Industry Spotlight

HPBAC Lends a Helping Hand

by Robert Elmquist

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association of Canada has been the voice of Canada’s hearth, patio and barbecue industry for nearly 14 years. As the single largest affiliate of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, HPBAC provides its members with the local resources that they need to keep their businesses strong and to stay connected to…


Marketing Maneuvers

Hauser’s: Not Your Ordinary Patio Store

by Robert Elmquist

It’s easy to understand why Hauser’s Patio received Casual Living’s top Merchandising Award in June 2007. The store’s dazzling vignettes, which showcase high-end furniture lines in alluring coordinated fabrics, are a feast for the eyes. Each vignette in the 8,500–square-foot store includes walls painted with the hottest hues and textures,…


Marketing Maneuvers

ZipJack: A Testament to Entrepreneurship

by Robert Elmquist

Who would think that a simple umbrella repair, made almost 60 years ago, would result in the formation of a prominent company in the outdoor-living industry? That’s exactly what happened when Manny Dubinsky (a tailor and handyman) repaired a friend’s broken umbrella.

Dubinsky’s visionary moment came after he fixed the umbrella and recognized…


Hearth Retailer Profile

Putting on a New Face

by Robert Elmquist

Just because something is good doesn’t mean that it can’t become even better. Mike Collins and Roger Oberg have translated their contagious optimism into sales for Midgleys Stove and Fireplace Center in Eugene, Ore. When they bought the 30–year-old hearth business in 2005, they made some simple (yet strategic) changes that have given the store…


Hearth Retailer Profile

Gas Logs Have Come a Long Way

by Robert Elmquist

Not all gas logs are created equal. In today’s design-focused culture, gas logs can vary in design and quality as much as fireplaces themselves can. As homeowners spend thousands of dollars on their fireplace surrounds, mantels and other room accessories, it doesn’t make sense to leave the focal point of the room empty or, even worse, filled…


Barbecue/Grill Retailer Profile

A Winning Business Niche in the Windy City

by Robert Elmquist

About nine years ago, while on vacation and visiting a friend in Las Vegas, Kevin Cunningham liked what he saw in his buddy’s backyard. “I was lying in his pool, looking at the mountains and his beautiful kitchen island. I thought, ‘This is nice; I like this,’” Cunningham says.

When he returned to his home in the Chicago area, Cunningham…


Barbecue/Grill Retailer Profile

Fire Stone Home Products: Maximizing Choices for Outdoor Living

by Robert Elmquist

Every industry has its leaders: those who possess the imagination and foresight to take their products or services to a higher, more innovative level. In the hearth industry, this can be said of Dan Shimek, president of Fire Stone Home Products, Burnsville, Minn. In 1975, Shimek cofounded Heat & Glo™, which eventually became the largest fireplace…


Showroom Showcase

Welcome to Paradise

by Robert Elmquist

Apple, Nike, Disney and Coca-Cola: There is no doubt that creating a strong brand is one of the most effective marketing strategies that a business can employ. On the Treasure Coast of Florida, just north of Palm Beach, there is a little slice of retail paradise that has become the most recognized and trusted name in casual furniture in the area.


Showroom Showcase

Oxford Garden: Experts in Wood Furniture

by Robert Elmquist

Teak has been a popular choice for outdoor furniture since the late 1800s. As the availability of teak has begun to dwindle and prices have risen steadily, alternative woods have been gaining more visibility in the outdoor-furniture market. Woods such as eucalyptus, ipe, shorea and other varieties from Southeast Asia are quickly becoming alternative…


As I See It

Gensun Casual Living: A Rising Star

by Robert Elmquist

In just five years, Gensun Casual Living (based in Ontario, Calif.) has skillfully taken its business to an unheard-of level by providing specialty retailers across the nation with high-design, cast-aluminum furniture that appeals to a variety of consumer tastes. Patio & Hearth Products Report recently sat down with Jan Trinkley, executive vice…


My Turn

Outside, Looking In

by Robert Elmquist

Lori-Jo Shea, design director of Richloom Fabric Group’s Solarium® Division, is one of those rare individuals who is actually working in the field in which she studied. Shea majored in textile design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, with a concentration in home furnishings.

She has over 25 years of experience as a designer,…


Product Innovation

Enviro: Where Originality Rules

by Robert Elmquist

Enviro proves that a constant focus on product innovation brings success, even in a weak economy.

The hearth industry is in its prime. Over the past 12 years, advances in design and technology have brought the square black fireplaces boxes of old to new levels of sophistication. Fireplaces and stoves are available in every style, shape, size…



Last Word

Custom Homes Help Drive Hearth Sales


Publisher's Viewpoint

Publisher’s Viewpoint - January 2008


Editor's Message

Editor’s Message - January 2008


Guest Editorial

A Memorable Year


Industry News

Industry News - January 2008



Magnum Heat

All-new Beachcomber Hot Tubs Model Launched

Demonstrations Boost EGG Sales

New EGG Mates Offer Expanded Work Space

Entertainment Islands

Copper Shop

2008: The Year of Opportunity

Beachcomber Launches New UV Cleaning System

Five Seasons – 3078/5293

Enclume Log Rack LR17

Faulkner Furniture’s New Director’s Chair


New From Enclume

Recife – 1514/0121

Sonoma 10 Outdoor Great Room

Naples Collection

The Hanging Hammock Bed

Tradewinds Teak

High Dining Furniture

Lone Oak


Sunbrella Shade

Acumen Low-profile Remote Receivers

Skyscraper Top-vent Fireplace

Contour Front

Meadow Hanging Lantern 96006

The Sawtooth

Flame-modulating Safety Pilot Kit

Sanibel 90155 Hunter

The Selway Ironhaus

FirewoodLog Caddy With Cover

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s Outdoor Artisan Pizza Oven

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s Wine Chiller

Round Outdoor Firepit

New Bella Cast-iron Pellet Stove

Little Griddle’s Sizzle-Q

Horizon FenderFire Valor Gas Fireplace

New X-Fires Gas Fireplaces


Morsø’s 6100 Series

Windsor Arch Valor Gas Fireplace

San Cristóbal


Signature Series 5 Bench

Dartmoor Square Bar Table and Chairs

Solaire Island Accessories

DuraChimney IIA new addition to Simpson

Stone Age Brick Oven

Fire Magic Beverage Center

DuraBlack Telescoping Stovepipe

Coming Soon: TEC’s New Racey GTEC

Telescope Casual’s Savona Cushion Swivel Glider

Ciera Collection

Outdoor-living Products by Wittus – Fire by DesignWittus

Z-Flex Offers New Flex-ready Pellet Tee

Wittus Shaker Wood Stove

Fire Magic Echelon

Stone Age Cabinet Component Systems


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