A custom Yoder Smokers trailer is at the heart of Paul Hartman’s business and community life.
Emblazoned with the American Family Insurance logo and phrase “This is my dream, what’s your dream?,” he uses it to promote his emerging insurance agency and provide a perk for clients. At times, he even parks it outside his office building to serve as a sign.
When he is not working, Paul hauls the Cimarron smoker trailer to community and church events, cooking barbecue meals to support local organizations and residents.
He considers it the perfect partner for achieving his personal and professional goals.
“I have a serving heart,” he said, “and in my opinion there’s no better way to serve people than with good food, and there’s no better food than barbecue.”
It’s no accident that Paul’s trailer is so versatile. With a breadth of experience in the insurance industry and as a backyard pit master, he sat down in June and wrote a business plan that included using a Yoder Smokers pit to build brand awareness through community involvement.
A few months later – on the Friday before Labor Day – Paul made the 816-mile trip from his home in Neenah, WI, to the Yoder Smokers plant to pick up his custom Cimarron along with a matching YS640s pellet grill on a comp cart. Both the Cimarron and the YS640s are painted white with American Family Insurance graphics.
He drove away from the plant about 3:30 p.m. that Friday and set to work.
The following Monday, Paul pulled his trailer in the annual Labor Day parade. The next weekend, he competed with it in his church’s fourth annual Holy Smokes BBQ competition – using the contest as a vehicle to raise $3,450 for organizations that help cancer patients and their families in honor of his friend Donovan – an 11-year-old battling kidney cancer.
In mid-October, Paul held a grand opening reception at his new agency, structuring the event around his custom trailer. The Cimarron managed 20 pork butts and three large batches each of cowboy beans and Mac N’ Cheese like a champ, but with an estimated 2,000 people in attendance, the barbecue spread didn’t last long.
“The food was just unbelievable,” Paul said. “There’s a photo of a kid savoring a pulled pork sandwich that stretches clear across his face. That says it all.”
He recently brought along his trailer when meeting with a commercial client providing affordable rentals to residents – many of whom could benefit from renter’s insurance through Paul’s agency. The Cimarron provided the jumping-off point Paul needed to engage the client and establish a partnership.
In-between large events, Paul uses his Cimarron and YS640s to cook for shelters, his church, clients and other families. He’s organizing a huge barbecue for the Fourth of July as a “thank you” to clients and their families.
He feels good about choosing Yoder Smokers pits to represent him as a businessman and community supporter. Not only because of the quality of the food, but because the Kansas-based company values altruism.
“Nobody else can custom design a smoker like that to fit my dream,” he said. “The quality is second to none, and the workmanship is impeccable. And you guys have your own dream. It’s evident in your culture. Our business models of serving people are in line with each other.”