Speedy Blaze 55 Years In The Making. The Untold Story - Until Now

Updated: Jan 12

I noticed something lately –

it’s called “Do It Yourself” or DIY for short.

There’s a whole movement based on DIY. There’s DIY everywhere you look. I’ve even seen that DIY parties are a thing (make a rocking chair or a bird-feeder with your friends). What’s next, DIY heart surgery?

Anyway, Speedy Blaze has a DIY connection and I hope you can appreciate it.

Let’s go back to June, 2017. My former fiance and I were traveling out West in our motorhome, camping and visiting our national parks. Like most everyone else, we would build a fire every night, spending $20 or $25 for a couple of bundles of wood. It was wood that burned up in minutes or was green and wouldn’t light. Once we did get a fire going with one of these bundles, all it would do is create unbearable smoke. 

How romantic, right?

The worst of all was the mess it made in the motorhome. I just knew there had to be a better way. 

Before I get to that though, follow me a bit further back in time, bou50 years to my childhood.

See the handsome fella in the photo with me? That’s my grandpa, Sherm, who I am named for. We were inseparable pals and thanks to him, I was brought up in the outdoor lifestyle.

In the hours we would spend together, Gramps would tell me all about his life – from the time he dove out the school window in the eighth grade to avoid a spanking (they did that in those days! He never went back) to picking coal off a slag pile at the train yard for 10 cents a day to help support his seven siblings, to becoming an aircraft mechanic during World War I. When he returned from the Army Air Core in 1921, he and his brother Art started Hickey Olds in Saginaw, Michigan. Gramps spent the next 50 years there before retiring in 1971.

After that, Gramps got to spend almost all his time with me. We spent hours in the woods deer hunting, huddled in an open blind located in northern Michigan in November. If you’ve never been that far North, you might not be able to appreciate how cold that is! We always had a fire going in a homemade stove. Gramps told me stories of hunting in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, taking the ferry across the straits, getting hauled by horses into deer camp for 17 days, staying in tents – and having to build a fire to survive. 

One time it was so cold they had to build a fire and use the hot coals to warm the engine so the car would start. Otherwise, the oil would be too thick to circulate. 

Now I’m getting to the part that brings this all back around:

One fateful day when I was eight, Gramps gave me the Marbles Match case with the wax-coated matches he carried in the Upper Peninsula. That memory would soon spark an idea that would lead to something big!

Let's come back to the fall of 2017, when I was going through a store and noticed these wood bricks. I thought to myself “these are neat.” I bought some, tried them out and they worked great! However, I left them out on the porch and when it rained, I was left with a big pile of sawdust! Now, remember the wax-coated matches? I did too. 

I purchased a press and made the equipment to apply the food-grade wax coating on our all-natural Speedy Blaze hardwoods. As one would say, the rest is history.

"We spent hours in the woods deer hunting, huddled in an open blind located in northern Michigan in November. If you’ve never been that far North, you might not be able to appreciate how cold that is!"

We are the only complete fire kit on the market.

#SpeedyBlaze is safe to cook over and safe to transport to all 50 states (did you know 43 states have restrictions on moving #firewood?). We are an #affordable fire kit and Speedy Blaze is even #environmentallyfriendly.  Thank you for the inspiration, Gramps!

Thank you for reading our story.

Come share a nice warm, cozy fire with Gramps and me.


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307 S 3RD AVE

ALPENA, MI 49707



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