- Name of Startup: Cunradi Cookware
- Year Founded: 2022
- Website: Cunradi Cookware
- Type of company: Cookware manufacturer
- HQ Location: Fernandina Beach FL
John Cunradi -President
Zachary Cunradi -Engineer
Alex Cunradi -Artistic Development
Better BBQ with Profession Chef quality cooking grate.
Problem the startup solves:
Traditional cooking grates for BBQs don’t capture enough heat to give you those great sear marks we all love and they allow heat to pass right through for uneven cooking. The cooking grates used by professional chefs use angled plates to capture the heat and give even cooking. It’s one of the reasons why a steak from a steakhouse tastes so good.
We use the same idea for the BBQ and the results are delicious.
Progress and Current Status:
At this point we have completed design of our first cooking grate. It fits the Weber 22-inch kettle type grill. That’s the most popular grill in the U.S.
We got our first grate from the iron forge and tested it. It was exactly as we wanted. Then, we torture tested it to be sure it would be tough. It was.
We ordered a small production run to get started and to test the packaging. At over 27 pounds, wimpy packaging just wouldn’t work for shipping. All was well.
Now we are ready to do a full production run and get the business rolling.
What is an Inspiring Story about the Startup?:
It started about thirty years ago. I was bar-b-queuing a lot and was getting frustrated. I wasn’t getting great sear marks on my food and it was cooking so unevenly. Part would be raw and part would be burnt.
I was poor and couldn’t afford an expensive BBQ to get the results I wanted.
I came to realize it wasn’t the BBQ that was the problem but rather the cooking grate. Then, I had an idea. I got some metal, pipes, nuts and bolts. Then a drill, hacksaw and a lot of elbow grease later, I had it.
It looked like Frankenstein’s BBQ grate but, when I tried it out, it cooked wonderfully; great sear marks and even cooking. I couldn’t go back to the old fashioned grate even after I could afford better grills. Whenever I would buy a new grill, I’d make a new grate for it.
After a career that paid the bills, I wanted to do something that I loved. I wanted to be an inspiration to my kids about pursuing their dreams.
My son Zach wants to be an engineer. He’s in High School right now so this was a great Father-Son project. His engineering was perfect and I couldn’t be more proud. It will be great for his resume when starting his career to say he designed a successful product.
What is a Company the Startup Looks Up to, and Why?:
Of course I am inspired by companies that started in a garage and grew to major corporations. You know Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, etc.
But I’d like to tell you about my cousins company; RWB Party Props.
When he was a child, there was an old water heater in his back yard.
He’s always loved trains and thought he would add some wheels to it, paint it and and make it look like a locomotive. He was just making himself a toy to play with.
He must have done a pretty good job on it because someone noticed and asked to rent it for a display in a store. Then others noticed and wanted it. And, could he also do this or that for their displays. Before he knew it, he was in the business of displays and party props.
He was drafted and sent to Vietnam. He asked his father to run the business while he was serving his country. He returned home and the business was doing well.
It has kept growing and now even supplies props for TV, movies and commercials. They serve celebrities and major corporations as well as people wanting to decorate birthday parties.
And, you know what, over sixty years later they still rent out that very first toy locomotive.
The Company in Four Years Will Be…
Of course, we will be making BBQ cooking grates for other grills.
I’d also like to make grills and smokers. When you BBQ as much as I do, you get quite a few ideas how to improve on the various products out there.
Cooking utensils would be a good way to expand our product line beyond grates and grills. I’ve gone through quite a few of those over the years. If I pick up a twenty pound brisket, I don’t want the tongs to fold up on me. They would be very heavy duty naturally.