From Good to Great on the Grill

When entrepreneurship is in your blood, you have a tendency to look at everyday products a little differently. That’s especially true for local inventor, designer, and Cleveland Institute of Art grad Tim Hayes. As CEO and founder of Cardboard Helicopter, a product design and innovation studio in Lakewood, Hayes and his team are always working on the next big idea for clients trying to break into the green and healthy living markets. Prior to striking out on his own, Hayes worked in product development for behemoths like Fisher Price, Craftstman, Procter & Gamble, and MTD.

Lucky for us, Hayes’ true passion lies in collaborating with local Northeast Ohio talent to create unique specialty products. And a few years ago, when Hayes was gifted a brand new grill from his father, an idea of his own struck. As a grilling enthusiast who loves making kebobs for his friends and family, Hayes took a second, more incredulous look at the traditional wooden skewer. While reasonably functional, Hayes just couldn’t let go of the idea that someone could make the staple barbecue tool better. So that’s exactly what he set out to do. Shortly after, the idea for his new stainless steel sliding skewers was born.

“The result is evenly cooked meats and veggies because the sturdy skewer keeps food secure while you rotate,” says Hayes. “And when you’re ready to serve, the skewers’ sliders glide the food directly to your serving dish.”

Grilling enthusiasts across the country can find the Cleveland invention at,, Home Depot (in stores and online),, and