For some strange reason a flyer for stoves and fireplaces came mixed in with Sunday’s paper from a place here called Firehouse Casual Living, I don’t know about you but nothing makes me think of buying a fireplace like 100F degree days. Days where I find myself lovingly patting my A/C units purring away in the backyard whenever I pass them. Anyway Firehouse is the kind of store where you buy outdoor kitchens and patio furniture that cost about the same as a decent car, high quality brands you don’t find at Home Depot or Lowes. One of these brands happens to be Canadian made Napoleon BBQ’s and fireplaces, a company based in Barrie, Ontario which has been around for over 30 years. The parent company, Wolf Steel is the largest privately owned manufacturer of quality stoves and grills in North America with 400 employees and a half million square feet of manufacturing space.
Ok, I’m getting to my point, in the flyer they proudly state that Napoleon products are made in “North America”, huh? what does that even mean? There are 23 countries that I know of that make up North America unless you include Santa’s workshop at the North Pole so they could technically be made in any one of these. Then I thought maybe the plant is floating constantly around the perimeter of the continent but Barrie is still on the banks of Lake Simco, definitely not in heading for Greenland or the Caribbean. Well maybe Ontario succeeded from Canada without me knowing and is some kind of NAFTA zone with rainbows and flying unicorns now but no that wasn’t it either. Why can’t they just say “Made in Canada” and stick one of those little round stickers with the maple leaf on it?
So all sarcasm aside I know that its likely just a marketing decision, a finessing of the facts to appeal more to American customers perhaps. Most people would probably roll their eyes at me and tell me to get a life but this is coming from a guy who will assault a total stranger at a hardware store by saying with pride that the stack of 2×4’s I’m admiring is from New Brunswick. “Yep, see that Irving stamp? That wood is from where I’m from”. I say this like I either personally knew the tree from a sapling or am an adopted son of the Irving family. In the end it doesn’t matter that much, anything made here is better than the garbage that comes from China and I’d be happy with either a Napoleon or Weber BBQ if you’re thinking about buying me one.