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Hearth & Home April 2018

Moving Industries Forward

Photos: ©2018 Amiee Stubbs Photography.
Slideshow Photos: ©2018 Convention Photo by Joe Orlando.

The Vesta Awards program was started in 2001 with one goal in mind: to honor and highlight those companies that propel their industries forward with products that are well designed and innovative.

Successful industries – and companies – innovate. That’s one of the hard facts of being in business. Without innovation, there’s stagnation.

Eighteen years ago, Hearth & Home saw a need to encourage manufacturers in the hearth, patio and barbecue industries to be a bit more creative, to build something new, not just something similar.

That’s why the Vesta Awards program was developed, to give a pat on the back to those manufacturers who are moving the industries forward.

On Friday, March 6, the Vesta Awards Ceremony was held in the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. A wine/beer reception sponsored by Schott Robax started the festivities, while bluegrass music created a party atmosphere.

Approximately 1,200 people were in the audience as Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) president and CEO Jack Goldman explained the various areas of regulatory concern, and the efforts being made by the association to combat those threats to business.

Goldman also mentioned the successful House passage of a bill to extend the deadline for EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, from 2020 to 2023. If the Senate concurs and also passes the bill, many manufacturers will feel relief, having been given extra time to meet the regulatory requirements.

Goldman then introduced Amie Ryan, the incoming chairperson of the HPBA, and owner of Ryan Brothers Chimney Sweeping in Roseville, California (near Sacramento). Ryan’s key goal during her year-long tenure is to increase membership in the organization.

During the downturn (you remember that event, don’t you? Lehman Brothers led the way down!), many retail members of the HPBA decided to save some money (understandable) and dropped their membership. Trouble is, they haven’t rejoined the organization (that’s not understandable).

The HPBA not only fights regulatory battles on the hearth side, with bills exceeding $2 million over the past few years, but promotes the hearth industry, the barbecue industry, as well as the patio industry, with seminars, websites, events, etc.

If you are one of the retailers who sell hearth, patio or barbecue products, and are not a member, then you should feel some level of guilt, because others are carrying your freight.

Operation Barbecue Relief

Our own Stan Hays, one of the founders of Operation Barbecue Relief (OBR), once again joined us at the Vesta Awards to explain the work of the organization. Since its inception, it has served 1.7 million hot meals to those impacted by a natural disaster, as well as to first responders such as fire fighters, police, and others there to help.

This past year Stan was one of 10 finalists in the CNN Heroes program. We call him “our own” because the HPBA, Hearth & Home, and many others in the industries we serve were made aware of the great work Stan, his crew, and many volunteers were doing when Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey shore.

Hearth & Home writer Lisa Readie Mayer was living on that shore when the disaster struck. She saw what OBR was doing, spoke to some in the crew, then wrote an article for Hearth & Home. OBR was challenged this past year, as disaster after disaster hit the southern states. Florida and Houston, Texas, are two of the main examples.

Consider the difficulty in purchasing the food and equipment to feed thousands of people, then transporting it many miles to the danger zone, working 24/7 cooking and helping those in that zone, organizing scores of volunteers to work alongside the pros, then packing up and moving to another location hundreds of miles away. Remarkable may be the best word to describe the work of Operation Barbecue Relief.

If you’re feeling altruistic, go to  and donate. Better yet, make your donation automatically recurring, e.g., every week, every month, or every year. Also, consider volunteering if you live near an area that is impacted.

Vesta Awards for Innovation in Design and/or Technology

This year, the Vesta Awards program had 84 product entries, 54 were in the Outdoor Room category, and 30 in the Hearth category (that number is lower than usual, and most likely due to manufacturers tying up time and money in their R&D departments in an effort to meet EPA’s 2020 regulations).

The 14 judges who decided on winners and finalists have complete control. No employee of Village West Publishing has a say in the selections. The following descriptions of products are the words of the manufacturers.

Vesta Awards – Best-in-Show

L to R: Ross Morrison, Rick Berg, Gary Butler and Rob Sloan.

Outdoor Room® Products

Stellar Hearth Products


The FireStream is an outdoor hearth product that combines fire and water into an elegant design that greatly exceeds previous combinations. The FireStream provides greater flexibility and creativity to the outdoor hearth experience by allowing the customer to design and alter the presence of a waterfall when they want, providing a bright combination of flames and water that can be used as an entity, or separately to create the right ambiance for whichever setting the user envisions.

It can be designed to a large variety of different shapes, sizes and styles to accommodate any outdoor setting and any vision that the owner or designer may want. With a simple mechanism built within the fireplace chassis, the designer can envision different combinations of fire and waterfall, both enclosed and easy to install and service. Not only does it offer a beautiful view of both elements, but the water feature itself can be enhanced in a variety of ways to accentuate the setting, such as illuminating the water with LED lights to embolden them day or night; or dying the water in whatever hue the setting calls for, or lighting the water with strobe lights to effectively “freeze” the droplets in mid-air or change their flow to appear to be going up from the firebox base.

Call (952) 224-4072 or visit

Outdoor Hearth Products

Stellar Hearth Products

(Category Winner)

Kurt Rumens and his team from Travis Industries.

Daniel J. Melcon Award
Best-in-Show Hearth Products

Travis Industries

The Unity by DaVinci Custom Fireplaces

The Unity by DaVinci Custom Fireplaces represents a single fireplace with multiple innovative components that are unified and embodied into a stunning presentation of fire.

The Unity is DaVinci’s smartest, most compact and most unique fireplace yet.

1. It is a single fireplace that features three individual portals of fire for the viewer to experience. Each portal of fire is 24-in. wide by 30-in. tall and features dancing flames with an under-lit crushed glass floor and overhead accent lighting.

2. It is uniquely designed to where the three portals of fire can be arranged into five different geometric configurations.

3. It features a single-vent system, single gas hookup, single 110 power source, single air intake, and single WI-FIre voice-activated SmartHome control system.

4. It features WI-FIre, the industry’s first SmartHome integration. WI-FIre features voice-enabled technology; simply say the words and get ready to transform every day hearthside moments from routine to remarkable.

Call (425) 609-2557 or visit

The Art of Fire

Travis Industries

The Unity by DaVinci Custom Fireplaces
(Category Winner)

Outdoor Room Products: Category Winners

L to R: Mark Farrell, Global Head of Production Development, Chris Hartwig, VP of Sales & Marketing, and Anthony Hill, Global General Manager.

Charcoal, Wood Barbecues & Smokers

Everdure by Heston Blumenthal


Hub is an 88 lb. capacity rotisserie with Fast Flame Ignition System, Rotiscope Technology and Cliplock Forks.

It has Set and Forget electronic control, an elegant contemporary design, retractable 59-in. power cord, large storage area behind two double-lined doors, porcelain enamel firebox, and chrome grills with cool-to-the-touch handles. Height - poles up: 48-in., poles down: 35-in., Depth – 19-in., Width - poles up: 54-in., poles down: 53-in.

Call +612 9654 3000, +7 714 282 7450 or visit

L to R: Mike Hackley, Owner/CEO, Lauren Thompson, Director of Operations, and Jason Thompson, Director of Sales.

Outdoor Room Equipment

Blaze Outdoor Products

Blaze Pizza Oven

Blaze introduces their all-new 304 stainless-steel Pizza Oven. The Blaze Pizza Oven is available on cart or built-in head only, and is offered in natural gas and propane models. Blaze utilizes an internal stainless-steel pizza stone for great heat retention and maintaining temperature of the cooking surface. Thanks to greater heat control, the Blaze Pizza Oven is more than just a high heat machine.

Users can utilize lower cooking temps for baking breads, cookies, and cake while still achieving those high temperatures needed for firing traditional homemade pizzas and broiling items such as fish. The addition of low temp cooking turns the Blaze Pizza Oven into a diverse addition to any outdoor kitchen, while more traditional pizza ovens are generally limited to high heat only.

Blaze also offers a stainless-steel cart option featuring two easy-close drawers, single vertical door, and collapsible side shelves providing an option for adding to the outdoor space with minimal costs.

Call (866) 976-9510 or visit

L to R: Scott Walters, Executive VP, Sales & Marketing, and Carolyn Richards, Executive VP.

Barbecue Accessories

Icon Grills

Quickchange Kamado Grill Pellet Insert

This insert allows people to access three different kinds of fuel without having to buy three different grills. This accessory provides yet another fuel option to the already broad repertoire of Icon Grills. Easy, fast, and effective, this product raises the grilling industry bar.

