleverly layer texture, color, and pattern, showcasing one of the strongest trends in the market today: opposing forces. Fabrics in this collection shift from old to new, light to dark, shiny to matte, and natural to man-made. Contact: or (336) 221-2211. Circle Reader Service No. 92

American Hearth Direct-vent System The all-new American Hearth 40-inch direct-vent system reimagines the gas fireplace—its aesthetics, its technology, and its environmental impact. The enormous ceramic-glass front frames the beautifully crafted 14-piece log set blazing atop a full-floor ember bed. Rich yellow flames roll over and around the logs and embers, mimicking the burn of a natural wood fire. Inside the fireplace, Empire’s TruFlame technology uses an integrated catalyst system to scrub the exhaust, removing potential pollutants from the flue output and making this the most eco-friendly vented gas fireplace on the market. An adjustable air shutter and dampers (accessible from the front) provide a means for the installer to fine-tune the flames to the length of the vent run during the initial installation, eliminating callbacks. Contact: or (800) 851-3153.

Introducing the Loft Collection Loft from Patio Renaissance is a contemporary design with a hint of old-world rustic style. Loft is handcrafted of all-aluminum frames with a distressed wood-grain texture that is available in three complementary finish options: reclaimed barn wood, salvaged lumber, and railroad tie. Loft has generously proportioned seat buckets and offers the ultimate comfort, with extrathick reticulated seat cushions. The collection includes a modular sectional, a lounge chair, a swivel lounge, a firepit dining set, and high dining. Contact: or (866) 698-5673. Circle Reader Service No. 94

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The Companion Group This Hasselback potato rack (CC2031) will help you achieve perfectly spaced cuts without accidentally slicing through the entire spud. Place a potato on the wooden dish, pushing it onto the nails in the center so that it is held in place. Use a knife to make cuts through the stainless-steel guide wires. When you’re done, slide the cutting guide off and cook the prepared potato using your favorite recipe. Contact: or (800) 521-0505. Circle Reader Service No. 95




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product profiles Lake House Firepit Chat Group If the words crisp, clean, and comfortable come to mind, you’re sure to be describing Agio’s Lake House collection. The deep seating sofa and two matching chairs with rust-free aluminum frames feature gorgeous cream-colored Sunbrella® cushions for the ultimate in style and comfort. The focal point and center of attention, however, is a stylish matching rectangular firepit with a generously sized porcelain top—for serving and entertaining long into the evening. For the very latest looks in outdoor products that are sure to be big sellers on your showroom floor, trust Agio to deliver what your customers are looking for, the company says. Contact: (888) 997-7623 or Circle Reader Service No. 96

New Small Firepit

MagnuM Baby Countryside It is official: American Energy Systems is launching the 2016 series of biomass-burning appliances, and this MagnuM Baby Countryside blows high heating bills away with autoignition, a state-of-the-art electronic control center, multifuel capabilities, and much more. The high-output power-exhaust system will burn the toughest fuels while meeting even the 2020 EPA standards. The model BCAC MagnuM holds approximately 50 pounds of wood pellets and has a large ash pan. Contact: (800) 495-3196 or Circle Reader Service No. 97

This new firepit is designed to deliver the heat and ambience needed to light up your next party; family gathering; or quiet, relaxing evening in your backyard. This unit boasts a footprint of only 3x3 feet. This makes it perfect for any backyard. It features an access door for storing a propane tank—or the hookups can be set up for natural gas. Retail prices range from $799 to $999. Contact: (800) 521-2855 or Circle Reader Service No. 99

Pearl Night Blue Finish

Elegance and luxury live large in the Castelle Vertice collection, with oversized lounge seating and decorative cushions—all built to deliver enhanced comfort. With a clean and contemporary design, the Castelle Vertice collection includes fine linear arm and leg supports on cushioned deep seating. Contact: (855) 612-9800 or

Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens introduces its latest powder-coat finish, pearl night blue, as an answer to the needs of designers who are taking an active role in creating outdoor-living spaces and in meeting the demands of the homeowners for whom they are working. The desire was to have a color that would blend in with the deep night sky in the scenery of consumers’ outdoor kitchens. Danver’s in-house powder-coat process enables the company to expand the already-extensive line with new colors and styles to meet consumer needs. Contact: (203) 626-5625 or

Circle Reader Service No. 98

Circle Reader Service No. 100


La Lima Alfresco home introduces La Lima as one of its newest deep seating collections. La Lima’s mixed-material structure is generously proportioned, and its exquisite design gives this comfortable collection a fresh look that fits casually into the finest outdoor-living spaces. Dining pieces are also available. Contact: (610) 705-8808 or Circle Reader Service No. 101




product profiles Roma City


True outdoor luxury on a space-saving scale is on display in the Castelle Roma City collection. Transitional inspiration and true luxury are skillfully joined in this design. Gentle curves in tribar supports create a classy (yet open) style. The Castelle Roma City collection is easily at home on any balcony or intimate terrace. Contact: (855) 612-9800 or

AEI proudly announces the introduction of the Ambiance stainless-steel fire feature (PC14SS), adding to the most complete offering of outdoor comfort heat available from any single source. Ambiance’s features include a 4-inch Ambi-Fire borosilicate-glass tube, the Ambi-Glo emitter-grid system, the Pyromid ceramic-burner system, and Ambi-Brite reflectors (at all three corners) to enhance the dancing flame. Ambiance is backed by AEI Corp., which is celebrating its 48th year in the premium–gas-grill and outdoor–comfort-heat industries. Contact: (949) 474-3070 or

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Pioneers of Professional Outdoor Kitchens Indulge in the art of outdoor grilling with two new handcrafted DCS Grill models, with infrared-burner technology and a griddle plate, so you can cook with the same confidence outdoors as you do indoors. DCS lets you sear where you want to sear, putting you in control of the entire grilling surface, giving you the versatility to cook what you want. Contact: (888) 936-7872 or Circle Reader Service No. 108

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Franklin Round Woven Dining Collection Give your customers the very latest trending designs for outdoor entertaining with the elegant new Franklin round woven dining collection from Agio. The new classic grouping features modern armless seating crafted of handwoven all-weather wicker. The natural-finished look of the weave is further enhanced by a brushed finish on the chair legs that complements the weathered-wood look of the pedestal base. The durable porcelain top features a lovely finish with the look of natural wood. Add Franklin to your showroom and watch your sales and profitability take flight. Contact: (888) 997-7623 or Circle Reader Service No. 111

Coyote Asado Cooker The Coyote Asado cooker, featuring heat-resistant ceramic construction and a Coyote Signature smoking grate, enables outdoor chefs to smoke, bake, sear, or grill ingredients in one unit. The Coyote Asado cooker offers 254 square inches of cooking surface and an adjustable venting system to maintain precise cooking temperatures. This model can be used in an optional cart with side shelves or can be seamlessly built into an outdoor-kitchen island. In addition, Coyote offers the Asado accessories bundle, which packages together five key accessories for diverse food preparation and product maintenance. Retailing for $199, the bundle includes a beer-can–chicken holder, a pizza stone, a heat deflector, grate grippers, and a cover: the five top-selling accessories for smokers. Contact: (855) 520-1559 or

welcome guests outside in comfort.

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Skewer Express Easy Kabob Loader (CC2030)

Enjoy outdoor spaces in eco-friendly, climate-controlled comfort – regardless of the season. Infratech offers a wide range of designs and control options for residential or commercial environments. Versatile. Stylish. Efficient. And smart home compatible. For customized comfort to suit any décor – and an invitation to entertain year round.


