April 7, 2016 • Chantel W.
Nestled in the woods off Old 95 lies one of North Idaho’s premier manufacturers, Kuma Stoves. Powerful, efficient, 100% American made wood stoves, oil stoves and pellet grills are manufactured right in Rathdrum.
In 1981, Mark Freeman was driving heavy equipment and his wife, Lynnette, was saving pennies to pay for necessities. He knew something had to give. As he was installing a fireplace insert for his cousin, Mark noticed some changes he would make to improve it. He thought he could build a business on those changes; so, on a 105 degree July day in Central California, Kuma Stoves was born.
Most of the initial stoves were built for family members. Mark worked out of the bed of his 1977 Chevy pickup truck, adding a tarp that stretched to his house on rainy days.
Mark says his faith, prayer and integrity helped him create the family run business that operates year round without seasonal layoffs. In 1994 Mark and Lynnette moved the family and business to Idaho, deciding it was a great place to live, work, and raise his family. Now Kuma is a thriving business exceeding all EPA standards. Kuma has a commitment to products being made in the USA and sourcing US materials.
One of those products is being featured at TECH DAY 2016 as our model: The Platinum SE Pellet Grill. In 2013, Mark again decided to take on another product: the pellet grill.
First, he designed his pellet grill to hold the pellets in the back of the grill rather than in a side hopper giving it the appearance of a traditional grill. Second, he wanted it to get hot even on cold days. He engineered a pellet dump and a quick grill system to allow for high-temp searing. A double wall design allows for smoking, BBQ, and grilling in any weather. These changes amongst others led to the Platinum SE Pellet Grill.
You can check out this high end, robust, American-manufactured grill at kumastoves.com. You can also see it in action at TECH DAY 2016, the region’s premier manufacturing conference. Kuma Stoves’ award winning grill masters will be onsite showcasing their product. The Quest team will be using the grill as a platform to show how regional manufacturing can leverage technology to become a national seller. Come see Quest and Kuma turning up the heat at TECH DAY 2016.