The groundwork for Dixie Grillworks was laid in 1999. Two friends, Harold and Mike, worked together at NorAM Inc. (www.noraminc.com), a manufacturing company owned by Harold. In 2005 they applied cutting-edge technology to ovens used in the powder coating industry. These ovens outperformed other brands, so there was a strong demand from the fabricating industry. Dixie Grillworks’ parent company, Reliant, was formed in response to this demand (www.reliantfinishingsystems.com). With hundreds of industrial ovens successfully in operation, the idea of launching a “lifestyle” company began to sound very appealing.
Both guys shared a big interest in the outdoors and outdoor cookery. Harold had previously been involved in the design and manufacture of equipment for special event barbeque preparation while his family operated a successful barbeque restaurant and catering service in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Mike's circle of friends included award-winning chefs, competition barbeque cooks, and outdoor enthusiasts who were especially interested in "expedition" cookery. Mike also took time to investigate local natural-flame cooking techniques while traveling in Belize, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Thailand (click here for pics of a variety of grills from around the world). Over the course of numerous camping, fishing, hunting and kayaking trips Harold and Mike compared notes on grilling methods, smoking techniques, and equipment design. With the help of Reliant’s staff, Mike built a few custom grilling tools for his own use. People found that they worked better than other products being offered commercially. Dixie Grillworks was formed!
Dixie Grillworks is operated from Reliant's offices at their Somerville, Alabama facility. Harold is still active in the operation of NorAM's production facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and enjoys fishing, camping and cooking out with the Dixie Grillworks crew.