The Skewer Express™ Easy Kabob Loader features six channels to hold ingredients in place, with guides that then allow you to skewer them through the center, all at once. Simply place ingredients into the prep station’s channels, close the lid, and slide the stainless-steel skewer through the guide holes. The tray makes it convenient to sprinkle on spices or drizzle on marinade, catching any excess. Avoid the shifting and rolling of kebabs by using the tray to transport them securely to and from the grill. Contact: (800) 521-0505,, or


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product profiles Country Flame Little Rascal American Energy Systems’ Country Flame Little Rascal wood-pellet stove has completed the new EPA New Source Performance Standards certification and is ready for 2020 and beyond. This high-quality self-ignition powerhouse packs a real heating punch, with up to 40,000 Btu, smooth lines, and state-of-the-art electronics. The redesigned firepot system will handle the challenging fuels of the future. Contact: (800) 495-3196 or Circle Reader Service No. 112

Richmond Dining Group For 2017, Jensen Leisure Furniture presents the Richmond dining group. One of six dining options in the new Richmond furniture collection, this Richmond 60-inch round table features three legs. This design makes it easy to fit six Richmond side or dining chairs—or three of the new Richmond curved benches—at the table. Contact: (800) 403-0403 or Circle Reader Service No. 113

Broil King Porta-Chef 320 Propane Grill

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A portable grill that offers the performance and versatility of its full-sized siblings, the Porta-Chef™ 320 is a great option for those with space restrictions (or looking for portability). With the Porta-Chef 320’s 430 square inches of total cooking area and its three individually controlled stainless-steel burners, grilling enthusiasts have the option of grilling directly or indirectly. Whether at a campground, the big game, or the beach, on-the-go grillers will love being able use the Porta-Chef 320 as a tabletop grill or stand-alone unit—and with its drop-down shelves and detachable snap-in legs, the 320 is easily transported. An optional stationary cart is also available for those who want to use the grill on their patios or balconies. Contact: (800) 265-2150 or Circle Reader Service No. 114




Louisiana Grills: Estate 860BI Louisiana Grills (LG) welcomes the much-awaited Estate series. The all-new Estate 860BI places the proven LG burn system within a gorgeous framework designed for fixed installation. With elegant stainless-steel construction, a 30-pound hidden hopper, and 860 square inches of cooking space, this luxurious wood-pellet kitchen is perfect for any patio. Featuring 304 stainless-steel grids and reinforced double-walled construction, the Estate is capable of pristine grilling and superior heat retention (up to 600 degrees). Fueled by LG’s all-natural hardwood pellets, the prestigious Estate offers full-function digital control, a slide-plate flame broiler, and true fan-forced convection, for thorough cooking in eight distinct ways. Bake or roast, sear or smoke: The 860BI is made for grilling experts who enjoy their backyards as much as their barbecue. Contact: (877) 303-3134 or Circle Reader Service No. 115

Alfresco Home Marco Bay Alfresco Home expands its extruded/cast-aluminum line with the Marco Bay collection. Marco Bay introduces high comfort and fresh table designs in both dining and deep seating options—all in a new, intriguing finish. It’s clean, simple, and current: Marco Bay. Contact: (610) 705-8808 or Circle Reader Service No. 116

Hatteras Hammocks Quilted Hammock

Hatteras Hammocks has used two layers of Sunbrella® fabric sandwiched around polyester-fiberfill batting and has completed this sumptuous hammock with the finest of materials. It’s shown with the company’s award-winning Roman Arc stand. Contact: (800) 334-1078 or Circle Reader Service No. 117

Weathered Oak Vent Free Weathered Oak is a reasonably priced vent-free log set that has two rows of flames and wonderfully crafted logs. It’s available in 18- and 24-inch sizes, with manual or millivolt control-valve options. Contact: (800) 725-4166 or Circle Reader Service No. 118

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product profiles St. Bernardus St. Bernardus is MLW Stone’s latest and most cost-effective natural-stone fireplace facing. Available in three standard sizes, St. Bernardus is a sound and durable honed-limestone fireplace surround that is consistent in color from piece to piece and set to set. Its warm, clean, and neutral color lends itself well to any traditional or contemporary decor. For samples, email Contact: (800) 477-7665 or

Escape The Castelle Escape collection is luxurious, in a dramatic way, by incorporating prominent lines and curves. Within the Castelle Escape collection’s design, multiple spires rise in an elliptical pattern to surround oversized cushions. Large decorative pillows create customizable comfort. Artistry and engineered curves are found across the Escape collection’s deep seating and table designs. Contact: (855) 612-9800 or Circle Reader Service No. 120

Circle Reader Service No. 119

IgniteXL by Dimplex IgniteXL™ stands apart as more lifelike and visually stunning than anything that came before it, Dimplex says. With new, patented flame and heat technology, IgniteXL transforms the look and feel of any room. Enjoy flawless panoramic views plus simple and flexible installation, making the possibilities almost endless. Contact: (800) 668-6663 or Circle Reader Service No. 121

Bar Cart

Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens’ new line of outdoor-cooking, beverage, and bartending carts for the hospitality industry features lightweight tubular-steel construction and customizable, easily changeable backlit graphic signage. Moreover, the units are available in a variety of powder-coat finishes that can further enhance design appeal and adhere to corporate branding. Contact: (203) 626-5625 or Circle Reader Service No. 122

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product profiles H Series The H series comes in four different configurations and three sizes: 42, 60, and 72 inches. It’s trimless, ventless, and timelessly modern. Contact: (781) 324-8383 or Circle Reader Service No. 123

Infratech Flush Mount The Infratech flush-mounting option has long been a favorite outdoor-heating option among the architects, interior designers, and engineers working on today’s most sought-after properties. Stylish and versatile, these heaters can be installed with the edges exposed or can be partially covered by a drywall, plaster, stucco, or tongue-and-groove ceiling treatment. Enjoy year-round comfort on your patio/deck or in your outdoor room without heaters taking up space or distracting you from your view. Contact: (800) 421-9455 or Circle Reader Service No. 124

Valor’s HeatShift System Designed to reduce surface temperatures, the Valor HeatShift System™ is especially recommended when adding a wall-mounted television or heat-sensitive material directly above the fireplace. In essence, raising the heat outlet improves conventional airflow—reducing wall temperatures and improving overall performance. Excess warm air is then circulated back into the room at a higher elevation. With heat transferred above, it is now possible to run noncombustible finishing materials right up to the fireplace surround. Valor has also incorporated a sleek heat outlet or hidden wall valance, which provides a clean surface for heat distribution back into the living space. Contact: (800) 468-2567 or Circle Reader Service No. 125

Cooking With Wood: Domina

Space Creator 150H

There’s nothing like cooking on a wood-burning fire; de Manincor cookstoves from Italy are kitchen-friendly products that can be added to an indoor or outdoor kitchen. The Domina, with its stylish curved legs and elegant lines, offers users the ability to cook on the stovetop or in the oven. Available in solid colors with black or stainless-steel accents, this line of stoves offers the taste and warmth of old family style. Contact: (914) 764-5679 or

Ortal’s Space Creator is an amazing way to separate living spaces, yet combine them visually. Without any compromise to aesthetics, all of Ortal’s stunning fireplaces ensure that the glass enclosure on your fireplace is comfortably warm to the touch—and completely safe, using the company’s new innovative technology. Contact: (818) 238-7000 or

Circle Reader Service No. 126

Circle Reader Service No. 127

North Haven The North Haven collection by Libby Langdon for NorthCape is almost architectural, with its sleek styling and angular lines. Its simplicity is modern and fresh. The frame feels light, airy, and open, while the luxurious and generous cushioning offers comfort, as well as a style statement. The side, cocktail, and chat tables have tops that are a modern take on a shiplap, using multiple planks in a matte-white finish with black curved base legs and clip-corner details on the tops. In addition, the North Haven collection features a round fire table with a black aluminum base, a SIMA natural-concrete–look top, and a glass windscreen with polished-silver hardware. The North Haven collection is a new featured collection by Libby Langdon for NorthCape. Contact: (708) 563-2890 or Circle Reader Service No. 128




HPC’s New EI Series

Forshaw Mantels Forshaw offers the widest selection of styles and finishes, all available in custom sizes. Since 1871, the Forshaw name has stood for exceptional quality and value. Experienced craftspeople employ only the finest materials in producing a finished product that is not only beautiful, but durable as well. Forshaw guarantees your complete satisfaction with its products, from its rich oak and attractive poplar mantels to imported marble and slate surrounds and hearths. Products are shipped within seven to 10 working days. Contact: (314) 874-4315,, or

There are two new CSA–certified electronic-ignition inserts from HPC: an on/off model for simple convenience and the high/low model (controlled from your smartphone) to impress your friends and neighbors. Both models are built to industry-known HPC standards and with new features for reliability. Contact: (877) 433-7001 or

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Circle Reader Service No. 129

ROBAX Magic ROBAX® Magic glass-ceramic panels have thermal, physical, and chemical characteristics that make them suitable for use as highly resistant interior paneling for gas stoves and fireplaces. ROBAX Magic improves the appearance of room-heating devices that require low thermal expansion and high temperature stability. The additional reflections created by the dancing flames and the ease with which glass-ceramic panels can be cleaned make ROBAX Magic a real alternative to the conventional materials used inside combustion chambers. Contact: (502) 657-4417 or

