Monday, April 30, 2018
(News 12 This Morning)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- 'The Great Recession' was hurting small business owners like Raymond Carnes, but he had a big idea in the works.
Sometimes you gotta grab life by the horns and that's exactly what Raymond Carnes and his friend Ron Cundy did.
He says, "People ask me that a lot. Did I ever envision this getting this big? The truth is - I did."
Back in 2008 and 2009, the economic decline really hurt Carnes and his small auto business. "I owned a small car lot and I couldn't get anyone to crack a door on a car."
It was the perfect time for Carnes, an Evans High grad, to take a chance. He recalls thinking, "I'm going to make a grill. I called my friend and I said, 'Let's make a grill. Let's make that grill that doesn't exist. Something we would want to buy that's not out there.'"
Carnes and Cundy worked on a design for a grill that doesn't use charcoal or gas, but wood pellets.
Carnes says, "Why not us? Other people take a risk. We knew we were risking it all."
Things didn't start out all that great for Rec Tec Grills. "That first year was a tough year. It took one year to sell our first 90 Rec Tecs," Carnes says.
Then things started to heat up. Carnes says, "We've grown by a minimum of 60% every year since then."
Now, they sell up to 250 grills some days and ship them all over the place. "It's very surreal to see a line of trucks down here to grab grills to take them all over the country."
Carnes says its been great putting Augusta on the map for something a little different. "Its just been fun to watch this company build. To get recognized over a grill is pretty neat."
This upcoming weekend, barbecue fans from 42 states and even Canada are coming here. Rec Tec will be holding a Barbecue School at Evans Towne Center Park. They'll be teaching them some competition style cooking.
Rec Tec also unveiled new plans for a facility near Evans Towne Center Park. They say they are set to break ground on it possibly next month.
For more information on Rec Tec and the Barbecue School you can visit their Facebook page here