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Eli Manning Helps BBQGuys.com Expand Into South Florida Market

The e-commerce retailer recently opened a showroom in West Palm Beach.

Former NFL quarterback Eli Manning traded in the pigskin to become a pitchman to showcase BBQGuys.com’s newest showroom in West Palm Beach. As a brand ambassador and investor, Manning shared his backyard barbequing experience and why teaming up with BBQGuys.com was an easy choice for the Louisiana native. 

“They connected with our family being from Louisiana, and BBQGuys is about outdoor living and creating those great experiences outside, and we thought the Mannings would be a great fit for that,” he said. “We loved the idea of what they were doing, so we all invested in it.”

Along with being a brand ambassador and investor with Brand Velocity Group (BVG), the private equity firm that owns BBQGuys.com, Manning says that since installing a complete outdoor barbeque set at his home, the frequency of his barbequing has increased, along with his grilling skills. He was recently on hand to usher in the 8,000 square foot design center at 500 Palm St. in the Flamingo Park Historic District. 

The new showroom features a wide range of innovative outdoor kitchens and equipment. The products include premium-quality grills, smokers, fire pits, outdoor furniture, and lifestyle merchandise from various brand partners, including Teak + Table, a family-owned and operated luxury outdoor furniture business offering an array of outdoor furniture such as dining and seating sets, accent tables, and poolside lounge chairs. 

“This design center is very beautiful. BBQGuys redid my outdoor kitchen about three years ago, and I’m almost happy I didn’t come here first cause that would’ve been dangerous,” Manning jokingly said. “It would’ve cost me a lot more seeing all the options and everything here. And I think that’s the idea of why this is great for BBQGuys. Because it’s going to help the service pros, the designers, and customers coming here make the right choice when they’re redoing their backyard.”

Before launching its online platform, BBQGuys opened its first brick-and-mortar store in 1998. With over 25 years of industry experience in the outdoor living space, the West Palm Beach backyard design center is BBQGuys’ third physical design center in the U.S., with existing locations in Alpharetta, Georgia, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As the company looked for places to open its latest showroom, South Florida quickly became a desired destination. 

“Florida is our No. 1 state, so we knew where our customers were,” Russ Wheeler says, CEO of BBQGuys. “Palm Beach is an amazing anchor for that very high-end luxury customer, which we cater to, but all the other areas around it are great markets for us.” 

Russ Wheeler and Eli Manning

While the new showroom will offer South Florida homeowners, designers, and contractors a first-hand look at outdoor living space options, Wheeler said the company’s design centers will draw people beyond South Florida, including snowbirds and residents from nearby geographical areas like Naples and Central Florida. By offering a physical presence, BBQGuys.com understands that the most convenient way for customers to determine if a product suits their preferences is by seeing it in person. The center also offers a turnkey experience featuring completed backyards and complimentary 3D design services.

“Sometimes customers want to see, touch, and feel it, and because we have this experience, it’s really unique, and there’s nothing like it where you can see everything put in its right space,” Wheeler said. “The showroom is a fraction of what we have, but this helps visualize your backyard. There is no inventory [in the showroom]. You see it, order it, and send it home.”

Sadi Konz of BBQGuys.com

While the brotherly rivalry on the football field between Eli and Peyton Manning is over, with both retired from the NFL, as for who among the Manning family is the best griller, it’s not anyone who played in the NFL.

“My mother did all the grilling [growing up], so she takes control,” Eli said. 

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.