Ambiance Antique Bronze AEI proudly announces the introduction of the Ambiance antique bronze fire feature (PC14AB), adding to the most complete offering of outdoor comfort heat available from any single source. Ambiance’s features include a 4-inch Ambi-Fire borosilicate-glass tube, the Ambi-Glo emitter-grid system, the Pyromid ceramic-burner system, and Ambi-Brite reflectors (at all three corners) to enhance the dancing flame. Ambiance is backed by AEI Corp., which is celebrating its 48th year in the premium–gas-grill and outdoor–comfort-heat industries. Contact: (949) 474-3070 or

Circle Reader Service No. 133

Circle Reader Service No. 130



Cottages Collection

Wood Cookstove The Fireview is a high-efficiency, airtight, wood-burning cookstove that is perfect for home, cottage or camp. It serves as a high-output room heater, a cooking appliance and, with an optional water jacket, a source of hot water. For even Distinctively designed for open-air living spaces, the Cottages collection from Couristan has been styled to complement the finest outdoor furnishings in today’s market. Crafted of 100% PET, each area rug is reversible and handwoven of recycled-plastic materials. This uV-stabilized area-rug collection features durable construction, which allows it to be the perfect foundation piece for today’s most stylish outdoor-living environments. Carefully colored in a fresh, natural palette, Cottages is represented in three relaxed and easy patterns, with each design developed for its ability to complement the latest fashions. These durable area rugs are mold and mildew resistant and, over time, will show no signs of fading or deterioration. Contact: (800) 223-6186 or

more cooking versatility add the optional gas side burners. Models also available in all-gas, all-electric or dual fuel.

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product profiles Helios

Baking and Pizza Stones From Big Green Egg The Big Green Egg line of pizza and baking stones provides the perfect surface for baking bread, casseroles, cakes, and pies, better (and more quickly) than in a kitchen oven. The EGG bakes the most delicious slice of pizza you’ve ever eaten—better than from a pizzeria. Your customers will never want to cook indoors again. Contact: (770) 938-9394 or

In the Castelle Helios collection, luxurious casual furnishings are made for modern lifestyles. With handcrafted curves and angles, sleek linear elements create a unique framework for the contoured-sling seat and back. uncomplicated beauty is on display in the Helios collection’s sling dining. Contact: (855) 612-9800 or

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A Smart Firepit With the push of a button, you can control on, off, and flame height—and even set a timer that will automatically turn off the unit. This gives the end user the convenience of smartphone or tablet control with Bluetooth technology, as well as a diagnostics dashboard to maintain peak performance—giving you a unique selling point. Contact: (877) 433-7001 or Circle Reader Service No. 136

Legendary Pawleys Island Rope Hammock Woven by hand in the Carolinas since 1889, these rope hammocks are available in traditional cotton or weather-resistant DuraCord. Add the heavy-duty, easy-to assemble tribeam stand for gentle backyard relaxation. Contact: (800) 334-1078 or Circle Reader Service No. 137

Swivel Stools Gensun Casual Living’s swivel stools were a big hit at the ICFA Preview Show™. These balcony-height stools are great for maximizing seating, adding more seating, and tucking under the table when not in use. Stools are available in 19 finish colors. Contact: (866) 964-4468 or Circle Reader Service No. 138

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product profiles

Boulevard Linear Fireplaces Go to Great Lengths

Elite Outdoor Kitchen This kitchen has it all: a 38-inch elite grill, with lights in the grilling area and on the control knobs; a slide-in double side burner; an outdoor-rated 304 stainless-steel fridge; and a music system, including a Bluetooth MP3 docking station. The counter is large and allows for seating up to eight people. The backsplash is built with mosaic tile, and the under-counter area is finished and has downlighting. All of this is available for a retail price of $10,000 or less. Contact: (800) 521-2855 or Circle Reader Service No. 139

New to the Northstar Line

Sometimes a fireplace goes beyond just the flame—and becomes art. With its outsized proportions, its contemporary burner, and its programmable lighting system (concealed beneath an ocean of crushed glass), a Boulevard large linear vent-free fireplace makes a bold statement that’s sure to turn heads in any setting. Choose the Boulevard 60 or Boulevard 72—with true 5- or 6-foot fireplace-opening widths. Both systems are available in LP (38,500 Btu) and natural-gas (40,000 Btu) versions. Accessorize your Boulevard vent-free fireplace with the unique ceramic-glass black reflective liner to create the illusion of unimaginable depth, or opt for the brushed-stainless liner for a bright, contemporary feel. Contact: (800) 851-3153 or Circle Reader Service No. 141

Elmira Stove Works is revealing a new product for its retro Northstar collection, and it is available now for preorder. The model 1947 36-inch six-burner dual-fuel range features Northstar’s retro-inspired design in a professional-style range. The model 1947 range is available in the nine standard Northstar colors, in addition to more than 200 custom colors available through RAL color technology. Contact: (800) 295-8498 or

Sky T by Element4 The Sky T is a stunning see-through, direct-vent gas fireplace that is 5 feet tall. It is distributed by European Home for installation in North America. Contact: (781) 324-8383 or

Circle Reader Service No. 140

Circle Reader Service No. 142

Louisiana Grills: LG Ceramic Series Charcoal grilling at its finest: the Louisiana Grills (LG) Ceramic series is designed with every tradition and lifestyle in mind. The heavy-duty ceramic fire ring and fire bowl host temperatures of up to 700 degrees, and the inch-thick ceramic exterior renders the most efficient temperature control in the industry, the company says. The calibrated top damper, adjustable slide-plate base, and beveled dome thermometer allow for precise temperature readings and increased airflow control. Complete with 304 stainless-steel cooking grids, bamboo side shelves, and locking caster wheels, this series from LG will enrich your outdoor-cooking experience. With models available in four sizes, the Ceramic series is perfect for any family. Taste the difference: LG’s 100% premium lump charcoal burns hotter, longer, and cleaner than competitive brands. Smoke, bake, sear, roast, or char-grill: Discover the tradition of real charcoal flavor in your own backyard. Contact: (877) 303-3134 or Circle Reader Service No. 143 Circle Reader Service No. 82




Pioneers of Professional Outdoor Kitchens Turn up the heat, and go from zero to sear with DCS Grills’ new built-in temperature gauge. To maximize natural convection, this gauge allows you to monitor the temperatures and know exactly how hot the grill is—without raising the specially designed hood. Be the ultimate meal maker with the ability to control DCS Grills’ massive 121,500 Btu-per-hour total power, which lets you choose the precise heat you need—from a low-and-slow 300 degrees up to an intense 1,100 degrees—to create the ultimate cooking experience. Contact: (888) 936-7872 or Circle Reader Service No. 144

Siena by OW Lee The simple (yet elegant) lines of the Siena collection, new for 2017, are inspired by the traditional flair of 19th-century Italian farmhouse living. With details such as fluted square and flat bars, twisted-steel top bars, and handforged scrollwork, this collection is as timeless as it is beautiful. Although smaller in scale, this collection features the company’s proprietary Plush Comfort cushioning system to maximize comfort. Contact: (800) 776-9533 or Circle Reader Service No. 145

Capital Maestro Barbecue Grill Capital refuses to follow the pack, choosing instead to improve on its own concepts and designs as it moves forward. Capital’s Maestro barbecue changes how you view grilling. A large SCHOTT NEXTREMA® glass-ceramic viewing window in the lid provides side-to-side visibility. The grill also features a unique glass front panel with blue LED indicator rings that let you know which burners are on—artfully. Contact: (502) 657-4417 or Circle Reader Service No. 146

Coral Chaise In response to this season’s Coral collection being well received, Jensen Leisure Furniture introduces the Coral chaise for 2017. Designed by Povl Eskildsen, it features a twisted Virofiber gray-and-cream hyacinth weave atop a base of 100% FSC–certified ipê timber. It provides five comfortable positions (including a flat position). Contact: (800) 403-0403 or Circle Reader Service No. 147

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product profiles Solstice Solstice, the newest vent-free gas fireplace insert from the leader in vent-free technology, features a clean, transitional style with multiple finishing options (including traditional logs and sleek fireglass media), making it suitable for any space. Its ventless, zero-clearance design makes installation easy and affordable. Contact: (800) 669-4328 or

Dunemere The Dunemere collection by Libby Langdon for NorthCape is inspired by classic lines and design—with an updated twist. Its soft sloping and flared curved shapes are elegant (yet easy) and work in a multitude of outdoor settings. The substantial, soft wicker weave comes in two colors: a light, rich gray and a deep, hearty brown. The tables are a combination of the weave with glass tops and a matte-black metal base, and the combination of multiple materials in one piece adds depth and scope to the design. The Dunemere collection is a new featured collection by Libby Langdon for NorthCape. Contact: (708) 563-2890 or

