RIMERSBURG – When Bob Criner of Rimersburg decided to start his own side business, he never realized that it would take seven years to obtain a patent for his product.
The roasting post is the premier campfire tool from Campfire Creation Inc. While the product concept appears simple, it turns out that no one else ever applied for a patent for the adjustable 100 percent stainless steel roasting post.
The Roasting Post, according to CampfireCreation.com, is designed to hold your hot dog stick for you, helping to promote campfire safety by keeping hands away from the campfire.
Criner said the patent took seven years, cost about $70,000, and the Roasting Post sells for $49.99.
“People have been cooking over fires since the beginning of time, but this is the first time a patent was requested. It took an awful lot of time for the patent office to go through its research,” continued Criner. “They pretty much thought that there was no way something like this hadn’t already been patented.”
“It’s just a stainless steel rod that holds your hot dog stick over the fire so you don’t have to hold the hot dog stick,” said Criner, a 1984 graduate of Union High School and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “It will hold the hot dog stick and it will adjust to any position.”
Criner said the sales were going well and a drive to have more people connect with their website is starting. Criner feels the website will help attract more customers.
Another way to get the word out about his creation is through trade shows.
“I premiered the product at the Great American Outdoor Show, the largest outdoor show in the world,” said Criner. “I was invited to put it into that show a year ago and that was Day One of kicking it off and then we were asked back to the show again this year in February.
“I’ve also been to shows in Erie, but mainly we’re trying to grow slowly so that it doesn’t get out of control,” he continued. “There was way more to it than you might think to take a product from your thoughts and get it to market. There were many prototypes and tens of thousands of dollars in the long process, and then it took six to seven years to get that from thought to have it a product we wanted.”
He said a big part of the delay was because China tried to get him to join them and he wouldn’t do it because he was disgusted that people can’t buy quality products anymore. As a former Marine, he wanted it the highest quality, and his product is manufactured locally in Apollo, Pa.
“There are more products to come. I actually have a collapsible hot dog stick that’s all stainless steel and it’ll actually extend out to over six feet long and collapse into about three feet long,” Criner said. “You can take off the end of the stick and put on a stainless steel fish basket, a burger basket or a mountain pie attachment.”
The prototypes have been made but are not on the market, but it has been expensive.
“Until I get some return from the Roasting Post, I can’t go down too many ventures at one time,” he said.
For more information about Campfire Creation and the Roasting Post, visit www.campfirecreation.com or email info@CampfireCreation.com.