Just plug it in, set the temperature, and add pellets as you desire. Whether you want the flavor of charcoal or the convenience of pellets, Icon Grills caters to your customer’s every whim. This accessory sets a new precedent in the grilling world. Height: 14-in., Length: 26-in., Width: 8-in., Weight: 25 lbs. It has a powder-coated finish, and fits securely into the grill.

Call (314) 428-3166 or visit

Robert Bartucci, Chief Executive.

Gas Barbecues

Dimplex North America

Space Grill

As the name suggests, the Space Grill is designed to maximize outdoor living space by folding out of the way when not in use. Turning a conventional grill sideways would normally cause drippings and grease to pour out, but the patented, pivoting drip tray rotates with gravity to stay level as the unit folds, so everything is cleanly contained. The hinged design is also patented and allows the Space Grill to fold away in only 10 seconds.

The lid functions as both protection from the elements and animals, as well as a backsplash when cooking. All the interior components lock cleverly in place to avoid moving when folding away for storage, and also remove easily for cleaning. Even the gas connection was considered in the design with the option to connect LPG or natural gas on either side of the grill.

With multiple patents that recognize the ingenuity of its folding design and unique drip tray system, the Space Grill is regarded as the world’s best fold-away outdoor grill. The three stainless-steel burners ensure perfect heat distribution across the entire 476 sq. in. cooking surface, which is more than enough space to entertain up to 10 people.

Call (519) 240-2775 or visit

L to R: Jim Ginocchi, President, Rebecca Stilwell, VP of Product Technology & Operations, and Brandon Stilwell, VP of Manufacturing Technology & Operations.

Outdoor Room Furnishings

Coyote Outdoor Living

Coyote-RTA Electric Grill-Bar Island with Chair Set

Designed for compact urban patios or balconies, this outdoor kitchen provides space efficiency and ultra-utility. It comes with a 1300 Watt Coyote Electric Grill, 24-in. Coyote Outdoor-Rated Refrigerator and two sleek, urban barstools; this compact island provides the performance that an outdoor kitchen should.

The Electric Grill Island base is W: 32-in. x D: 24-in. x H: 39-in. and includes a 2-in. thick modern concrete countertop that spans 38 x 38-in. and offers roughly 10-in. of overhang and room for two bar chairs. The island is made from a high performance composite-concrete. Additionally, it’s a Green concrete product that utilizes no Portland cement, has five times the strength of most concrete products, and is completely UV and freeze/thaw stable. The Electric Grill Island is engineered to combat the harshest elements.

Call (724) 713-9555 or visit

Ryan Neeley, Marketing Manager.

Barbecues, Other Fuels

Camp Chef

SmokePro SG

Camp Chef’s new slide and grill technology gives users the ability to cook directly over the wood-fired flame, expanding the grilling/smoking options for a single pellet grill unit. Simply pull the sliding knob to go from indirect mode to direct grilling mode. This changes the inner workings of the grill, offering different styles of cooking.

The grill also features a taller cook chamber, additional rack space, user-friendly grill grates, and a large capacity hopper. When users have all of these features they will only need one grill to accomplish various styles of cooking at an affordable price.

Slow cook your favorite cut of beef or slide the grill knob and toss a few burgers on for some direct wood-fired grilling. The SmokePro SG comes with Camp Chef’s patented Ash Cleanout System, stable temperature regulation, and dual meat probes, making it the only pellet grill you need to achieve wood-fired flavor.

Call (800) 783-8347 or visit

Hearth Products: Category Winners

L to R: Dany Brousseau, Sales Director, Alain Robitaille, Founder/Owner, and Frederic Laperriere, Mechanical Engineering Technologist.

Wood Products

J.A. Roby


Why not apply the same environmental standards to wood cookstoves as for other wood-burning appliances? We have chosen to take another step toward a healthy environment for our generation and those to come. This unit is the first EPA-approved wood cookstove that already meets the 2020 EPA requirement with 1.9 g/hour emissions. The optimal handling of the air ratio allows the wood to burn properly. This appliance is approved for mobile homes, and includes an outdoor air intake. It only requires a small amount of wood to cook. The oven can easily obtain a high and steady cooking temperature.

