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Local business expands from pallets to pellets

— The pellets, so far, sell in 25 to 30 different stores, including General Trading Company in Plattsburgh and Oscar’s smokehouse in Warrensburg along with other gift shops, grocery and convenience stores, butcher shops and smokehouses, hardware stores, sporting goods stores, drug stores, farm stands and more. Right now, they’re trying to increase their sales revenue by adding more stores.

“It’s a challenge,” Lemza said. “It’s a challenge for small guys like us: tiny, little, family ma and pa businesses to get into those larger retail outlets.”

Also to help them grow, AGP hopes to incorporate new flavors in order to appeal to more markets. Currently, the company is trying to incorporate an apple-hickory flavor and, if they can find a vendor, a grape flavor as well.

“It’s fun to experiment with new flavors and new techniques,” Lemza said.

AGP currently works with Curtis Hemm, former dean of the New York Culinary Institute who trained at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, to create different types of recipes with the pellets, trying to get ahead of the other national chains that sell wood chips for grilling.

Today, smoking is becoming a new trend in the U.S., Lemza said, and it’s spreading throughout the country. Unlike wood chips that can be a hassle to work with, Colleen Lemza said the pellets are easier to use, healthier for flavoring than various sauces and makes the food taste better.

“The real fruit adds a more intense flavor infusion than just plain wood,” Colleen Lemza said. “It adds more angles and opportunities for grillers to get flavor.

“It’s easy, and it’s fun.”

If anyone would like to know more about AGP or order pellets online, visit their website adkgrillingpellets.com/.

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