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Clear 170 TS

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Ortal combines modern, stunning design and innovative technology. With Ortal’s impressive selection of sleek and modern contemporary fireplaces, along with more traditional styles, you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to select the model of your choice. Contact: (818) 238-7000 or

Broil King Keg 5000 The Broil King® Keg 5000 features a high-performance design that builds on Broil King’s philosophy of engineering superior-performing grills that evoke passion for outdoor entertaining. unlike many ceramic kamado-style grills, the Keg has a durable body made of double-walled steel with high-grade insulation between the walls. This technologically advanced design holds temperatures at a narrow range for continuous, even heat. This allows low-and-slow cooking that lets consumers create moist, traditional u.S. barbecue in their own backyards. The steel body also offers outstanding durability through all weather conditions. A unique feature of the Keg is its portability. With the hitch-adapter kit, the Keg can be taken on the road, making it the ideal companion for tailgating, picnics, and camping. The Keg features a total cooking area of 480 square inches, including a main cast-iron cooking grid that is perfect for locking in the heat and a secondary chrome-coated rack that’s ideal for more delicate foods (such as seafood). The Keg’s standard features include a large precision temperature gauge, removable resin side shelves, and a durable stand (with large wheels for portability). Contact: (800) 265-2150 or

Circle Reader Service No. 151

Noncombustible Supercast Mantel Collection Supercast mantels from the Gallery collection by The Outdoor GreatRoom Company are great additions to your gas, wood, or electric fireplace. Because these mantels are made from noncombustible materials, they can be used where wood mantels cannot. They are available in four finishes: tavern brown, washed cedar, cove gray, and polished midnight mist. Contact: (866) 303-4028 or

Circle Reader Service No. 149

Circle Reader Service No. 152

Country Blaze Vent Free Hargrove introduces the massive Country Blaze vent-free log set. It incorporates rugged, beautifully detailed logs, along with a wide ember-glow presentation, to achieve a premium vent-free look. Country Blaze is available in 18-, 24-, and 30-inch sizes, with manual, millivolt, or variable-flame valve options. Contact: (800) 725-4166 or Circle Reader Service No. 153




Infratech Slimline

Aris by OW Lee New for 2017, the Aris collection was inspired by Midcentury design and architecture, where clean lines and geometric shapes were key. Aris’ clean look is met by the prevalent Midcentury design principle of ergonomics. using Midcentury ergonomics and modern lines, an attractive and superbly comfortable design was born. Contact: (800) 776-9533 or

Infratech Slimline electric outdoor heaters offer streamlined comfort with seamless style. They have modern styling, a narrow profile, and low clearance requirements—for energy-efficient warmth that disappears into your decor. Enjoy year-round comfort on your patio/deck or in your outdoor room without heaters that take up space or distract you from your view. Contact: (800) 421-9455 or Circle Reader Service No. 155

Circle Reader Service No. 154

Antigua Collection Patio Renaissance introduces the alluring Antigua collection. With its sophisticated lines and unique weave pattern, Antigua will appeal to the true lover of traditional designs. This overscaled collection offers ultimate comfort (which is the signature feature of Patio Renaissance), along with a new twisted-weave pattern and the cloves weave color. Antigua offers a wide variety of seating configurations, as well as several dining options that will be accommodated in almost any backyard space for your customer. Contact: (866) 698-5673 or Circle Reader Service No. 156

Real Fyre G31

Sizzler PRO

The new Real Fyre® G31 three-tiered gas-log system closely replicates the look and feel of a real wood-burning fire. This multilevel burner system provides a high, full flame effect with an efficient lower-Btu input. Offered in sizes ranging from 18 to 39 inches and at Btu levels of 55,000 to 85,000, the system features hand-detailed logs that look great in the fireplace—with the fire on or off. Many control and log-style options are available. Contact: (800) 332-3973 or

The Sizzler PRO series from Summerset Professional Grills combines impressive features with quality construction and affordability. upholding the same sleek design as the classic Sizzler with added exterior LED lights, this grill really sets itself apart. The interior has been revamped with 14,000-Btu cast burners, heat-zone separators, and powerful interior cooking lights that make for a premium grilling experience, from top to bottom. The Sizzler PRO’s price will please your customers. Contact: (800) 966-8126 or

Circle Reader Service No. 157

Circle Reader Service No. 158

The Cabana Collection by Sunbrella The Sunbrella Cabana collection is a new grouping of Sunbrella upholstery fabrics, featuring classic stripe patterns Cabana and Shore in a variety of modern, bold, bright colors: classic, regatta, emerald, citron, and flame. Emphasizing design simplicity with a contemporary take, these fabrics can be mixed and matched for playful looks. Fabrics in the Sunbrella Cabana collection are ideal for upholstery, drapery, and decorative pillows. Contact: (336) 221-2211 or Circle Reader Service No. 159




product profiles Fire Magic Black Diamond Grill Part of the revered Echelon Diamond collection, the new Fire Magic® Black Diamond grill delivers the Echelon Diamond’s best-in-class quality and performance in a black-porcelain design that pays homage to the original Fire Magic grill, introduced in 1937. The Black Diamond grill features Fire Magic’s exclusive Diamond Sear cooking grids for fast, even heating and restaurant-style sear marks. It is available as a 36-inch built-in unit (for use with propane or natural gas) and with an accompanying refrigerator, side cookers, and doors—for the ultimate outdoor-cooking experience. Contact: (800) 332-3973 or Circle Reader Service No. 160

Delta Heat Outdoor-kitchen Products

Madrid The all-new Madrid extruded-aluminum sectional is part of a sophisticated, modern collection that offers a high-end, sleek look while providing the ultimate in outdoor comfort. Madrid includes coordinating side tables that combine aluminum with a marine-grade polymer tabletop, which is available with an umbrella hole—to complete your outdoor setting. Madrid is proudly made in the united States. Contact: (941) 359-0890 or

The grill is the cornerstone of any outdoor kitchen, but it is the complementary products that bring it to life. Delta Heat has thought through your customers’ cooking, storage, and entertaining needs. The company’s offering is complete, giving customers the products that they need to create a space that is unique to them: a space that suits their personal cooking and entertaining styles. The company invites you to explore the complete Delta Heat offering. Contact: (800) 422-0091 or

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Circle Reader Service No. 162

Tempotest USA Tempotest uSA introduces Club, a new collection of Parà’s Tempotest fabrics for both indoor and outdoor furniture, cushions, and pillows. Club is a contemporary twist on classic design elements, highlighting ikats, geometrics, chevrons, and cabana stripes in seven colorways. From neutrals to jewel tones to classic casual colors such as moss green and teal blue, the collection can be both playful and subdued. Like all Tempotest fabrics, Club fabrics are treated with Teflon® Extreme fabric protectant to resist staining and to ensure that spills and stains are easily cleanable. The fabrics are also bleach cleanable. These features, along with the use of 100% solution-dyed acrylic for the ultimate in fade resistance, enable Tempotest fabric to be backed by an industry-leading six-year warranty. Contact: (972) 512-3534 or Circle Reader Service No. 163

Echo Deep Seating Monessen Symphony

New for 2017, Winston Furniture’s Echo deep seating is one of 13 quick-ship collections, shipping FOB in three working days from Haleyville, Alabama. Echo is a contemporary aluminum mixed-media collection, with its frame contrasted by the warmth of resin-wood accents on the arms and back. Miter-cut seat cushions provide a clean look, with nonslip fabric sewn on seating surfaces eliminating slippage—without the use of ties. Contact: (205) 486-9211 or

Convenient and efficient, the Symphony slimline vent-free gas fireplace offers a clean face and an expansive viewing area that’s suitable for almost any space. Easily customizable to match any decor, Symphony offers decorative and transitional faces, as well as the choice of traditional logs or fireglass media—allowing homeowners to bring simple beauty into their favorite spaces. Contact: (800) 669-4328 or Circle Reader Service No. 165

Circle Reader Service No. 164




Drake Collection

Creekvine Designs This Backyard Bash cross-legged picnic table will be a spectacular addition to your outdoor-living space. Being crafted from 100% red cedar makes it resistant to insects, warping, and decay: It’s one of the most durable wooden picnic tables available. Contact: (800) 913-1741 or

A huge hit at the ICFA Preview Show™, the Drake collection from Gensun Casual Living offers modular, deep, dining, bar, and balcony seating configurations. The collection also has either woven or fabric side panels that can be customized with three woven colors and more than 500 fabrics. Contact: (866) 964-4468 or Circle Reader Service No. 167