This wood cookstove has a 6-in. diameter flue, and can handle 20-in. logs inside the combustion chamber. The primary and secondary air corridors are made of stainless steel. This product includes a glass cleaning air wash system and an outdoor air intake. It can heat an area up to 1800 sq. ft. The oven has 2.4 cu.ft. and the interior is made of stainless steel. This appliance has a water tank beside the oven and can keep the water heated all day long. It has a spigot to pour water easily.

Call (866) 849-8095 or visit

Front: Chris Schroeter, Senior VP of Operations. Back: John Czerwonka, VP of Sales – Hearth.

Hearth Accessories


Panoptic Outdoor Kit

The Industry’s first Zero Net Energy conscious accessory system that allows any size of Luxuria fireplace (38-, 50-, 62- and 74-in.) to be converted to an indoor/outdoor unit offering a panoramic view of the outside through a multifaceted wall of flames, but without any compromise to comfort, unwanted energy consumption, or the need for power-venting motors. This is the first design that completely addresses easy cleaning and serviceability, while maintaining the complete integrity of the building; insulation and a vapor barrier prevent air infiltration and minimize noise transmission.

The sealed viewing system provides a certified R-value of 5, and when combined with the Luxuria fireplace construction and glass-guard system, results in a total insulation value of almost R20!

Call (705) 721-1212 or visit

L to R: Jaymie Heil, VP of Sales & Marketing, and Mike Doughty, National Retail Manager.

Martini from the Triple Fuel Technology Collection.

Hearth Products, Other Fuels

EcoSmart Fire

Triple Fuel Technology

EcoSmart Fire makes it easy to add a beautiful fire feature where it was once not possible or cost-effective.

Selecting your model is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4:

Step 1: Select your style

Step 2: Select your fuel (NG, LP, Ethanol)

Step 3: Select your color (Natural, Bone, or Graphite)

Step 4: Select accessory

EcoSmart Fire offers the freedom to choose the system that’s right for your needs, as well as superior durability for all-weather performance.

EcoSmart Fire is the premium supplier of indoor and outdoor fire solutions with more UL Listed ethanol products than any other company in the world. Our new Triple Fuel fire tables are available in natural gas, propane or ethanol fuel and lead the market with un-shoppable designs and cutting-edge technology. Engineered with proprietary Fluid Concrete Technology, our fire tables are twice the strength and half the weight of traditional concrete, requiring just two people for delivery.

All styles are available in Natural (gray), Bone or Graphite colors and ship in a five-day lead-time. With the ability to install indoors or outdoors, our fire tables provide a 12-month selling season ideal for retailers in hearth, pool and spa, landscapers, casual furniture and indoor furniture. UL and ULC listings make this collection ideal for residential or commercial applications.

Call (602) 615-4334 or visit

Andrew Lagana, General Manager.

Pellet Products


Vittoria C

To reduce the amount of work for our consumers, we designed a new burning pot in which the bottom element is moving, allowing a self-cleaning process at every start up. This design forces half-burned pellets to come back to the pot to be burned a second time, thus increasing efficiency. This product is totally controlled by a new remote that provides the possibility of testing the single parts of the stove for a more effective and quick diagnostic.

The Ravelli Vittoria C has a 50,000 Btu input with a 61-lb. hopper capacity. Ceramic sides and cast-iron top and door create a modern and solid design.

Call (415) 966-5415 or visit

L to R: Jean Pierre Hathout, President, and Michael Ciscato, Manager of Technical Services.

Hearth/Barbecue Components & Controls

SIT Controls

‘Pilot on Demand’ 820 Nova millivolt valve

The ‘Pilot on Demand’ 820 Nova millivolt gas valve provides all of the reliability and stability of the 820 Nova millivolt gas valve, but will meet the pending elimination of standing pilot regulations being implemented by NRCAN and into the Fireplace ANSI standards without requiring an additional outside power source.

The new version of the 820 Nova millivolt gas valve operates with ‘Pilot on Demand’ logic where the hearth appliance pilot will be turned off after seven days of main burner inactivity.

Call (704) 522-6325 or visit

Ross Morrison, Principal.

Gas Products

Stellar Hearth Products


Solitude provides a technical solution to easily alter fireplace configurations to enhance both function and privacy, incorporating proprietary technology to handle the high glass temperatures and brightness of the fireplace. A single fireplace can provide multiple configurations by simply touching a button to make one side (or two or three or four, etc.) go opaque when the customer demands it. Or even to simply “soften” the view from one room to another, or to the outside, providing varying levels of privacy or solitude.

