A North Grenville resident has created an innovative new product that is sure to help out this BBQ season.
Irma Duguay was inspired to design the BBQ Shape n’ Scrape while she was cleaning her BBQ one afternoon in August 2018. She was using a typical BBQ brush with metal bristles, and she noticed that one had fallen off and onto the grill. “I had heard about the wire bristles becoming loose and snapping off and possibly being ingested and I thought – that’s not going to happen to me,” she says. “Well, it did.”
Irma searched far and wide for another option but all she could find was more wire brushes. Instead of giving up, she decided to try her hand at designing an alternative. Having retired from the high-tech industry in 2017, she had no experience in product development and had to teach herself 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, 3D modeling and rendering, how to source suppliers and more. She also did a lot of research into other BBQ brushes and scrapers by reading complaints and reviews on Amazon. “What I did was try to take all of the negativity and incorporate and try to improve on that in my design,” she says. It took her over a year to design the scraper and she tested out many different prototypes before she felt like it was ready for market.
The BBQ Shape n’ Scrape is made out of a stainless-steel frame with adjustable wood blades. This allows the blades to slide back and forth to fit the exact profile of the grill that needs to be cleaned. “Instantly it fits like a glove,” Irma says. “You don’t have to buy the brush, it’s just a different alternative.”
Irma is sourcing the frame for the scraper from a company in Brampton, ON and the blades are being manufactured and sent to her from China. She received her first shipment of parts in October 2020 and immediately started the assembly process. She was a bit nervous about sourcing the parts from different companies, but built a close relationship with her suppliers and was relieved when they fit together perfectly. “I’m so proud of it,” she says. “I look at it and say – I can’t believe I did this. It’s quite an achievement. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if it’s real.”
The BBQ Shape n’ Scrape has been patented in Canada and the U.S. and Irma has been contacted by Hudson’s Bay in Kingston who is interested in carrying it. She has already sold about 100 units and has enough parts for about 800 more, which she will be assembling and shipping from her home. The scraper is available for purchase through the website, www.adjustablebbqscraper.com, or on Amazon.ca. “It’s a really great gift for Father’s Day,” she says.