Taking Your Outdoor Experience to the Next Level

With barbecue and grilling season fast approaching, Orangeville’s ITS In The Shed has you covered. They provide a full range of high-end smokers, pizza ovens and barbecues to choose from. ITS In The Shed is the brainchild of the father and son team of Dennis and David Middlebrook and the inspiration for the store came from a 20+ year sales relationship which Dennis enjoyed with the high-end garden furniture maker, Berlin Gardens Furniture.

“We basically opened last year on May 31st and at that time we just featured the Berlin Gardens products but some people who were visiting the shop were asking for barbecues and pizza ovens. There was obviously a demand so we began investigating dealerships. Over time we were able to secure dealer arrangements with GMG, Saber and Ooni and before we knew it, we were selling barbecues. We really wanted to offer our customers something they couldn’t find in the ‘big box stores’ ”, says Dennis.

Apparently, the word spread about last year’s soft opening; people as far as Guelph were dropping into the store and surprisingly, that was with very little advertising. “It’s pretty much been word of mouth so far and yes we are attracting some people, but we want to reach more”, he adds.

David says the idea is to assist customers with improving their backyards now that we are seeing people getting outside more. “There was a niche and we wanted to be able to fill it. The enjoyment of cooking outside and experimenting with foods is becoming more common; with this in mind, we wanted to bring in different products, so we are currently dealing with a company in Spain to perhaps sell their specialty woods for ‘smoking’.”

Dennis adds that the company goal is to become a ‘full-blown’ barbecue shop and maybe even a destination site for barbecues and décor. One such destination feature is the Louisiana Grills Founders Legacy Series which comes complete with double wall steel and is equipped with a searing plate. It also has an open flame, large blower and the largest capacity for pellets; it’s even ideal for winter cooking, which makes the Louisiana Grills Founders Legacy Series ‘top shelf’.

ITS In The Shed also offers a full array of flavoured wood pellets, including cherry whiskey, Crown Royal (pellets made from former Crown Royal barrels, I might add), mesquite blend, sugar maple and many more.

Will the future focus for ITS In The Shed remain on the high-end barbecues and smokers?

“Absolutely”, says Dennis, “our goal is to become a high-end store and Louisiana Grills and GMG are both well respected brands that provide quality products. We don’t want to compete with the ‘big box stores’, but that doesn’t mean we can’t accommodate someone who is looking for a mid-range priced barbecue.”

What about ITS In The Shed ’s current demographic?

David says he notices that anyone with an interest in barbecuing is dropping into the store regularly. “We have a young couple who are regulars and they have a closet full of rubs and are real ‘outdoors people’. We also receive a lot of information from our customers and I believe that we learn more from them than any video or sales reps.”

Dennis continues, “A true story, we had a gentleman come into the store looking for a GMG as he goes to Florida for the summer and wanted to take a good quality barbecue with him. He looked at every barbecue that we had and kept coming back to the Louisiana Grill; I believe that someday he won’t be going back to Florida and needs a solid, well-made unit that he can use to ‘smoke’ here. We have also noticed that there’s been an upturn in people wanting to spend their money on their backyards, barbecuing and getting outside together.”

In closing, what does the future hold for ITS In The Shed?

Dennis says that they will continue to concentrate on the mid to high-end product lines as well as customer service (which go hand in hand). “If we have issues getting good customer service from the product providers, how can we expect to provide good service to our customers.” He adds that he is also looking into the Santa Fe and Argentinian barbecues which are old style charcoal barbecues with an elevated grill that you can crank up and down and fire on the side. “It’s more of a group thing, where everyone can gather around the barbecue and socialize while you are cooking. This is something that we would like to see happen this year so stay tuned”, adds David.

WRITTEN BY: LARRY SIMPSON | RESOURCES: ITS In The Shed

Author: LivingSpaces

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