BR mom makes $700K from invention
BATON ROUGE (FOX44) — Have you ever come home after a long day's work and wished you could just snap your fingers and have a meal ready for you?
One Baton Rouge entrepreneur is making that possible, thanks to an original invention.
We've all had one at some point- an idea for something that we think would make a great invention.
"The idea came to me about 5 years ago and i kind of just hung on to it, improved it."
For most of us it just stays an idea, but for Gaye Sandoz it has become a reality.
"I invented it when I was a single mom. We didn't have a grill so I wanted to create something that i could barbeque in the microwave without any mess."
Behold the Clever Kitchen Chicken Roaster.
"I just wanted to help people in the kitchen. Single women, older ladies, single busy families and regular busy families because they don't have time to cook healthy meals."
A product developed right here in Baton Rouge that is revolutionizing the way people cook across the country.
"A lot of people don't know how to cook anymore. It's kind of sad and it's not good. It's good that a crowd of people that's normally microwaves TV dinners is starting to experiment with cooking their own dinners and will use the microwave for that," says John Jewell, Sandoz's son and business assistant.
The product is beautifully simple- just put your chicken in the roaster, pop it in the microwave, and within minutes you've got a fully cooked meal.
The roaster can also be used to cook side dishes, desserts, and just about any other type of meat.
Sandoz has taken her invention to one of the most well-known platforms.
"I knew I wanted to put this product on QVC so I just made up my mind one day that that was what I was going to do and I didn't stop until it was on."
So far business is booming.
"We've sold 43,000 sets, or 86,000 roasters. That's a lot of roasters."
The Clever Kitchen Chicken Roaster was an instant hit- selling out on it's very first appearance.
"I definitely had a very good idea that it would be a very good seller on QVC. Not quite so fast. I never thought it would be this quick that it would grow."
So far Sandoz has made seven appearances on the shopping network, four of them just last week.
"It's pretty crazy. She's becoming a little celebrity. I can turn on the television and my mom's on there now so it's pretty surreal," adds Jewell.
Which translates to big money for a small business.
"Our sales are $700,000 from January so really we're- for a small business that's very good sales."
In fact, the sales are keeping the family busy.
"The number on the box is our home number so it's continuously ringing all day."
The family says that it's been a long road to get to this point, something aspiring entrepreneurs need to keep in mind.
"It's hard work and it's about planning and being informed but it's about being adventurous as well."
But when all the ingredients come together, it is possible to create a clever kitchen invention.
"I feel really blessed. You know it's good fortune. I'm just very excited about it."
Since her appearances on the show, the chicken roaster has become a top seller on QVC.com. As a result, Sandoz is getting ready to launch an entire line of brand new Clever Kitchen products in the fall.
The Clever Kitchen Microwave BBQ Chicken Roaster is available on these websites: