THE BIG BANG
How a joke can grow and become a serious company; BarrelQ is a perfect example of that. In 2013, TV-maker Onno Vos figured out that he wanted to do ‘something’ with oil barrels. ‘My father is active in the oil business and I encountered someone who turned oil barrels into barbecues. It seemed like a nice trade besides my TV work. I ordered a full truck and assembled it myself. In the first year I sold 250 pieces, the year after that 500, and the year after that I sold 5000 pieces.’
Onno started BarrelQ on his own but already in the first year, a willing investor presented himself. Huub Sparnaay saw an advertisement board of BarrelQ next to the highway and ordered a piece. He was so impressed after using the BarrelQ that he decided to send an email to Vos asking if he was looking for an investor. Sparnaay: ‘Then we decided to make a serious company out of it. I saw some points of improvements and had, besides the money, the required knowledge and skills to add value to the company.’ At that moment Gerben Bierbooms joined, whom Sparnaay already worked with in the past. Bierbooms: ‘I could add value on the online world and internationalization, that was the starting point’.
After the successful launch of the BarrelQ brand the three entrepreneurs decided to launch a 2nd more basic brand called Drumgrill. The Drumgrill barrels are sold via high volume retail and do it your self stores. They are also perfect for branding, due to their lower pricing and more basic design.
Both brands are now owned by United Barrel Grills, the holding company the partners launched in 2017.
The UBG team is working hard to become the worlds leading company in the sales of oil drum grills and firepits. In 2018 it opened up a new office and assembly facility in Breda, The Netherlands, to make sure it can meet demands and further professionalize. The Big Hairy Audacious Goal is to sell 150.000 Barrel based grills on a yearly basis in 2025.