Juicy cheeseburgers, crispy golden fries and sugary sweet donuts you get from restaurants might be delicious, but they share a dirty problem. That deliciousness comes at a cost: fat, oil and grease waste. Disposing of FOG waste, a byproduct of the food service industry, is difficult and creates problems for municipalities around the world, but Greasezilla, a small manufacturer in Fayette County has a solution. And with the help of the West Virginia Department of Economic Development and U.S.Commercial Service, this innovative company is expanding to international markets.
Turning a nasty problem into a profitable solution
Many communities have grease disposal programs, but collecting and getting rid of FOG waste is dirty and expensive. Greasezilla’s system of processing FOG waste provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution.
Greasezilla’s system is simple to operate and works without chemical additives. The process prevents grease from ending up in landfills, where it breaks down into methane. It does this by returning water in FOG waste to a mostly purified state, which leaves behind brown grease, a rich biofuel that can be used as a maritime fuel or biodiesel feedstock and sold on the commodities exchange.
A unique feature of Greasezilla is that the system generates its own energy to break down and separate grease from the water. BillHambley, Director of Business Development for Greasezilla, says this means the system is carbon negative. No fossil fuels are burned in the process.
With such an innovative product and efforts to minimize manufacturing’s effect on the environment, it’s no surprise Greasezilla is generating buzz and receiving inquiries from all over the world.
Exporting an innovative product requires help
Doing business with municipalities can be a slow process. So, Greasezilla started looking for ways to streamline its international sales strategy, identify countries with the best opportunities and start meeting the right buyers. That’s why the company connected with the West Virginia Department of Economic Development to learn more about programs and services that help small businesses export goods and services.
After talking with the West Virginia Department of Economic Development’s export experts, Greasezilla became the first company to sign up for the WV RAISE Initiative. This pilot program uses the U.S. Commercial Service Rural Export Center, which provides comprehensive and customized market research so companies can better define their international opportunities for a specific product.
Greasezilla also got help from the U.S. Commercial Service assessing market potential and identifying prospective distributors and buyers in several key countries. The company’s objective is to find partners to purchase and operate the system and learn the technical aspects so they can act as a distributor and extension of the company in that country or region. When international travel resumes, the company hopes to have one-on-one meetings with these individuals soon.
With the help of the West Virginia Department of Economic Development and U.S. Commercial Service, Bill said Greasezilla has gained clarity on their export objectives and on the way to finding international partners. He said Greasezilla also intends to apply for STEP grant funding to improve and market their website.
If he could do anything different, he said he would have reached out sooner.
“I wish we started using the services of the U.S. Commercial Service and West Virginia Department of Economic Development sooner,” he said. “They have been so helpful and it kind of feels like we’re in this together.”
If you’re reading this and thinking about exporting your product but aren’t sure how to start, Bill has some advice for you.
“There is a market out there for your product and there are people willing to help you,” he said.
The West Virginia Department of Economic Development is here to help you find export success. Contact a member of our friendly and knowledgeable staff today.