In March 2016 Space Grill founder Ryan Martin and business partner Marcus Bechara were flat out setting up for the Sydney Home show in Homebush.
Ryan had also entered the 2016 Good Design award out to see how Space Grill would match against other products in the BBQ space.
He remembers dropping off a Space Grill unit to the International passenger terminal at circular quay in Sydney and not expecting too much from the outcome. He and Marcus worked flat out over that weekend at Homebush which meant they missed the Good Design awards ceremony gala night.
After packing up from the Home Show they returned to Circular quay to pick up the unit late on Sunday night.
Ryan picks up the story “When we arrived there was a guy from a design company who had about ten entries in other categories, he asked what are you here to pick up, we said Space Grill, he replied Oh wow well done you guys won the gold medal in your category it’s a big deal and a great achievement”
Ryan and Marcus were surprised and happy at winning the award but didn’t think too much of it.
When they reflected on the achievement it gave the pair great encouragement that the design resonated with the judges and they were motivated to keep on thinking about ways to improve the Space Grill product.
This put Space Grill on the global map in the area of innovate design and what followed was distribution deals in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
In Australia Space Grill increased its exposure with a Foxtel campaign, had a spell on the shopping channel TVSN and Ryan appeared with the late Jono Coleman on the Channel 10 morning show, the product gained momentum.
Ryan in the middle of Channel10’s Rozz Switzer (Left) & Jono Coleman (Right)
For Ryan he quickly discovered that people were rapt Space Grill, an Australian designed product, was solving a problem they had, of providing a full size BBQ that was fully functional in a limited space area. There was not a BBQ back then or now that fills that gap.
Space Grill is not just a product, it has a cult like following amongst its customers as they feel really connected to Ryan who treats them as family.
“I listen to the people who love our product because I learn what they are looking for and I get to adapt and change to what the market wants”
Ryan remembers one of the key Good Design award criteria caught his eye and resonated when it came to his motivation to invent Space Grill.
“The award aspirations stated they wanted to Increase the supply and demand for well-designed products, services, spaces, places and experiences among consumers and end-users of design.”
“That made total sense, for me winning the Good Design award underscored that we had a functional marketable product we could take further. It was the first major achievement for Space Grill and we are proud of it to this day.