"Are Grillaholics products made in the USA?"
Grillaholics, we probably get this question from you guys more than any other question, and rightfully so. We know that many of our customers are extremely adamant about only buying products that are produced in America (before I started this business, I held the exact same beliefs). We completely stand behind this stance, but we also want to share a bit more of our story.
My wife and I decided to start Grillaholics in early 2014. At the time, I was still working a full time job to support my family, while working diligently at night to try and bring our passion of grilling to Grillaholics everywhere. The first product we ever designed and launched was the Grillaholics Grill Mat. We took our idea to five different manufacturers in the United States; to my disappointment, most turned us away at the door. Because we were just starting (heck, we had never even made a sale yet), we didn’t have to capital to make huge orders like some of our larger competitors, so most of the manufacturers weren’t even interesting in looking at our designs. The few that did were asking for so much that it would have been nearly impossible for us to make any money on each sale.
However, we were still determined to bring our passion for grilling to Grillaholics everywhere, so we did the only thing we could and looked elsewhere for manufacturing that would work with a company as small as ours. And that led us to China. We looked there not for selfish or personal reasons, but out of necessity. I actually visited China personally to talk with manufacturers and tour their factories myself, and I was amazed with how open they were to working with a company of our size. Not only were they open to working with us, but touring the factory myself meant I could ensure the high quality of the products, and the fair working conditions for the employees; both exceeded my expectations. In addition to everything else, their manufacturing costs and terms were flexible enough that we would be able to operate Grillaholics profitably, while charging less to our customers in the end.
As someone who always believed that buying American was the only way to go, the decision was tough. As proud as I am to be an American, I’m also proud to be a Capitalist, and in the end, it just made financial sense to manufacture our products in China. Since making that decision, our relationship with our manufacturers has only gotten better, which allowed us to product even more awesome grilling accessories at lower prices for you.
I know that a lot of critics of companies that manufacture in China will say that it “hurts the US economy” or that it “costs Americans jobs,” but it’s important to realize that manufacturing is only one small component of a business. While we do manufacture our products in China, everything from that point on is done within the United States of America. From the second our products reach land in California, they are picked up by American truck drivers and driven to our warehouse run by Americans. Our products are only sold in the United States of America, so every time one is ordered, you’re boosting the US economy by putting dollars back into it and helping a small, family business grow. Once you order a product, they are shipped in American trucks where an American delivery person brings it directly to your doorstep. On the backend, we have accountants, customer service representatives, copywriters, videographers, and graphic designers, all working for us within the United States of America. At our headquarters (in St. Louis, Missouri), we currently employ two recent college graduates full-time, who are getting real-world business experience working closely beside my wife and I.
So yes, while our products are manufactured in China, that certainly does not mean that we don’t love our country. At the end of the day, it was a financial decision, a financial decision that has allowed us to produce some of the highest quality grilling products on the market at a fraction of the cost; we pass those savings directly down to you.
So to answer your question, Grillaholics, no, our products are not made in the USA. But I would hope that after reading this, you understand why. We’re looking forward to seeing how the current administration makes American manufacturing more competitive, and if positive changes are made, we would make the move to have our products manufactured in the United States of America in a heartbeat. But until something is done to make the United States more competitive, we just can’t justify charging you guys more for lower quality products.
I know that for many of you, our answer will not be enough, and that is completely understandable. We always want to be open and honest when addressing your questions, and it’s up to you to respond to our answers however you see fit. We don’t want this to be a one way conversation though. If you still have concerns, you can always leave a comment below, message us on our facebook page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing your feedback, even on sensitive subjects like this.
Thanks for listening. And as always, cheers to being a Grillaholic.