"A Century of Charcoal"
Crace Family has been involved in charcoal manufacturing for four
generations, spanning nearly 100 years.
Rawlins - In the early 1900's our great-grandfather was known
to his fellow Southern Ohio residents as the community collier.
A collier was an individual who burned charcoal. It was common in
those days for farmers to cut and clear trees in developing their
land. This wood would be stacked or placed in pits for burning into
charcoal. This process was an art form, inexperienced burners would
return to just a pile of ashes. Jess, the foremost authority on
the subject, would make his rounds lighting and burning various
farmer's piles. After several weeks of inspection and cooling, the
farmers could sell the charcoal to local markets as a cash crop.
Crace - In the late 1930's Roland took a different approach.
He combined efforts with a local Ohio brick kiln operator and made
charcoal by a production method. Stacking, setting and burning kilns
under controlled conditions allowed for year-round, scheduled productions
and the development of a local market. Roland also bought a small
operation in West Virginia that specialized in selling charcoal
for its carbon characteristics to steel/alloy mills.
and Joe Crace - In the early 1950's after running the West Virginia
plant, the brothers decided to expand. The backyard barbecue market,
combined with warm weather made Florida an obvious choice. For 15
years Pioneer Charcoal operated several plants in the southeast
enjoying a dominant market share. Then in 1970, Don and Joe started
Hickory Specialties. The company initially made liquid smoke flavor
but within several years, charcoal briqueting had also been added.
Over the next twenty years until it was sold in 1992 to Bob Evans
Farms, the company had developed many product lines and marketed
them to a worldwide customer base.
Crace Jr. and Sam Crace - In 1992 Cowboy Charcoal was formed
to specialize in NATURAL "LUMP" CHARCOAL. A state-of-the-art,
environmentally compatible, wood-retort plant was built in Albany,
KY. For nearly a decade we have marketed hardwood charcoal to a
wide range of industrial, foodservice, wholesale and retail accounts.
We have enjoyed a client base as wide ranging as Williams-Sonoma
Gourmet Cooking stores to the Brass Foundry Industry which appreciate
our product's ultra carbon characteristics. Following a history
of growth, new product lines are in development to serve the consumer