Camping enthusiasts might be interested in a new grilling device developed by Bradford entrepreneur David Yeh.
Yeh has enjoyed camping ever since he was a young boy in Taiwan. He loves the feeling of the fresh outdoors, the sound of trickling waters, and falling asleep under the beautiful starry skies.
“I’ve always liked nature, everytime I go out in nature, I feel so relaxed and I can just feel my mind release,” he said.
A lot of the time, it’s just him, his backpack and the woods, so small, compact products are key to his packing regime.
His biggest pet peeve when camping was bringing along bulky, heavy grilling equipment to make his meals. It would weigh him down, and he was often frustrated with the multiple pieces required to set them up.
“They (campers) have to carry so much,” he explained. “So lightweight and compact is the key.”
He figured many other campers were experiencing the same frustrations as he was, and decided to come up with a solution.
It took him about a year, with trips back and forth to China manufacturers, before developing a one-piece, foldable, compact barbecue called The Bitty Big Q.
“There’s nothing else on the market like this,” he explained.
Made with 316 stainless steel and weighing just under two pounds, the barbecue was the answer Yeh had been searching for when it came to cooking on camping trips.
His idea for the design came in 2018 with a ‘LESS’ approach, which stands Lighter in weight, Easier in setting up, Smaller in size, and Stronger in construction.
The miniature barbecue has been selling on Amazon and Shopify since last May. In total, he has sold about 1,000 units to customers all over the world.
Yeh is working on getting his product into retail stores, such as Canadian Tire and Cabela’s.
It’s all about quality when it comes to campware says Yeh. He would rather invest in longlasting, durable materials as opposed to cheaper, one time use pieces.
“I wanted to make a product that people could really use, and solve a problem,” he explained.
The grill itself is made with medical-grade steel, which he says makes it most durable and easy to clean. The BBQ also comes with a scraper to help clean off food residue.
He has recently added more products to his campware store, items like portable titanium mugs and cutlery and medical grade silicone water bottles.
It was Yeh’s 11-year-old daughter, Evelyn, who came up with the the name ‘Bitty Big Q.’
“She picked out the name, it’s a funky name,” said Yeh, noting he was having a hard time coming up with something to call his invention.
Yeh moved to Canada in 1990 when he was 15 years old. He has been living in Bradford with his wife Carol, for the past three years. Carol works a full time job in Toronto, but still makes the effort to help her husband with the business during her spare time.
“I am very appreciative. She’s always there to back me up, without her I couldn’t have got so far,” he beamed.
Yeh has a background in supply chain management and general merchandising and this is his first stint in design and product development.
His favourite place to camp is in MacTier, Ont., about a two hour drive north of Bradford. He prefers to camp on his own, not on campsites, where he can really get a feel for nature, using minimal supplies.
You can check out the Bitty Big Q online here, or see it for yourself in person this weekend at the Bradford Mama Poppins Show happening at the Bradford Community Centre Sunday Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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