Allied Wireless Trio Joins Portable Kitchens Inc.

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2014 10:37 am  

Portable Kitchens Inc. of Little Rock, which makes PK Grills, said Tuesday that Jeff Humiston, Scott Moody, Brian Taylor and Martha James have joined its ownership group.

Humiston, Moody and Taylor were part of the executive team that started Allied Wireless in Little Rock in 2010. Allied sold to AT&T in 2013. At Allied, Humiston was general counsel, Moody was vice president of marketing and Taylor was COO and CFO.

Martha James is the sister of Portable Kitchens’ Chairman Paul James. Martha has helped run the company after James purchased the rights to the Portable Kitchens brand name and design from Char-Broil of Columbus, Georgia.

Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

In a news release, Paul James cited Humiston’s, Moody’s and Taylor’s experience on a national scale in product development, marketing, sales, finance and operations.

"I am proud of PK’s track record, and I believe we are poised for significant growth in the coming years," Paul James said. "I have been looking for the right partners to help grow PK for some time, and I believe the addition of Jeff Humiston, Scott Moody and Brian Taylor as owners of PK helps position us to realize the commercial promise of this well-loved product which I am so passionate about.  

"These guys are avid outdoorsmen and grilling enthusiasts who are passionate about PK, and they bring business experiences and core values that are very complementary to the PK team."

PK Grills began in the early 1950s, when Hilton Meigs of Beaumont, Texas, discovered that thick cast aluminum was lightweight, didn’t melt and didn’t rust and held heat better than steel. 

Meigs made grills with a simple venting system and found that his aluminum cookers could grill quickly and evenly or smoke meats slowly, depending on how the vents were used.

Paul and Martha James began selling the grills in 1998 through specialty companies like L.L. Bean Inc. of Freeport, Maine, and hardware stores such as Kraftco Hardware & Building Supply on Cantrell Road in Little Rock. The manufacturing process for the grills is spread across several states, including Arkansas.

"We use a recycled aluminum alloy which is melted down and poured by hand into our proprietary mold," Paul James said. "Then we grind and balance the edges and shape the vents to ensure a tight seal on every one. We pack and ship to customers all over the world from our location in Little Rock, Arkansas."

This year, the company plans new product line enhancements and increased distribution. It’s also launched a new website.



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