Carlow firm CBL Equipment sign Major Distribution Deal

South East BIC client has just signed a significant distribution deal for its energy efficient chafing dish.  

Used for more than 500 years to keep food warm, the chafing dish has been given a 21st century upgrade by Carlow company CBL Equipment by the addition of an energy efficient catalytic burner.  The resulting patent pending Castle Chafer is, according to company managing director James Kearney, 75% more energy efficient than other chafing dishes on the market and also works more efficiently than them by keeping food hotter for longer.

Selling in Ireland, Germany and the United Kingdom since it launched in late 2015, the company has, this month, signed an agreement with US company Steelite International — one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of tableware.  “They are now our exclusive UK distributor and in February we will expand the agreement to cover the EU and the Middle East,” said Mr Kearney.

CBL Equipment is run by father and son team, Jim and James Kearney. Jim Kearney, an industrial chemist with 20 years experience in the gas tool industry, established the company in early 2014.  “He’d previously developed a gas burner while working for another company but saw an opportunity to develop an energy efficient one,’’ said James Kearney, a former officer in the Merchant Navy who came on board in 2015.

Market research, conducted by the Kearneys, had revealed that there are in the region of 25 million chafers in use globally and that five million of these need to be replaced every year.  Research also showed that existing chafer models, which use a gas burner to heat water which in turn heats a stainless steel dish containing food (the chafer), typically cost €1 an hour to run.

“In creating the Castle Chafer we removed the water, replaced it with a high thermal diffuser that spreads the heat around the food pan, insulated the system and reduced the cost to 25c an hour,’’ said Mr. Kearney.

By the end of 2015, the Carlow-based company was ready to demonstrate its new prototype to distributors and to chafer users, mainly hotels which use them to keep breakfast buffets hot for guests.  It was at that point that the Kearneys discovered that the key selling point for their new chafer was not its energy efficiency but its ability to “generate the all important sausage temperature of 70 degrees”.  “The system keeps sausages moist and plump not dried and it keeps eggs fluffy — hotels which are using them have told us that this is more important to them than energy efficiency,’’ said Mr. Kearney.

Father and son team, Jim and James Kearney

Full Article 

Source:  Irish Examiner 




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