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BBQGuys CEO Talks Warehouse Space, Baton Rouge Operations & IPO | Company

Based in Baton Rouge BBQGuys is working with a logistics company to temporarily lease storage space on the east and west coasts to meet seasonal demand for grills and outdoor furniture.

Although the company has more than 200,000 square feet of warehouse space in Baton Rouge, there is a need for more space around Memorial Day and July 4 weekend, Russ Wheeler said. , CEO of BBQGuys. BBQGuys currently leases 170,000 square feet of space between GXO Direct’s facilities in Mechanicsburg, PA and San Bernardino, CA. GXO, a global logistics company, has over 200 million square feet of warehousing space in more than 900 locations.

“It helps with seasonality, so we can adapt from top to bottom,” Wheeler said. “It’s difficult for us to continue to grow our footprint under one roof.”

BBQGuys’ current storage space in Baton Rouge is divided into four locations. The company wants to consolidate all of its operations under one roof locally, Wheeler said, but that has been difficult. “We have to find a suitable place,” he said.

BBQGuys started renting space with GXO about a year ago. The company originally used 65,000 square feet, but that amount has nearly tripled. The space came in handy following Hurricane Ida, when BBQGuys had to temporarily shut down operations in Baton Rouge. The Pennsylvania warehouse took care of shipping items to East Coast customers.

By being able to move some warehouse operations to areas closer to customers, Wheeler said it has helped BBQGuys deal with inflationary issues, such as high fuel prices.

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Founded in 1998, BBQGuys is an e-commerce site for high-end grills, accessories and outdoor products. The company not only sells grills from brands like Weber and Traeger, but it builds its own equipment through a longtime sister company. Flambé and Pacific Coast Manufacturing, a California-based company that makes stainless steel grill accessories.

While 2022 has been tough for BBQGuys, with inflation the company is still posting double-digit growth, Wheeler said. The company featured Blaze-branded products both on its own website and in physical stores.

“We’ve added about 50 people over the past 12 months in Baton Rouge, and we’re continuing to grow our footprint here,” he said.

BBQGuys announced plans to become a publicly traded company last summer in a $936 million deal with Velocity Acquisition Corp. But the plans were canceled in November due to supply chain factors.

After the tough run the markets went through in the first half of 2022, Wheeler said he was glad BBQGuys didn’t go public. Due to current market conditions, there are no plans to attempt an IPO. “It was a good learning process,” he said. “But we have our heads down and we are focused on the business and looking for opportunistic ways to grow it.”