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Scott’s Background Story, The Shaker Maker

Monday October 10, 2022 comments

I want to share a bit about my history – my fabrication experience started as a childhood hobby, and continued into my future career as a stainless steel fabricator with 35 years' experience. 

I’m an inventor, engineer, self-proclaimed chef and BBQ pitmaster, and a serial entrepreneur. I’ve helped mentor other inventors on developing their awesome ideas, and I’ve patented two ideas, working on a third, and brought four of my own products to market. I have called Fort Collins Colorado “home” for the past 25 years. 


I grew up on a farm outside a beautiful small town Yankton, South Dakota. It was five miles from town and as a kid, it would have meant I walked, rode a bicycle or a horse to get into town. Ultimately I spent a lot of time entertaining myself with my dads hand tools building things that only a 5 year old could dream up. 

At a young age I developed a passion to build things. My cousins came to visit one summer and we built a space ship that could fly. I started my hair on fire lighting a bottle rocket. My cousin went on to be a rocket scientist and I went into a product engineering career. Kids!

Growing up and having mother that was an awesome baker, a father with a passion to grill, a grandmother that loved to garden, a grandfather that was a grocer, married a woman that was a wonderful cook, have a good friend who is a chef, another friend is a holistic health coach, and several taste tester friends that have inspired and critiqued my ambitions over the years. I learned over the years to improve my techniques and recipes through trial and error.

As I tried to emulate my peeps, I found myself trying spices and blends and really struggling with texture and flavor. My spice recipe trial and error efforts continued for years. About 20 years ago, I bought my first kamado cooker (Green Egg), and immediately fell in love with the results. My cooking techniques improved, but the flavors were still a hit or miss. I set out to develop and “perfect” BBQ seasoning that would magically and perfectly season anything I’d sprinkled it on.

Well, it took several years of adjustments to make a darn good BBQ rub. I began working on other blends that could be food specific, ethnic, but they would be minimally processed, all natural, and organic if possible, and better than what I’d been purchasing. I paid special attention to texture, aroma, taste, and listened to my critiques of friends and watched as people sampled.  I even won a couple chili cook offs. 

When Covid hit the US, I turned to gardening more, cooking and even canning. My spice hobby took on a new life, to fill time. I felt if I could package the spice blends, perhaps I’d have a new business. As I looked for and tried existing shakers for packaging options, I could not find a shaker that would even work for the wide variety of textures in my spice blends.

This packaging needed to meet certain criteria: The lid needed to fit a wide variety of jar sizes, be made of glass, use a minimal amount of materials, be recyclable, reusable and repurposable. My experience kept me think that it needed to revolve around the mason jar– why not? There are many designs and sizes, so aesthetically and functionally it was a good starting point. There were no lids that really worked well or were very pleasing, but I could take my 35 years’ of stainless steel fabrication skill set and make that happen.

After several prototypes, I came up with a very versatile, functional, and aesthetically pleasing lid that worked so perfectly, I began the patent process since there really is no other lid like this and it worked so well in so many applications:

  • Storage of: spices, herbs, snacks, baking ingredients (sprinkles), craft tiny bits 
  • And also as: party favors, drink holder with straw hole, corporate gifts.

The lids are customizable through metal engraving with an ingredient name, or a fun tiki head or hula girl logo, too. 

And I succeeded in making something recyclable, reusable and repurposable. They are dishwasher safe and won’t rust. They should be usable for a very long time.

This begins the story of The Shaker Maker. You can read a bit more about me at my Kickstarter bio page, or visit the main Kickstarter page for The Shaker Maker fundraising. Or join us on social media - I'm creating more and more each day:

 



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