Grilling season means paydays for New Canaan pair
Two Guys and a Grill: Number of customers with outdoor barbecues needing attention has grown exponentially
Published 11:59 am, Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Chris Valk and Kenneth Slattery had never gone without work during the summer so when both young men struggled to find employment in the summer of 2010 they shifted their entrepreneurial spirit into high gear.
They established Two Guys and a Grill, an outdoor barbeque grill-cleaning service, in their hometown of New Canaan. Both are graduates of New Canaan High School, Class of 2008.
It began as a side project and has evolved into such a successful business that they have expanded into all of Fairfield and Westchester counties and hired two employees to do the cleaning this year, giving them time to focus on building the business. It also allows Slattery the time to work a second job.
"Our first summer we serviced about 15 grills. We went from, `hey, how can we make some extra money' to the next summer `let's make this a legitimate business, a resume-builder, and get experience running a business," Valk said.
In just their second year, Valk and Slattery gained more than 80 customers, many of whom used their services multiple times, and in this third summer of operation they nearly doubled that number.
The cleaning process includes disassembling the grill. While one person de-greases and scrubs removable parts like the grates, trays, and knobs, the other works on the grill shell. Their work results in a clean appliance that improves food safety and extends the life of the grill, Slattery said.
"If you do this once a year, it makes a big difference. It really depends on how much you use your grill. We have some clients who entertain a lot and use our services once or twice a month," Valk said.
Valk and Slattery provide all clients with `before' and `after' photographs of their grills, and they leave behind a business card and grilling recipe at each location.
Valk and Slattery said they are working around the clock to clean grills for Labor Day and they are taking appointments right up through Monday, but their services will continue at least through the end of September and possibly into October.
"The season will go as long as people are still grilling," Slattery said.
E-mail them for an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/twoguysandagrill.