This isn't your typical napkin sketch story for a new product. More of a cocktail napkin sketch story.
It begins with a visit to a bar that specialized in making monster bloody mary cocktails, filled to the brim not just with a few olives or piece of celery but with a handful of snacks.
“The drink was messy and you couldn't get the food out without knocking something else out of the glass. You need a holder to present the cocktail properly,” said William Metropulos, a partner of Skewerthis LLC, which is bringing the plastic Skewdats brand cocktail skewers to the market. “The idea just clicked.”
That visit to a bar in September by Metropulos and his daughter, Olympia, in Crystal Lake, Ill., led to the rapid development of Skewdats, a multi-prong plastic holder with skewers that can fit into a glass or go on a tray.
Metropulos, a serial inventor and visionary, showed the concept to Rick Skaja, who owns mold maker R&D Components LLC of Cary, Ill., and they formed a partnership with two minority holders. Metropulos and his wife applied for patent and trademark protections.
Skewdats work equally well in a beverage glass or as a serving tray. Pre-loaded skewers can slide into the locking hub prior to service.
Skaja made steel prototype molds in October and produced some samples using ABS in November. For production, “we may use high-impact polystyrene,” Skaja said.
The first skewers will hit the market by late January.
In mid-November, Metropulos headed to Buffalo, N.Y., to show the Skewdats at a food and beverage event with Delaware North Cos. Inc., while Skaja went to Pomona, Calif., for the Nov. 11 western mold makers' trade fair of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
The partners received strong encouragement during a visit with Ken Ruff, vice president of national accounts on premises for distilled spirits manufacturer Beam Suntory Inc. of Deerfield, Ill.