Photo and article by Richard Lieberman
Steve Burkharts Smokers and Grills is one of Ventura’s newest businesses. Open for business since last August Burkharts journey to retail sales is a long way from where he came. Their products are high end smokers and grills manufactured by Green Mountain Grill Company powered by pellets of varying flavors
Burkhart originally from Chicago is a retired teacher/coach at Moorpark College where he coached men’s and women’s volley ball. After spending 24 years at the college Burkhart retired last May. “Opening a retail business was not in my retirement plans” said Burkhart. While on vacation Burkhart an avid barbecue cook met another with as much an avid interest in barbecue as him. They began to talk, and Burkhart learned about Green Mountain BBQ’s/smokers. He became excited at the possibility of an opportunity to do something far different than his original vocation.
Contacting the Green Mountain Company to see if he could find an opportunity selling their products. One of Green Mountains conditions to becoming a dealer was that he have a retail space to show Green Mountain grills and smokers. Burkhart now needed a retail space to even get started. A longtime friend who owns a catering company in Ventura Scooter Catering offered Burkhart some space at their location 2646 Palma Suite 200 in Ventura. Here is available to the public an opportunity to view and discover Green Mountain grills.
Burkhart has also placed a smoker in the Main Street Market in Ventura where the public can see and taste the difference that these grills/smokers make in cooking meats.
The company has also catered a surfer beach event “where I cooked for 45-50 people” added Burkhart showing off the superior nature of his products.
“It isn’t like I need to do this, I am comfortable in my retirement, but I just love to grill, and these grills changed my thinking what Barbecue is all about” Burkhart added. “I love this so much it is just like a hobby to me” he said.
Burkhart is planning some marketing opportunities in the city. He intends to have space at many of Ventura’s regular events, and is even thinking about space at the fair next year. His first marketing idea was to advertise in the Ventura Breeze. “The Breeze is very interesting to me” said Burkhart.
The Pellets that are used for these unique smokers will be a big part of the business, and he carries four different types of pellets each giving a unique taste to cooked meats.
We at the Breeze welcome this new business to the community. Demonstrations and smoker views are available by appointment and you can give Steve a call at 258-1781.