It also provides a creative design element in that the glass on any side of the fireplace can be designed to alter its viewing area and shape with a button’s touch. As an example, the Nike company could add their trademarked “Swoosh” into the viewing area and, on command, have that be the viewing area to see the flames behind, then switch back to the standard opening when they choose.

The Solitude Series is a collection of an almost infinite combination of fireplace shapes and sizes that can be transformed with a click of a button to change not only the style of fireplace (i.e. from see-thru to single-sided), but also the configuration of the viewing area in one room or another. It was designed in response to many customer requests for a see-thru fireplace that could be easily blocked on one side when privacy may be of interest, such as using a see-thru fireplace that transitions from living room to master bedroom; or if it’s an indoor/outdoor see-thru where the homeowner may want to enjoy the view to the outside during the day, but not want others to see into their home at night.

It can also be used on one or multiple sides of a single-side, see-thru, or even four-sided fireplace in which the owner wants to change the viewing area into the firebox from rectangle to square to oval to heart-shaped.

Call (952) 224-4072 or visit

Central Heating Systems

No Entries

Electric Products

No Winner

Vesta Awards – Finalists


1. Charcoal, Wood Barbecues & Smokers

a. Uuni
Unni Pro - Multi-Fueled Outdoor Oven

+44 7793079564
View Website


2. Barbecue Accessories

a. BBQube
TempMaster Pro

(678) 534-1366
View Website


3. Outdoor Hearth Products

a. Montigo
PL60VO Outdoor Unit

(800) 378-3115
View Website

b. The Outdoor Plus
Fire Tower

(909) 460-5579
View Website



4. Outdoor Room® Equipment

a. Beefer Grillgeräte GmbH

+49 2224 9806424
View U.S. Website
View Website
View German Website


5. Barbecues, Other Fuels

a. Landmann
Pellet Kettle

(800) 321-3473
View Website


6. Gas Barbecues

a. Everdure by Heston Blumenthal

+61 2 9654 3000
View Website

b. DCS Appliances
48" Series 9 Grill

(949) 790-8900
View Website




1. Wood Products

a. Energy Distribution

(877) 257-2251
View Website
View Invicta Website

b. Supreme
Novo 24

(514) 593-4722
View Website



2. Hearth Accessories

a. MEECO Mfg.
Oscillating Heat Powered Stove Fan

(206) 262-8340
View Website


3. Pellet Products

a. Breckwell / Acadia Series

(833) ACADIA1 (222-3421)
View Breckwell Website
View Acadia Website


4. Hearth Barbecue
Components & Controls

a. Travis Industries

(425) 609-2557
View Website


5. Gas Products

a. Travis Industries
The Unity by DaVinci Custom Fireplaces

(425) 609-2557
View Website


6. The Art Of Fire

a. Music City Fire Company

(866) 615-6232
View Website

b. Stellar Hearth Products
Envision Series

(952) 224-4072
View Website



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Expo, Vesta & Architects

Like a flock of birds landing together, so, too, did buyers (retailers and distributors) arrive in the exhibit hall at the HPBExpo in Nashville. On that first day (Thursday), they entered en masse, conducted business all day, then moved on to the outdoor party.

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Good Year, Good Show

By Bill Sendelback

Once more, Nashville is proven to be the best venue for a gathering of hearth, patio and barbecue retailers, manufacturers, distributors and reps.

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News from Nashville

By Lisa Readie Mayer

A report from the barbecue beat at Expo 2018 shows that new companies and new products are combining to power the industry.

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Happy Holidays!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Creating promotions around food, culture, and calendar holidays is a great way to grow your business.

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Small Grills, Big Potential

By Lisa Readie Mayer

The market for portable grills is deep, and getting deeper, and products are getting better by the year; they are now a must-carry item for retailers.

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2018 February Business Climate

In early March Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio and barbecue products, asking them to compare February 2018 sales to February 2017. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 172 useable returns.

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Parting Shot: Sunbrella Everywhere!

In honor of the North Carolina Arts Council’s 50th anniversary, 50 renowned artists celebrated by sharing their North Carolina arts story, and reflecting why public funding for the arts matters.

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