CULLODEN, Ga. — It might be in the 70s this week, but you know Old Man Winter is on his way back to Central Georgia. When that happens, you might want to have a fire and some snacks with the family.
Culloden native Trey Brown says as the temperature drops, his sales heat up.
"I think everybody tries to figure out why I'm doing what I'm doing," he said with a grin.
Well, the Army veteran and personal trainer always had a fire in his belly to work with wood.
"We grew up and my grandparents heated with wood and they were Depression-era survivors, so if a tree fell on our property, we were going to cut it up," he recalled.
Brown still works on that 90 acres in Culloden, but it's a far cry from just cutting down trees.
He has a big green machine that looks like a shipping container, but it's a kiln. It dries out the wood for hours, making it easier to light.
"Most people that have bought wood have bought green wood," he calculated. "This is easy to light. It burns well, there is no fungus or moisture. There's just nothing about it that's not better than regular firewood."
A stack comes with a higher price tag, but Brown had to fuel his dream with a bunch of Benjamins.
"With the kiln and the basket, it's well over $100,000. Then you have to have rotator forks...you've got to have some sort of table," he said.
The process has sparked a lot of interest, restaurants have ordered the cords for their chefs, and Tanyard Creek firewood is scrambling to make all the deliveries.
"500 cords a year… we'll probably do 1,000 in the next year," he projected.
He's basking in the warm glow of success, discovering he has a flair for the flames and finally making money on a job he's always loved.
Brown gets the logs from tree cutters and loggers -- he primarily uses hickory. Click here to see more about his business.