Circle Reader Service No. 166

Cedar Ridge Fire Table The Cedar Ridge fire table by The Outdoor GreatRoom Company comes with a unique rough-cut cedarwood-look top made of durable Supercast concrete. The whitewashed and gray finish’s versatile coloring goes perfectly with any color of furniture. The unique composite-decking base is very durable and conceals a 20-pound LP tank. Contact: (866) 303-4028 or Circle Reader Service No. 168

Torino Cushion by Tropitone Designed by John Caldwell, the Torino cushion collection features traditional decorative elements with a modern, graceful frame, creating transitional residential outdoor furniture. The Torino cushion collection consists of a sofa, a love seat, a lounge chair, a swivel-action lounger, and an ottoman. Each ventilated cushion uses Tropitone’s RELAXplus® technology, ensuring that cushions are comfortable and durable. Torino cushion seating is perfect around a firepit, for an intimate chat setting, or to create the ultimate comfortable outdoor room. Contact: (949) 951-2010 or

Smartwerks Take control of your inventory with this complete point-of-sale solution. Discover the products that your customers are buying and the ones that they aren’t—at all of your stores. Smartwerks even recommends the items to include on your next purchase order. Start making better buying and selling decisions today. Contact: (888) 882-1530 Ext. 107 or Circle Reader Service No. 170

Circle Reader Service No. 169

Hestan Outdoor Hestan Outdoor is a new line of premium residential grills offering powerful, professional-grade components and distinctive features and benefits completely unique to the market. Hestan also offers complementary outdoor products, such as under-counter refrigeration and outdoor accessories. Manufactured entirely in the united States in the company’s state-of-the-art headquarters (of more than 70,000 square feet) in Anaheim, California, Hestan Outdoor gas grills offer a number of innovative, high-performance features. Hestan Outdoor grills are available in built-in and freestanding models and feature a unique, sleek stainless-steel design available in 12 exclusive finish colors. Contact: (888) 905-7463 or Circle Reader Service No. 171




product profiles Wood Stacking With Style

Carolina by Windward Carolina deep seating is a new introduction from Windward Design Group. It offers a traditional look for the outdoors and provides the high-quality comfort for which Windward is known. Carolina is available in two colors: honey (shown) and cocoa, along with coordinating tables. Contact: (941) 359-0890 or

Fall is for wood stacking, and Wittus has the perfect shed to handle the stash. Beautifully designed by Harrie Leenders of Holland, this stacker is made of galvanized and COR-TEN™ steel, which takes on a natural patina once exposed to the elements. Each compartment measures 59 inches long by 49 inches wide by 79 inches high, and there’s plenty of room for more wood when you add another section (two modules are shown here). Contact: (914) 764-5679 or Circle Reader Service No. 175

Circle Reader Service No. 172

American Muscle Grill

Creekvine Designs

The all-new American Muscle grill (AMG) is a heavy-duty, no-nonsense grill that features true dual-fuel capability—which will allow you to smoke, sear, and cook directly or indirectly with charcoal, gas, or both simultaneously. Designed, built, and factory tested in the united States, the AMG is available in 100,000-Btu 36-inch and 160,000-Btu 54-inch models, giving it plenty of power to go around: Combining innovative design with high-quality construction, the AMG has all the features and flexibility required to be the last grill you will ever need. Contact: (800) 966-8126 or

Perfect for parties, this entertaining buffet table is handcrafted from Western red cedar and features two well-spaced shelves for storing—well, anything. Absolutely functional, the curves in the legs make it quite the stylish statement as well. Contact: (800) 913-1741 or Circle Reader Service No. 173

Circle Reader Service No. 176

Teak Market Umbrella Treasure Garden teak market umbrellas are designed to complement wooden or metal outdoor furnishings and include an 11-foot octagonal crank-lift design and an 8x10-foot rectangular crank-lift design. The beauty and quality of the 2-inch wooden center pole of the teak umbrella are coordinated with the same teak used in the canopy ribs. These umbrellas include an advanced easy-turn crank lift (versus the pulley lift typically available in wooden market umbrellas). Each umbrella includes a two-year warranty. umbrella bases, sold separately, are available in multiple designs to coordinate with the umbrellas. Contact: (626) 814-0168 or

Avignon Chat With Gas Firepit Winston Furniture introduces both Avignon and gas firepit tables as two of its 13 quick-ship 2017 collections. Avignon’s classic cast details accent this transitional swivel lounge chat chair, with a rich toffee weave, developed exclusively for this collection. Winston’s quick-ship gas firepit tables are available in 44- and 54-inch round top sizes; they are offered in three quick-ship frame finishes and feature a flush-sitting lid for a seamless table surface. Contact: (205) 486-9211 or Circle Reader Service No. 174

Circle Reader Service No. 177




Galaxy The award-winning Galaxy is the industry’s largest noncatalytic, EPA–approved, zero-clearance fireplace. It has a heating capacity of 2,500 square feet, with maximum output of 100,000 Btu per hour. The fireplace is available with different surround options and comes standard with two heat-activated blowers, a sealed ash pan, and a built-in barbecue grill. The Galaxy has a unique, patented air control that regulates combustion automatically. It also has a patented Easy-Light mechanism, which ensures a quick and easy start for the fire and helps keep the glass clean. Contact:, (877) 593-4722, or Circle Reader Service No. 178

Kenzo Woven by Tropitone Tropitone’s Kenzo woven group integrates a sleek aluminum frame with the TropiKane® Bison weave, for a chic, timeless appearance. The Kenzo woven group includes a sofa, a love seat, a swivel-action lounger, and a lounge chair, each with woven panels on the sides and back. The TropiKane Bison weave is available in two colors: chestnut and weathered gray. Kenzo leads in versatility due to its streamlined frame, hundreds of fabric options, and beautiful weaves that complement any outdoor space. Contact: (949) 951-2010 or

Croisette Collection Designed by Pascal Mourgue, the new Croisette collection features comfortable, generously proportioned, and smart garden furniture. Standing at midheight, this woven set is all about accessibility and comfort. Its featherweight design (due to the materials used) makes it extremely easy to move and handle. Its height and the angle of the backrest make it extremely easy to use. It’s an outdoor product that offers a unique take on traditional indoor woven-wicker furniture, but with a modern touch. Croisette’s minimum advertised prices are $558 for the chair, $865 for the bench, and $519 for the low table. Contact: (706) 216-6600 or

Circle Reader Service No. 179

Circle Reader Service No. 180

Tempotest USA Tempotest uSA introduces 300e, a new collection of Parà’s Tempotest fabrics for both indoor and outdoor curtains and draperies. 300e comprises fabrics that are all 120 inches wide or wider. The fabrics range from a light and breezy sheer to a midweight fabric (called Etamine) to a more traditional 8-ounce fabric that comes in a wide palette of colors and up-the-roll stripes. These are also perfect for use inside the home, where incoming sunlight can quickly fade indoor curtains and sheers—particularly in sunrooms with lots of windows. The width allows drapery panels to be 10 feet wide, cutting down on sewing and on the need to use multiple narrow panels. This makes them ideal for large canopies and pergolas. Made from 100% solution-dyed acrylic, the fabrics are bleach cleanable and fade, mold, mildew, and stain resistant. Contact: (972) 512-3534 or Circle Reader Service No. 181

Antique Model 1865-ST Range

Celaya Collection Mallin, pioneer of using mixed materials, introduces the Celaya collection, featuring a tubular-aluminum frame with a PVC woven back. The banana-leaf wicker back complements the elegantly curved aluminum arms. It’s plush and luxurious: Sink yourself into the cushion that surrounds you in comfort. Celaya is now available in a new finish for the season—a gray-wash frame with a gray leaf wicker panel. Contact: (800) 251-6537 or

The Antique model 1865-ST range by Elmira Stove Works is a fully customizable six-burner range (with a detailed black with antique-copper finish). It has a combination of gas and electric burners. The stoves are made of steel, and customers can choose from seven colors: black, white, bisque, cayenne pepper red, liberty blue, and the two-toned black/bisque and black/white combinations. There are also three metal trims: nickel, antique copper, and antique brass. Contact: (800) 295-8498 or

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product profiles Vision The award-winning Vision is the industry’s first and only see-through wood-burning stove. It’s noncatalytic and EPA approved, with very low emissions (averaging 3.6 grams per hour). The firebox is made of high-grade stainless steel, for a quicker heat transfer and more durability. It comes completely assembled, with two heat-activated blowers, a sealed ash pan, a built-in barbecue grill, and a patented automatic air control. The user can load this stove on either side. Its maximum log size is 24 inches. Contact: (877) 593-4722 or

