What do you expect from your grill? How often do you use it and for how many people do you cook? Do you want to expand your outdoor cooking repertoire or keep things simple?
You’ll likely be asked these questions at BBQStore&More, 17007 Doty Road in New Haven, Ind., because making a good match between grill and griller is important, says Tyler Schafer, sales and service manager. Just as important is using top-notch products made in America.
“We’re not out to compete with a big-box store on price,” says Schafer. “We sell only higher-end equipment from companies that stand behind their lifetime warrantees. And nearly everything in our showroom is manufactured in the United States. You sure won’t find that at a big-box store.”
A convenient way to learn what the store offers is to visit the 14th Annual Eggfest on June 4. It’s a day when about 40 Big Green Egg ceramic grills are fired up, along with hand-picked brands of gas, charcoal and pellet grills, pizza ovens and other outdoor cooking equipment. Those choice brands include Alfresco, Alfa Ovens, Blaze Grills, Delta Heat, Meadowcreek BBQ, Memphis Grills, Phoenix Grills, Pizza-Porta, Smokin Brothers, The Meat Stick and Twin Eagles Grills.
Brand representatives will be onsite June 4 to answer questions and demonstrate what their grills can do.
“Last year we grilled a 4-foot alligator,” says Schafer.
Commercial equipment also will be on display, for sale and rental, such as pig and chicken roasters and smokers used by caterers.
“The only brands we carry that aren’t entirely made in America are Alpha pizza grills from Italy and Memphis pellet grills, which are assembled in the U.S.,” says Schafer. “The ceramic for Big Green Egg is cast in Mexico because that’s where the clay is found.”
Big Green Egg is the second-largest grill company in the world (after Weber) and BBQStore&More is its largest showroom in the Midwest, says Schafer.
“We stock every size grill and every part for every grill.”
Fans of Big Green Egg like the quality and flavor of the food it produces, since it’s highly insulated, thereby preventing moisture from being drawn out of the food. It uses compressed hardwood charcoal with no lighter fluid or other chemical additives.
The BBQStore&More staff offers grilling advice to customers upon request and even fields off-hours calls.
“If you’re our customer and you’re grilling an expensive piece of meat at 7 p.m. and you have a question, you can bet we’ll answer the phone. That’s how we do things here.”
More than Grills
The store stocks a deep inventory of products, and parts for servicing those products, in its huge onsite warehouse. This was especially handy during supply chain problems in 2020 and 2021. The pandemic fueled an explosion of interest in backyard improvements and BBQStore&More was able to meet needs not only with grills, but with nearly everything related to backyards.
The business does landscape design and installation, construction of outdoor kitchens and firepits, structures like gazebos and sheds, swing sets and other large toys and poly patio furniture by companies including Lloyd Flanders, Luxcraft Outdoors and Star Swing Sets.
BBQStore&More originated as a wooden swing set store 20 years ago. It established Eggfest 14 years ago and built its big new showroom and warehouse four years ago. Along with affiliated businesses such as its construction division, the business stretches across 80 acres “smack in the middle of Amish country,” but is only about 5 minutes from Fort Wayne.
“We’re where rural meets city,” says Schafer.
The store is open Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn more at thebbqst.com. ❚