Coulee Outdoor has introduced a line of smoke-less firepits from its headquarters in Cochrane and has other products in the works for outdoor enthusiasts.
The products only went public on Mar. 20, and already there's been a strong demand.
The durable smoke-less firepits are manufactured in southern Alberta and come in sizes suitable for everyone from backpackers in the high country to families gathering in their backyard, cooking, or simply relaxing in front of the fire.
They are meticulously designed and manufactured to eliminate most smoke and odour.
"We like to say that you get all the benefits of a wood fire without the smoke and smell," says company founder Dexter Hamilton. "That being said, it's not going to be 100 per cent. I'm not going to make those claims, but it is quite a bit less, and you still get that feel of a traditional firepit."
He says you do get a little smoke at startup and some when using wet or heavily-barked firewood, but once the fire actually gets going, it's virtual smoke-free.
It also eliminates the need to play musical chairs to avoid a shifting wind.
"You don't get that with this, which is quite nice," he says. "You can just sit and enjoy the company you have rather than moving around and worry about getting the smoke in your eyes and things like that."
Hamilton and his family moved to Cochrane from Edmonton in October 2020. His wife received a job offer from the University of Calgary, and they decided this was the perfect place to call home.
"We saw some other companies who started here as well, and it just seems like it's an entrepreneurial town, and it's got the small-town feel, which we love."
Spending his entire working career in the industry, he wanted to strike out and develop his own national brand. He left a secure job and took the plunge.
"Smokeless firepits really spoke to me. I was always an outdoorsy guy and loved having fires, but there were a couple of things that weren't great about it--the heavy smoke and smell that you get around the campfire."
"From doing some research and seeing what was out there in the market, and applying a little bit from my past life in the industry, I developed this idea. I was lucky enough to come across somebody in southern Alberta who was able to produce these for me."
They went back and forth on some prototypes until they were satisfied, then went live to market.
Coulee Outdoor offers a 10-year limited warranty, and its customer service is readily available by phone or through their website.
"This is something that we want to be a staple in your backyard and your adventures."
The brand name came from where he was raised.
"I grew up in the Coulees and I thought the name sounded cool. When I go for a walk I can look one way to the mountains or the other way to the Coulees."
Coulee Outdoor will be doing some soft launches throughout the summer on accessories to complement the firepits. They'll also be introducing some new products near the end of the year in time for the 2022 season.
Hamilton is based out of the Corner Coworking, 225 Railway St.
You can find all the details here.