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Utahn’s simple solution prevents food from getting soggy in cooler

(The Grommet, YouTube)

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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SPRINGVILLE — Have you ever dipped your hand into a cooler to grab food, only to find your treats submerged in a pool of icy water?

Bryan Kendrick decided to tackle the common problem, drawing up a new product idea on a napkin about a year and a half ago. His simple solution, The Cooler Tray, launched in May at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

“I came up with it because I’m an avid outdoorsman and I love hunting and camping and taking family out,” he said. “One of the worst things is when you open your cooler up and you reach in to grab a sandwich or grapes or something and things are floating around in dirty water. It’s kind of not fun — it’s kind of gross.”

The Cooler Tray is manufactured in Springville and has already found its way into grocery stores, hardware stores and sporting goods stores in Northern Utah, according to Kendrick. He said that after the National Hardware Show, where the cooler won an editor’s choice award from 50 Campfires, numerous retailers reached out to him to distribute the project, including a large retailer from Canada.

Kendrick described The Cooler Tray as a simple technology that solves a real-life problem. It lifts food and ice above the base of a cooler, leaving room for water to gather below.

“It basically serves as the base of your cooler and is adjustable to fit all different sizes and brands of coolers,” he said. “You just put it in the base of your cooler and you put your food and your ice in like normal. It keeps your food and ice and everything out of the water, so you don’t have a soggy wet mess of food to throw in the garbage or clean up and your ice lasts a lot longer.”

While not working on Ice-Olate, the company Kendrick created to sell The Cooler Tray and future related products, the entrepreneur runs his own consulting business to help other startup companies. He said he loves bettering businesses and decided he wanted to pursue one of his own ideas before he regretted it.

Kendrick said creating The Cooler Tray was a lot harder than he expected, but his wife and two sons supported him through the ups and downs.

“I love showing (my sons) that if you have an idea or a dream or you want to do something, you follow it all of the way through,” he said. “You don’t give up when you run into obstacles or things that are hard. It’s fun to see them help me and push me through and learn those lessons. That’s probably one of the most beneficial things of doing all of this.”

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