From Competitor to Ally – How Joe Traeger Eventually Joined Dansons

From Competitor to Ally – How Joe Traeger Eventually Joined Dansons

PHOENIX - Louisiana Grills (Dansons, USA) announced last month that the original founder of the pellet grill, Joe Traeger, had joined the Thiessen family at Dansons to elevate the Louisiana Grills brand and product portfolio. In this partnership, Traeger will be developing new pellet grilling products alongside Louisiana Grills founder and pellet grill innovator, Dan Thiessen.

How did Traeger end up joining the company? According to Jeff Thiessen, president of Dansons (and son of CEO Dan Thiessen), the seeds of a working relationship began about 25 years ago when Dan and Joe (pictured) met as friendly competitors in the same industry.

About two months ago, Joe Traeger visited Dansons to talk about a charitable opportunity, and Dan Thiessen ended up giving a grill to Traeger as a donation for the charity. “Our heart has been in charitable giving, and on top of that my dad has the utmost respect for Joe Traeger,” said Jeff Thiessen. “From that conversation, Joe let us know that he wanted my dad to come see him next time he was in the area. My dad eventually went to see him and discovered that Joe had been working on some new product designs for about the last five years or so.”

As it turned out, Joe Traeger and his son, Brian, wanted to get back into the grill business and get those designs to market. “At that point, we knew we had to get together with them and join the families,” said Jeff. “We inked a deal for Joe and Brian to join our team. It came together after many years of knowing each other and we could not be more thrilled. It’s interesting how God works. We’re amazed that many years later, competitors can now be working together on a very friendly basis.”

Jeff Thiessen points out that Joe Traeger and Brian Traeger are no longer associated with Traeger Grills LLC. “Traeger grills is a completely separate company,” he says. “We are not associated with Traeger LLC. Joe Traeger, on the other hand, is the founder of the pellet grill business. That is a fact. He designed the first pellet grill, and to have the founder join our company is monumental. Next to Joe Traeger, my dad [Dan] is the longest standing person in the pellet grill business.” 

Joe Traeger will be in Product Development at Dansons, while Joe’s son and longtime pellet industry veteran, Brian Traeger, will be divisional sales manager. “By adding Joe and Brian to the Dansons organization, we see opportunity to reignite the industry with new innovations and exciting products,” said Dan Thiessen, CEO, Dansons. “As the industry founder, we feel Joe can bring unmatched expertise to our growing organization and we’re thrilled about the endless possibilities. No doubt this partnership was God putting us on a similar path; He prepared our hearts so we could work together – and enjoy it.”

Louisiana Grills (LG) will be at the National Hardware Show May 8-10, 2019, in Las Vegas. LG will be at booths 450 (inside) and 11735 (outside).


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