JOHNS CREEK - Some 3,000 businesses currently use the proven market plan of multi-level sales and home parties (think Tupperware) and are targeted toward women – until now.
David Eads of Johns Creek is a local Man Cave distributor for the newest home marketing incarnation targeting the last male preserve: Grilling out.
“I saw a newspaper article about it, and I said to myself, ‘That’s genius.’ Very quickly, this started into a full-time business. With the art of the Internet, in only five or six weeks I had 10 active guys selling for me in Florida, Alabama and Wisconsin,” Eads said.
“I have 800 followers on Twitter – people who ask me questions about barbecue and grilling.”
Man Cave was the idea born out by some guys grilling out, having a beer, and wondering about the marketing niche for “manly” products was there the way women’s products are so successfully marketed.
“It has been a success from the start,” Eads said.
You could say that. Nick Beste, a 22-year-old entrepreneur started the business after an epiphany grilling out with his family in Minneapolis, Minn. In a phone interview, he told how his uncle was telling them all about grilling a rack of ribs.
“My uncle was talking about how he was going to grill the ribs up. He began showing how he was going to baste them, use indirect heat, how he was going to smoke the ribs – different things like that,” Beste said.
“We said, ‘Wow, this is like having a cooking show in your home.’ It was great. Then we started talking about how it would be great to do this in people’s homes.”
So the next question was how to make any money at , Beste said.
“Well, we could sell products with it. Everybody went yeah, like the Pampered Chef. It started to snowball from there,” he said.
So Man Cave was born, a mere 13 months ago. Beste was surprised at how fast the company has grown in so short a time. Man Cave is recruiting three to eight people a day. At the end of the first year, 120 advisors, as they are called, sold almost $100,000 in product. This year the company will do $10 million-plus with 3,000 advisors recruited, Beste predicts.
“That’s how fast the company is growing,” he said.
Beste says he thinks Man Cave can be bigger than Mary Kay with its 3 million associates. After all, Beste says, they are one of many companies targeting women, while on the male side, Man Cave has 100 percent of the market.
The Man Cave sales center around a party called a “MEATing” in which a host is recruited to bring friends over. The big draw is the packaged meats – 33 varieties of brats alone. MC also has steak, poultry, ribs, buffalo and pork. Other specialties include chili with beef, buffalo or chicken, bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers and stuffed pork chops.
All the accoutrements for successful grilling, from cookbook to steak knives and cast iron smoker box are available. Man Cave is also spreading out to hunting and fishing gear and tackle. The all outdoors beckons to Man Cave. Other products include a beer pager (for when you can’t remember where you set it down), bottle cap remover (slap it like a stapler) and even a Man Cave poker set.
At a recent MEATing at Johns Creek resident Jeff Borgognoni’s finished basement, the pool table subs for a display table. At the counter Eads is serving up some Andouille sausages, sirloin steak and beer and cheddar brats.
“I’m impressed by the quality of the products,” said Borgongnoni.
Several neighbors have come over on a Saturday afternoon to watch some football and sample the wares.
Mike Johnson said, “I love to grill. So I came to see what’s different and what’s new.”
Another neighbor, Bill Cook, a confirmed “Meatasaurus,” pronounced the meats delicious and the concept interesting.
“I love to grill out too, and this appealed to me on a number of fronts,” he said.
Tim Beasley saw Borgognoni’s e-mail and said told himself this was “right up my alley.”
Looking over the tools of the trade on display, Beasley, another grillmeister, liked what he saw.
“I love grilling out and getting together with the guys. I came here to see what I could add to my grilling collection find a couple of Christmas gifts,” he said.
To contact Eads e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.