Ten years ago I bought a Napoleon gas barbeque, made in Ontario. It was $1200 at a time when you could buy a competitive unit made in China for about $300. But I had grown tired of seeing my BBQ’s disintegrate every 5 years, much of it my fault since I am very negligent in their care, storage, and maintenance (I leave the BBQ out year-round, uncovered).

Despite the abuse, the Napoleon has performed faultlessly all these years; even the manual ignition lighter still works! I’ve never even had to clean out spider webs from the gas venturies (I had one BBQ catch fire years ago – a pretty scary experience). And it still looks good! No rust, the hinges work, the thermometer works, the rotisserie works, the wheels turn, etc.

Two days ago we had a severe rain and wind storm. It not only knocked out power for seven hours, it also sent a huge dead branch tumbling onto one of the BBQ’s Corian shelves, shattering it.

This morning I called the dealer, Joey BBQ Service, to see if there were possibly a replacement part available. The service manager wasn’t hopeful, as the unit is 10 years old and hasn’t used that type of shelf in years. He did give me the 1-800 number for Napoleon’s Customer Service. I was able to reach a live person after only a couple of quick menu choices. After giving him the serial number, he scanned his computer and announced that there were six replacement shelves still in stock. $72 plus 10 bucks freight, delivered within a week from Toronto!

That’s why you support local manufacturers! Try getting that from some plant in China.

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