Kingsley-Bate’s Paris collection is expanding in 2017 to include a deep seating lounge chair, sofa, and ottoman. Paris is made from all-weather wicker that is handwoven around a teak frame. Exposed teak legs are treated with a gray-wash finish that complements the wicker fiber. Contact: (703) 361-7000 or

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Dakoda Corner Chair


Hestan Outdoor

Challenge your creativity with Dakoda’s modular pieces, where urban chic meets Mallin comfort. Transform last year’s grouping with a newly added corner chair. Each piece is designed with sleek lines, with its back cushion featuring aluminum frame inserts—giving it a clean, upholstered back without exposing the back frame. The collection is available in deep seating and dining; dine with your companion and relax with Dakoda. Contact: (800) 251-6537 or Circle Reader Service No. 185

Hestan Outdoor is a new line of premium residential grills offering powerful, professional-grade components and distinctive features and benefits completely unique to the market. Hestan Outdoor grills are available in built-in and freestanding models and feature a unique, sleek stainless-steel design available in 12 exclusive finish colors. Complementary outdoor products, such as under-counter refrigeration and outdoor accessories, are also available. Contact: (888) 905-7463 or Circle Reader Service No. 188

Berkeley Cast-iron Gas Stove


Enviro is proud to introduce the Berkeley cast-iron freestanding gas stove. This new stove has an impressive 40,000-Btu input. European–made castings create a timeless look, while the three-sided construction offers a 180-degree viewing angle. The Berkeley stove is a sight to behold. Contact: (250) 652 6080 or

With this complete point-of-sale system, you’ll have all the tools necessary to grow your business. Process sales faster and more accurately. Bring in new customers (while retaining the ones you have), and buy the right amount of the right products to maximize your return on inventory: all with Smartwerks. Contact: (888) 882-1530 Ext. 107 or

Circle Reader Service No. 186

Circle Reader Service No. 189

Exterus Outdoor Kitchens and Fireplaces Do you want to streamline the design process for outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms? Forshaw’s Exterus express kits make this possible. Forshaw offers the appliances, modules, stone front, and granite top—all for one price. Choosing from several express layouts makes it easy to provide quotes for your customers. For custom kitchens, simply select your appliances and finishes from inventory, and the company will design your custom layout. Contact: (314) 874-4315,, or Circle Reader Service No. 190






where he wanted to spend his future. Through his father, Bill Echols, he learned of a sale-representative opportunity with Samsonite Furniture Company, and he soon realized that he had found his career path. Echols now represents OW Lee, Treasure Garden, Lloyd Flanders, and Outdoor by Design. The other nominees were Randy Adams, president of Parkman Associates (Exton, Pennsylvania); Todd Crandall, owner of Crandall & Associates (Roswell, Georgia); and Gary Moretti, GSM Marketing Group (Longmont, Colorado).

SunVilla Launches New Website Outdoor-furniture manufacturer SunVilla Corp. has launched its new website, which is now mobile and tablet responsive to enrich the online experience for customers and consumers. The redesign includes the new 2017 collections, as well as the new domain Matt Weiss, senior vice president of sales, says, “We are excited to launch our new website in conjunction with the introduction of our new product offerings for 2017. The updated layout and new features allow customers to navigate the site easily while experiencing our beautiful products. Our new Dealer Locator makes it easier for consumers to connect with our retailers.” For realtime updates, retailers and consumers are encouraged to follow SunVilla on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.

OW Lee Earns 2016 Manufacturer of the Year Award From ICFA For the fifth year in a row, OW Lee received the Manufacturer of the Year Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) at Casual Market Chicago. These manufacturers of outdoor furnishings were also named as 2016 finalists for the prestigious award: Brown Jordan, Castelle, Gloster, Jensen Leisure Furniture, Lloyd Flanders, Patio Renaissance, Telescope Casual Furniture, Treasure Garden, and Tropitone. They were selected after online voting in August by ICFA’s retail, designer, and supplier members. The finalists were chosen based on the overall design

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Phifer Expands Presence on YouTube With Informational DIY Videos How do you replace the screen on a window or door? What are the latest color and design trends in outdoor-furniture fabric? What are the differences between the various sizes and types of screen spline? If you’re stumped, leading global textiles manufacturer Phifer Inc. offers a cheat sheet of sorts—with answers to these and many other product-related and how-to questions—via its well-stocked YouTube channel, PhiferTV. Since its launch several years ago, PhiferTV’s library has swollen to include more than 100 videos regarding the company’s sun-control fabrics, insectscreening products, engineered meshes and textiles, and indoor/outdoor performance fabrics. Mark Edwards, senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer, says, “Phifer is known as an innovator, customer-service leader, and significant global exporter. We recognize the power of video as an educational tool and view it as an important component in our digital marketing strategy.”

and quality of their products, along with their merchandising, customer service, ethics, communications, and trade relations. In prior years, winners were announced in 10 product categories; then, a final Manufacturer of the Year was named from among those 10 category winners. Jackie Hirschhaut, ICFA executive director, explains, “The move to identify 10 overall outstanding companies reflects the broadening of merchandise assortments within companies throughout the industry. This has made the previous practice of classifying companies by product category or material obsolete.”

Sunset West Hires John Dorney to Lead Sales and Marketing Efforts Sunset West, manufacturer and designer of high-quality outdoor furnishings, has recruited John Dorney to lead and oversee the company’s John Dorney sales and marketing efforts. Dorney brings the company more than 25 years’ experience in sales management, sales operations, and marketing—including more than 15 years in multilocation retail sales and operations, as well as 10 years in North American dealer/franchise channels in a SEPTEMbEr/OCTObEr 2016


Phifer’s YouTube channel features instructional and informational videos in GeoBella indoor/outdoor performance English and a cushion fabrics number of other languages (including Spanish, German, and French) to address the needs of both domestic and international visitors and customers. YouTube is one of several social-media tools that Phifer uses to connect with distributors, dealers, installers, and consumers. Phifer also maintains a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. To learn more about Phifer products, visit the company’s YouTube channel at or its website at

variety of industries. He has collaborated to create (and has overseen) various marketing programs via in-store promotions, including training and pointof-purchase materials, in addition to online channels. Wes Stewart, CEO of Sunset West, says, “I am elated about the prospect of working with John. He is very intelligent and an extremely hard-working individual who knows his business. I know he is going to do great things.”

Outdoor Products receive Design Excellence Awards From ICFA At Casual Market Chicago, the Lillian B. Winchester Best of Show Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association went to Gloster’s Grand Weave seating. In addition, Gloster’s Grand Weave was selected for the Lilly Award in the outdoor-furniture category. TUUCI’s Equinox cabana received the Lilly Award for outdoor accents. In 11 categories, Design Excellence Awards were given for these outstanding products: • for dining bar tables, Gloster’s Split Raw dining table by Henrik Petersen; • for outdoor lighting, Gloster’s Ambient Cocoon by Henrik Petersen; • for lounge seating with cushions, Gloster’s Grand Weave by Henrik Petersen; • for chaises, Jensen Leisure Furniture’s Coral chaise by Povl Eskildsen; • for dining bar chairs, Lloyd Flanders’ PATIO & HEArTH PrODUCTS rEPOrT

Wildwood dining chair; • for fabric, Outdura’s Spumoni crystal by Karen Williams and Brenda Sewell-Bost; • for heating/firepits, OW Lee’s Creighton 42-inch square firepit by Paul Rogers; • for lounge seating without cushions, Seaside Casual’s MAD Fusion chat chair; • for rugs and flooring, Trans-Ocean’s Ravella Akumal Ocean by Liora Manné; • for complementary casual products, TUUCI’s Equinox cabana; and • for shade, TUCCI’s Ocean Master Max Zero Horizon cantilever. Entrants in the Design Excellence competition were required to be exhibitors at Casual Market Chicago. Eligible designs were introduced in the marketplace at the market and had to represent exceptional design and technical innovation in their categories. To see all products entered in this year’s competition, visit awards/design-excellence-awards.

ICFA recognizes Top retailers With Apollo Awards Village Green (Rockford, Illinois) received the Apollo Award in the singlestore category, while ABSCO Fireplace and Patio (Birmingham and Pelham, Alabama) received the prestigious award in the multistore category. The Apollo Awards recognize retail excellence in the sales and marketing of outdoor furnishings. Finalists must demonstrate outstanding accomplishments and commitment to customer service.


