Editor’s note: This article was written by Colin Balfe, director of The Marketplace by TheBlaze, and is part of a series of stories highlighting businesses in TheBlaze’s eCommerce channel.
In this series, we’ll introduce home-grown American shops that recently joined The Marketplace by TheBlaze, a small business marketplace focused on remarkable people, extraordinary small businesses and exceptional products.
In addition to high-quality items, The Marketplace looks for quality people -- entrepreneurs who are living their own version of the American dream. Each of these shops are U.S.-owned and operated, with products made in America for Americans. These are people who have built their small businesses with hard work and integrity, with a goal of improving the nation. By refusing to outsource, they drive our nation’s economy by creating jobs, paying taxes, giving to charities and keeping the American spirit alive.
A lot of things can change in 100 years, but Georgia Chair has been family-owned and operated with the same commitment to American-made quality and excellent service since 1914. At Georgia Chair, faith in God and family tradition are infused into their products, allowing them to transform fine-grained oak heartwood into some of the most beautiful solid-oak furniture on the market. Using a manufacturing process that blends old-fashioned, hand-crafted methods of woodworking with modern industrial techniques, every piece of furniture is heirloom quality. All of the wood Georgia Chair uses grows within 300 miles of the company headquarters to ensure top quality while staying rooted in American greatness.
Meco Grills has been producing American-made grills since barbecue grilling became an American tradition. From their beginning in 1969, Meco has continuously manufactured grills from their factory in east Tennessee while standing for “honesty, integrity and fun” as a family-owned business. Whether you’re shopping for an electric smoker, a charcoal combo water smoker, an electric table top or the swinger, you’ll find it from this American-owned and oriented family business steeped in barbecuing lore from the very beginning. As the originator of the classic square charcoal grill -- almost a necessity in American homes -- Meco is now one of the very few remaining USA manufacturers of barbecue grills. Having always believed in “made in America” as the only sustainable strategy to uplift the lives of all Americans, they don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
Patriot Outlet began when an uncertain economy made one family want to become more self-sufficient. They decided to sell a variety of high-quality, American-made outdoor equipment to supply hard-working, self-reliant people like themselves. When asked for his business philosophy, Patriot Outlet’s founder, Gregory Sprading says: “I think the Christian principles of freedom, self-reliance, hard work and determination are the real drivers behind our business.” Patriot Outlet enables its employees to make ends meet for their families while at the same time promoting the values of work and self-reliance to customers through its products and messaging.
The owner of Minuteman Watches, Thomas Carey, has a soft spot for active and former military and law enforcement personnel, firefighters, EMS professionals and other civic duty service men and women. His father, the chief financial officer, is a disabled Vietnam veteran. When Thomas decided to launch his own watch brand, it was only natural that it would be a U.S.-focused brand with a military flavor. Like the Minutemen who responded to the call of freedom during the American Revolution, Minuteman Watches represents the same passion, sacrifice and pride that gave birth to our nation. With the Minuteman logo proudly displayed on each watch, Minuteman Watches are designed to remind us of our nation’s beginnings and the liberties we enjoy. A company inspired by the veterans it employs, Minuteman Watches are designed, assembled and tested in the U.S. and 25 percent of profits go to charities that support America’s veterans.
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As you can see, The Marketplace is made up of amazing small businesses. But more importantly, it's made up of extraordinary people. Generations of family businesses, husband-and-wife teams and veterans all tirelessly working to earn your trust.
Thank you for supporting them and proving how important small business is in America. If you're interested in discovering more made in America products, visit the made in America page in The Marketplace.