I’ve always been a dreamer and entrepreneur my whole life. My first business started as a young kid catching gophers at a buck a piece for a local company. At age 11 I had my own paper route, delivering newspapers in the cold Montana winters. I barely graduated high school and then worked six hard years in the construction industry. As I was working on these incredible homes, one day I had an epiphany; everyone seemed to be doing something neat with their life, except me. Shortly after that I sold my house and all of my belongings, left my hometown, and moved across the country to pursue my dream of becoming a helicopter pilot. Everyone thought I was crazy and even to this day, many of those who knew me in my younger days have a hard time believing that I’m a helicopter pilot. It’s been nearly 20 years since I started my journey as a pilot and while it is my dream job, like I said….I’m a dreamer! I guess you can say, that even the best isn’t good enough for me. I always want to keep improving!
About two years ago I got really interested in the sous vide cooking method. Now, when I start a new hobby (and I have lots of them), I want to get the best equipment, and master the art, skill, craft, sport, whatever it may be. I spend hours, sometimes days, researching the topic and reading reviews of the different products available. I quickly realized I needed a handheld cooking torch to sear my meat after it came out of the water bath. After much research and contemplation I bought what everyone claimed was the best cooking torch on the market. It really failed to meet my expectations though and didn’t live up to the hype or the ridiculous price tag!!! It took far too long to sear the meat (compromising the cook on the inside of the steak), didn’t sear the meat evenly, and left me feeling very frustrated. I continued my quest for the perfect searing tool and much to my dismay, there wasn’t anything out there to purchase that was handheld/compact, powerful, affordable, and seared the meat evenly as well as quickly. So I decided to create my own!
While I am certainly no engineer, my wife claims she married me for my skills. I will admit that I love a good challenge and being a problem solver when difficult situations arise. I am also pretty handy and can usually make or fix most things around the house. I went to my local hardware store to purchase the different tools and parts I thought I would need to create my torch. I spent a few hours putting the first one together and was quite pleased with the results. (This first model actually ended up being our prototype that we have been selling online for the past 9 months.) After a few weeks of using my new glorious culinary masterpiece, I thought that I should share the good news with others. I listed it online for sale and initially had enough for about 10 torches. I fully expected this to just be a hobby with some small side income to help support my hunting addiction. The next day my wife and I took off for an elk hunting trip. We were gone for about 16 hours and came back to find that our torches were sold out of stock in just one day! We were kind of baffled and a little bit scared. We weren’t planning on starting a business and had done zero advertising. SearPro was born that day and our lives have forever been changed because of it.
The positive response to our product from customers has been overwhelming to say the least. We have received some pretty amazing feedback and reviews. We took into consideration a lot of suggestions for improvement and are now ready to launch our next generation to the public. The new version includes an igniter as well as a handle. When attached to the propane tank, this torch will not tip over when set down like some other competitors. It has a powerful flame and will achieve the nice even crust you are looking for on a variety of meat products. And it is half the cost of other high-end torches on the market. Furthermore, our customers are finding a wide variety of uses for our product including lighting charcoal grills and fireplaces, starting campfires, melting metal, and glass blowing.
Now we want to become a household name! We’ve come so far in this journey: we created a business name and logo (SearPro LLC), filed for a design patent and registered trademark, found a manufacturer, created a new design and packaging, built a small following on Facebook, tested the market with our prototype, etc. We’re just some small town folks living in Idaho with a BIG dream. We’d love for you to become part of our journey and help us reach this dream. My wife watches Shark Tank religiously and for years (even before SearPro) she has teased me that someday we would be on there with an idea of our own. I always brushed her off and chuckled, but now I’m starting to see that could be our reality very soon. If this Kickstarter does well, we just might be making an appearance in the near future!