Industry Finalists in the single store category were Kolo Collection (Atlanta, Georgia); Outdoor Elegance (LaVerne, California); Patios Plus (Rancho Mirage, California); and Sunnyland Furniture (Dallas, Texas). Finalists in the multistore category were Daylight Home, Lighting & Patio (San Luis Obispo, California); Elegant Outdoor Living (Bonita Springs, Naples, and Fort Myers, Florida); Great Gatherings (Annapolis and Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Gainesville and Fairfax, Virginia); and Outside in Style (Austin and San Antonio, Texas).

Sunbrella brand Evolution Highlights Design and Performance A new look and feel for the Sunbrella® brand that showcases the design appeal of the legendary performance fabric will launch globally, across all markets, this year. Hal Hunnicutt, vice president of marketing, says, “Textiles are an important ingredient in great product design. Sunbrella has evolved to combine our advanced performance features with globally inspired designs that are quite surprising, if you’re still thinking of us as strictly solid and striped canvas.” Sunbrella began in 1961 as a trusted brand for the awning industry, with unmatched fading and mildew resistance and easy cleanability, and it quickly extended into the marine and outdoorfurniture markets. Advances in technology and design-centered product development in recent years have resulted in an inspired palette of colors, styles, and textures—allowing consumers, designers, and architects to create extraordinary environments, indoors and outside. “A fabric’s appearance and feel are becoming more important in our traditional outdoor markets, and they are critical requirements for interior furnishings,” Hunnicutt says. “Our investments in design, research/development, and manufacturing capabilities have made tremendous advances over the past 15 years. Our design team travels extensively to understand market and color trends, and it has been instrumental in how this story reflects the romance, beauty, comfort, and performance achievable with Sunbrella.” The Sunbrella brand evolution features inspirational photography that communicates how the brand’s design capabilities are now on par with its repu-

INSIGHT Tempotest

tation for durability. The photography showcases how the fabric’s proven performance marries with an elevated design story to transform settings. The new look will be integrated into all touchpoints, including print and digital advertising, trade shows and events, and new marketing materials introduced this fall. The materials, as well as a new global website, will feature Sunbrella fabrics in inspiring designs and environments.

David Collins Joins The Companion Group As a Sales Manager The Companion Group hired David Collins as a sales manager. Collins is managing key retail accounts, including department stores and housewares retailers such as Macy’s and Crate & Barrel. Sarah Farrar, sales director, says, “David has experience as a manufacturer and a buyer, so he has the benefit of understanding both sides of the business. We are thrilled that he has joined us and see him as a huge asset to our team.” In his free time, Collins operates a monthly underground private-dining pop-up that serves innovative California seasonal fusion food. “Prior to joining The Companion Group, I worked for an e-commerce technology startup, but wanted to get back into working more closely with product and the development process,” he says. “As an amateur cook, I have a passion for food and the tools that make cooking happen.”

Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens Launches redesigned Website Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens has unveiled a newly redesigned website ( to meet the needs of design and building professionals, as well as consumers. The website includes new features and enhanced functionality intended to improve the visitor’s online experience. Mitch Slater, president of Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens, says, “The new Danver website embodies a lifestyle approach, allowing industry professionals and homeowners alike to visualize the breadth of possible outdoor-kitchen designs by way SEPTEMbEr/OCTObEr 2016


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To give customers a way to participate more in the design of their fabrics, Tempotest USA has started a new program: Tailor Made. “With Tailor Made, customers can design (or have us design) woven patterns specific to the looks they want to achieve,” Jimison says. “They can also modify and recolor our own huge archive of patterns, which we can make available to them with a very modest minimumorder quantity.” Tempotest USA continues to elevate its management and distribution channels. In July, the company began an exclusive distribution arrangement with Miami Corp. (Cincinnati, Ohio), which will be responsible for stocking the company’s awning and marine fabrics around the country. “Miami is very active in this market segment

of captivating imagery. It’s a much more sophisticated site with simpler navigation to ensure our customers can easily learn about our brand and product offerings.” The new Inspiration tab leads to a photo gallery of outdoor-kitchen designs, the new designer-curated collections by interior designer Kerrie Kelly, and the option to design your own outdoor kitchen with a simple-touse program. The website also features industryspecific pages for builders, designers, and hospitality professionals, in addition to a dealer-exclusive area. This allows trade professionals to learn how they can incorporate Danver products in their upcoming projects—residential or commercial.

Phifer to Unveil New Fabrics at IFAI 2016 Phifer Inc. will present its newest collection of sun-control and indoor/outdoor performance fabrics in booth 1805 at the IFAI Expo (the premier U.S. specialty-fabrics marketplace), October 19 through 21 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Bursting with color and oozing comfort and style, Phifer’s new stock-line additions in cushion and sling fabric keep the collection’s fashion-forward tone. The new selection of Phifertex® outdoor fabrics features a medley of fresh colors and textures to outfit any PATIO & HEArTH PrODUCTS rEPOrT

and will provide expanded sales and logistical support for our marine and awning partners, while we at Tempotest USA focus on casual furniture and expanding indoor applications for our Tempotest Home® performance fabrics,” Jimison says. Tempotest USA strives to be environmentally responsible in both its industrial and its commercial decisions. Parà installed 20,000 photoelectric solar panels on its headquarters roofs in Sovico, Italy, and it has invested in a wastewatertreatment system at its facilities in Pontirolo Nuovo. “Parà has invested in a cogeneration plant that takes steam and hot water from the plant’s processes and—with the help of natural gas—turns this energy into electricity to power the plants, in turn,” Jimison says.

outdoor space uniquely. New GeoBella® indoor/outdoor performance cushion fabrics fuse electric hues with sensational designs. Made from recycled yarns, cozy GeoBella fabrics offer the soft, touchable texture and comfort of indoor furniture and the stability, strength, and durability needed for outdoorcushion applications. Sleek Phifertex fabrics are built tough for outdoor performance and can be used in awning, umbrella, pillow, and new exterior-fabric applications. Both fabric collections are available in an array of colors, patterns, and weaves—moisture-wicking and resistant to stains and fading.

Gloster Furniture recognizes Top Sales representatives for 2016 Gloster Furniture gave Justin Welsh and Gary Moretti the company’s 2016 Sales Representative of the Year Awards. Welsh was recognized in the retail-sales area. As a 12-year Gloster veteran, he showed significant growth in his territory over the past two seasons. Moretti was recognized for his work in the design-trade area. He has represented Gloster for 11 years, and this season, he has been proactive in searching for business and partnering with the best showrooms in his territory.

PERSPECTIVE Bon Air Hearth, Porch and Patio

Retailers at Risk A specialty-store manager discusses the challenges that brick-and-mortar stores face from online competitors. BY MACON RICHARDSON

Ever since the last recession, customers have embraced the belief that all merchandise should be on sale. They expect

storewide discounts at brick-and-mortar stores, just as they demand them from online sellers. Typical consumers believe that what looks similar online must be exactly the same in person; prices for similar-looking products should be comparable, wherever they’re sold. At Bon Air Hearth, Porch and Patio (Richmond, Virginia), many clients come to us after a poor experience buying something online, and it would be unprofessional to say “We told you so.” Instead, we show them replacement products that are built better and are more comfortable (and that offer much longer warranties). Unfortunately, many customers still feel that they should pay the same prices that they paid online. In general, consumers who buy online do not consider the what-if factors. What if the item arrives damaged? What if it’s not comfortable? What if the color is not as it appeared? What if it breaks in two years, and nobody wants to help me? What if I need to return it: Will the seller pay for shipping? We cannot educate all consumers. We can, however, educate those who walk into our store on why they should spend their money with us (instead of with an online system that doesn’t care whether they are happy with their purchases).

