About Endless Embers, L.L.C.

 
A Great Idea
     I admit, I thought I'd be the last person on earth who could build a fire and keep it going let alone be the Manager of a company, Endless Embers, which developed the KoalKeeper® a fireplace accessory tool that does just that. KoalKeeper® helps keep your fire going without having to restart from scratch.
     It all began about 10 years ago when I, a city slicker from Bridgeport, CT, married Paul Bunyan. OK, maybe not Bunyan but Paul Marley. Paul is an experienced outdoorsman who loves, values and respects nature. I have always felt that way too but let’s face it a walk through Beardsley Park and a 5 mile hike in Pisgah National Forest are two different things!
     Paul taught me how to build a fire in our woodstove to keep our small apartment toasty warm. One day Paul was out after leaving a cozy fire in the woodstove. It was up to me to keep the place warm all day. I failed miserably. I knew how to build a fire but I was never faced with having to keep it going. I resorted to using newspaper, which did not make for thick glowing coals. Needless to say, the flames didn’t last long. I was frustrated, on the verge of tears and cold!
     That’s how Paul found me when he returned. He then showed me his great idea. It was a device he made years ago that separated the hot coals from the ash so you could use the coals to restart a fire with new wood. It worked great but it was held together with duct tape and the handle was very wide. We now refer to this as “prototype 1”. I asked Paul to make me a shovel that I could use, one that had a smaller handle. We now call that version “prototype 2”.
     In a short time I mastered building and keeping a fire going all day long with ease, which came in very handy when I had two children to take care of. I thought of other friends who could use a
KoalKeeper® and so Endless Embers was born.
     I would like everyone, even non experienced fire builders, to be able to enjoy a toasty, warm fireplace, woodstove or campfire without worrying about keeping it going. If I can do it, you can do it.

~Karen Marley
     Managing Member,
     Endless Embers, L.L.C.
   
The Origins of KoalKeeper®

     The idea that became KoalKeeper® was conceived through years of experience with fire to fulfill a long-standing deficiency in the standard fireplace accessory set.
     In 1987 I was living in a small apartment that had supplemental wood heating. Using the woodstove deferred the costs of electricity and the feel of the stove heat was nicer than that of the “heat”pump. The stove would go for a couple days before the ash would have to be emptied. After removing the remains of the previous fire, it would have to be started again from scratch. As an Eagle Scout, fire starting is second nature. The hot embers that hide in the mounds of ash can be used to speed the restart process. Trying to salvage as many embers possible was always a challenge. Using the tongs or the shovel of the standard fireplace accessory set was a slow, inefficient and frustrating effort. Some sort of sifting devise was needed to separate the embers and ash.
     Galvanized wire mesh, a bent piece of steel rod and some duct tape comprised the elements of the first prototype sifter. The wire mesh was cut Prototype 1, built in 1987and folded into a crude shovel shape and the bent piece of steel rod was pushed down the handle into the scoop for structural support. The handle was wrapped with duct tape as a final touch.
     It worked exactly as planned. All but the smallest hot embers were recovered from the ash mound. Adding a little kindling and other wood resulted in a roaring fire with the entire procedure taking less than three minutes.
      The additional safety resulting from virtually no hot embers in the ash bucket was inadvertent but greatly appreciated.
      The new sifter enabled me to maintain a long lasting fire more easily and efficiently while having a higher level of safety. The fireplace tool set was now complete!
     Over the years the tool was improved a few times to give it a finished and professional look. The
KoalKeeper® Live Ember Recovery Tool is the culmination of that evolution.
     If you want to simplify the fire maintenance process we have the tool for you!

Paul Marley,
    Inventor


2005
     In June of 2005 Endless Embers, L.L.C. began a business relationship with the HY-C Company of St. Louis MO. HY-C Company will be responsible for the manufacture and sales of the KoalKeeper®. As a part of the HY-C product line, the KoalKeeper® will be available to more customers over a larger area and will remain a “Made in the USA” item. Endless Embers, L.L.C. will be an active consultant in the support and marketing of the KoalKeeper® Live Ember Recovery Tool.
      The HY-C Company’s customer base includes hardware, hearth, building material and roofing distributors, catalog houses, chimney sweeps, nuisance wildlife control operators and other equipment manufacturers. HY-C is a market leader in all the product lines that they manufacture. HY-C takes pride in the quality of our products and the breadth of selection within their product lines.

2010

Due to unreasonable production cost hikes and minimum order increases in China, along with the general lousy US economy HY-C has choosen to end our relationship. It was a great ride and they are wondferful folks but we are once again on our own in producing the KoalKeeper.

We are once again in production, right here in the Good 'ole US of A!! We are currently only making what we now call the "KoalKeeper Classic", the 18" original version. I was always of the opinion that if you are using a
KoalKeeper®, in the stove when you should be the longer handle shouldn't be nesessary because the fire has burnt down and is not hot enough to require a longer handle.

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