If it doesn’t exist, make it yourself. So the saying goes. Twenty years ago, Bill Donohue, owner and CEO of Cove Point Covers and Grill Wraps, did just that. Being an avid grill user himself, he got tired of his grill cover always ripping. He asked himself, what if there were something more durable out there that could eliminate the hassle of repairing or replacing this cover? He ended up creating his own.
Using knowledge he’d gained after working at a fabric mill for several years, he created a prototype using an industrial fabric called Sunbrella, a durable fabric used on yachts and awnings. Quality is often evidenced by how long a product will last, and if longevity is the goal, he far exceeded it. That original prototype grill cover Donohue created twenty years ago is still going strong today.
It goes without saying that anything left outside in the elements uncovered is left unprotected. It’s only a matter of time before the elements do their damage. Sometimes you need to make an investment — let’s say, in Grill Wraps — to protect your investment — like that outdoor grill of yours. Grill Wraps began as Donohue’s hobby. He created covers for outdoor grills and patio equipment, but has since expanded to include covers for nearly anything else, including sculptures, medical carts and kiosks.
Grill Wraps, the consumer side of Donohue’s business, provides single orders for consumers as well as multiple covers for high-end clients. If you’re a fan of the rooftop restaurants that have become especially popular in recent years, you can probably thank Grill Wraps for keeping that cozy outdoor lounge furniture looking fresh every summer. On the commercial side of things, Cove Point Covers, Donohue creates custom-made covers for both national and international clients, including Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Southwest Airlines, and Texas A&M Stadium. The covers are also shipped internationally and are used at the Singapore airport and at various locations all over Latin America.
In order to keep up with the demand from both sides of the business, Donohue relies on a sewing team that has many years of experience cutting and sewing specialized industrial marine-grade fabric such as Sunbrella, Top Notch and Odyssey. Finding a team of knowledgeable sewers is no easy task, given that the workforce on the hand-crafting side of the industry is dwindling and speedy manufacturing machines are his direct competition. But there’s something to be said for a custom-made product that has not been mass-produced until recently. It’s a nice perk for clients to have a say in a product they are investing their hard-earned money in, and that’s part of the 10-year workmanship warranty they enjoy with a Grill Wraps cover, right down to the color of their choice to match their aesthetic.
Soon Donohue introduce yet another new cover he’s been working on for the past few years. Keep an eye out for bicycle covers for bikes hitched onto the back of cars. It has been a challenge trying to find a durable material for road travel, as well as finding the right dimensions for a cover that won’t obscure a car’s tail-lights. That project is nearing completion and the bike covers will soon be available for purchase.
What customers get when they purchase a cover from Grill Wraps or Cove Point Covers is far more than a piece of fabric to drape over something. Donohue remembers one customer who purchased a custom-yellow cover, and 15 years later needed it repaired. They replaced it, custom-yellow and all. He says, “Sometimes we’ll get a customer who returns to us later with a need for their commercial business, or sometimes we’ll have repeat customers asking us to replace covers we made even 15 or 16 years ago.” This is the kind of customer service that keeps people coming back.
Every Grill Wraps cover is designed from start to finish with the client’s wants and needs in mind. It is easy to see why these are such popular gifts for the dads, guy pals, and chefs in one’s life. From outdoor kitchens, smokers, and BGEs (Big Green Eggs) to outdoor saunas, there is nothing they can’t cover. Sometimes that involves a little bit of imagination, but innovation is in Donohue’s blood. “I like a challenge,” he says, and that couldn’t be more true. Cove Point Covers and Grill Wraps really do have it all covered.
- Posted by Sitka Creations
- On May 3, 2019