ONLINE VERSUS IN-STORE SALES Online sales began affecting our store about three years ago. Consumers still feel that retailers must offer deep discounts to keep their doors open, but this is not the case. Customer service at our store is outstanding. Everyone understands that clients need extraordinary experiences that they did not expect, will remember, and will relay to their friends and families. Is that exhausting? Yes: Some customers appreciate it, but others just want to know what the cheapest table costs. I’ve been in the patio/outdoor business for 15 years. Prior to that, I was a behavioral therapist for more than 20 years, so I understand how

the brain works and why consumers do what they do. Those who own or manage stores would love it if consumers looked at our storefronts, showrooms, staff, overhead, and effort and then understood why we cannot compete with online pricing. Consumers, however, look at two things: how the product looks and how much it costs. If you believe that all consumers take much else into consideration, you are fooling yourself. PRODUCT SELECTION Given the competition, we are selective in what we carry. We don’t carry disposable goods from big-box stores. We never want any client to have buyer’s remorse, and we do not dispatch technicians to repair poor-quality products. That would be costly—and a poor reflection on our store. We focus on carrying U.S.–made products because many customers prefer them. We also find that there are fewer quality-control problems with these products—and warranties and replacement parts/cushions are rarely issues. Are you running a free showroom for online retailers? You might spend an hour of showroom time with customers—touching fabric samples and finishes, comparing sizes, and discussing the warranty—only for them to write down all that valuable information. They tell you, two days later, that they found the same product online for 30% less. You might think that customers value the time you take with them, but paying 30% less will take the prize, nearly every time. Who is to blame? Did you do too little to close that sale? No, you did your part; the internet stole your prize. MANUFACTURER SELECTION Some manufacturers have lessened their concern for the well-being of brick-and-mortar stores; anyone can sell their products. Retailers, however, do have voices, and they can ask for better treatment. When we select a new product line, we meet with the sales representative to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. We have a beautiful, upscale store, and nearly every manufacturer wants its product to be in our showroom. In



Macon Richardson

2016, deciding which lines to bring in and which to let go has become much more complex. We ask tough questions, and we don’t accept overly general answers. Do you sell your own product on your own website? If you do, are you discounting it below what your dealers are charging for it? Do you sell on the internet? Do you sell to internet wholesalers? Do you police internet pricing and online sales—and if so, how? Do you have signed agreements with online discounters that clearly state pricing restrictions and guidelines? If you are selling to websites, are they paying the same prices that brick-and-mortar stores are paying? How do you ensure that everyone is playing by the same fair rules? Manufacturers often tell me that they enforce minimum advertised pricing (MAP) guidelines. That’s great, but if the MAP is 30% less than the MSRP, no brick-and-mortar store can compete with that. Everyone should have equal skin in the game. MAP should be fair, and it should never be more than 10% to 15% less than MSRP. If a manufacturer is selling its product to an internet-only company, then that company should be paying 10% more for the product— because it doesn’t incur expenses for showrooms, salespeople, overhead, assembly/delivery, and warranty administration. An internet company’s product costs should be competitive with the costs of stores that have all of those expenses. Let’s face it: We all have had consumers walk into our stores with damaged or broken products that they bought online. Because the manufacturer’s website shows us as the closest dealer, those clients expect us to handle their problems. All of us—from manufacturers to store owners to sales representatives—need our jobs. There is an unequal playing field: Whoever gets the ball wins, no matter how we treat the other teammates. We have forgotten that we are all on the same team. Let’s have the dialogue needed for each of us to succeed. Let’s play fair.

Macon Richardson is the general manager and buyer for Bon Air Hearth, Porch and Patio (Richmond, Virginia).


AdvertiserIndex Advertiser


ProductProfiles Directory Website




AEI ....................................................(949) 474-3070 ........................54

AEI ........................................................................................................72, 79

Agio, USA ..........................................(888) 997-7623

Agio, USA ..............................................................................................70, 73

Alfresco Home....................................(610) 705-8808 ..........................40

Alfresco Home ........................................................................................70, 75

American Energy Systems ....................(800) 495-3196

American Energy Systems ........................................................................70, 74

Big Green Egg ....................................(770) 938-9394 ..........................34

Big Green Egg ........................................................................................71, 80

Bull Outdoor Products ........................(800) 521-2855 ..................................35

Bull Outdoor Products ..............................................................................70, 82

Castelle..............................................(855) 612-9800 ........................2–3

Castelle ......................................................................................70, 72, 76, 80

The Companion Group ........................(800) 521-0505 ....................61

The Companion Group ............................................................................68, 73

Couristan ..........................................(800) 223-6186 ................................57

Couristan ................................................................................................71, 79

Coyote Outdoor Living ........................(855) 520-1559 ........................76

Coyote Outdoor Living ............................................................................71, 73

Creekvine Designs ..............................(800) 913-1741 ....................83

Creekvine Designs ..................................................................................87, 88

Dansons ............................................(877) 303-3134 ..........................41

Dansons ................................................................................................75, 82

Danver/Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens....(203) 626-5625

Danver/Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens ....................................................70, 76

DCS by Fisher & Paykel ........................(888) 936-7872

DCS by Fisher & Paykel ............................................................................72, 83

Dimplex ............................................(800) 668-6663 ..................................75

Delta Heat/Delsol/Twin Eagles ................................................................68, 86

Elmira Stove Works..............................(800) 295-8498 ....................79

Dimplex ..................................................................................................71, 76

Empire Comfort Systems ......................(800) ........................29

Elmira Stove Works ..................................................................................82, 89

European Home..................................(781) 324-8383 ........................71

Empire Comfort Systems ..........................................................................68, 82

Forshaw/Exterus ................................(314) 874-4315 ................................80

Enviro ..........................................................................................................90

Gensun Casual Living ..........................(866) 964-4468 ............................9

European Home ......................................................................................78, 82

The Hammock Source..........................(800) 334-1078 ..................51

Fermob USA ................................................................................................89

Hargrove Manufacturing ......................(800) 725-4166 ......................44

Forshaw/Exterus ....................................................................................79, 90

Hearth & Home Technologies ..............(800) 669-4328 ....................................96

Gensun Casual Living ..............................................................................80, 87

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association....(703) 522-0086 ................................67

The Hammock Source ..............................................................................75, 80

Hearth Products Controls ....................(877) ....................................47

Hargrove Manufacturing ..........................................................................75, 84

Hestan Outdoor..................................(888) 905-7463

Hearth & Home Technologies....................................................................84, 86

Informa Exhibitions..............................(888) 869-6522 ..........................81

Hearth Products Controls..........................................................................79, 80

Infratech ............................................(800) 421-9455

Hestan Outdoor ......................................................................................87, 90

Jensen Leisure Furniture ......................(800) 403-0403 ..............72

Infratech ................................................................................................78, 85

Las Vegas Market/IMC ........................(702) 599-3046 ........................13

Jensen Leisure Furniture ............................................................................74, 83

Mallin Casual ......................................(800) 251-6537 ........................43


Miles Industries ..................................(800) 468-2567 ..........................31

Mallin Casual ..........................................................................................89, 90

MLW Stone ........................................(800) 477-7665 ................................82

Miles Industries ......................................................................................68, 78

NorthCape ........................................(708) 563-2890 ..............7

MLW Stone ..................................................................................................76

Onward Manufacturing........................(800) 265-2150 ..........................45

NorthCape ............................................................................................78, 84

Ortal USA ..........................................(818) 238-7000

Onward Manufacturing ............................................................................74, 84

The Outdoor GreatRoom Company ......(866) 303-4028 ........................48

Ortal USA ..............................................................................................78, 84

OW Lee..............................................(800) 776-9533 ....................................25

The Outdoor GreatRoom Company............................................................84, 87

Patio Renaissance................................(866) 698-5673 ......................55

OW Lee ..................................................................................................83, 85

RH Peterson Company ........................(800) 332-3973 ..................................23

Patio Renaissance ....................................................................................68, 85

SCHOTT ROBAX ................................(502) 657-4417

RH Peterson Company..............................................................................85, 86

Summerset Professional Grills ..............(800) 966-8126

SCHOTT ROBAX ......................................................................................79, 83

Supreme Fireplace ..............................(877) 593-4722 ..............................77

Summerset Professional Grills....................................................................85, 88

Sunbrella............................................(336) 221-2211 ................................53

Sunbrella ................................................................................................68, 85

Sunbrella Rain ....................................(336) 221-2211 ..........................27

Supreme Fireplace ..................................................................................89, 90

Tempotest USA ..................................(972) 512-3534 ..........................14

Tempotest USA........................................................................................86, 89

Tropitone ..........................................(949) ................................59

Treasure Garden............................................................................................88

Twin Eagles/Delta Heat/Delsol ............(800) 789-2206 ........................21

Tropitone ................................................................................................87, 89

TylerNet ............................................(800) 237-5913 Ext. 100 ..................................63

TylerNet..................................................................................................87, 90

Windward Design Group ....................(941) 359-0890 ............49

Windward Design Group..........................................................................86, 88

Winston Furniture................................(205) ......................95

Winston Furniture ....................................................................................86, 88

Wittus ................................................(914) 764-5679 ......................................74

Wittus ....................................................................................................78, 88





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Patio & Hearth Products Report September/October 2016  

Patio & Hearth Products Report is a bimonthly trade publication for specialty stores, retailers and dealers of patio, hearth, barbecue, gril...

Patio & Hearth Products Report September/October 2016  

Patio & Hearth Products Report is a bimonthly trade publication for specialty stores, retailers and dealers of patio, hearth, barbecue, gril...