You Do It Suet
The size and shape of the can may be different, but most of us have one tucked away in the corner of the fridge or freezer. Perhaps it’s behind last week’s meatloaf or the long-expired package of cream cheese. No matter the type of can, its purpose is the same: to slowly collect poured-off beef, pork and chicken grease from meal preparations. When the can is full, out it goes with the rest of the garbage. We know we’re doing the right thing in protecting the plumbing pipes from getting clogged up with all that grease, but did you know we could do better? Why not give all that waste to those who truly love and need it: the birds! Now you can make your own standard-sized suet cakes out of the recycled grease you collect with You Do It Suet.
Josiah and Desiree Cole are in the business of solving problems. Their company, ColeWebDev, has been creating websites and helping clients gain better online presence for ten years. For this husband-and-wife team, finding better ways of doing things doesn’t end at the mouse pad. “We’re always thinking about products,” Josiah states. Desiree adds, “So many ideas come to me while I’m in the shower.” The idea for You Do It Suet came in much the same way. A Google check showed that there was nothing like it on the market. Until You Do It Suet came along, one would need to save the grease in cans, melt it into cake tins, and let them firm up before cutting them into the proper size to fit into a suet cage. Now, their carnation-pink-colored silicone mold is sturdy enough to take the hot grease right out of the pan and not melt under the heat. It’s flexible enough to allow you to pop out the suet, and just the right size for the cage feeder.
Wild birds need the high-energy, all-fat content of suet to help them through the cold winter months when they need to burn many more calories to stay warm. Of course, there’s no reason why birds should feast on fat alone. As you collect the grease in the You Do It Suet mold, you can sprinkle in a wide variety of treats for the birds as well. Seeds, nuts, berries or oats mixed with the suet could make your backyard a winter favorite for the feathered set (you can visit youdoitsuet.com for recipe ideas). Just make sure you have a sturdy cage to hold it. Squirrels and raccoons, among others, will go after it like it was, well, made out of bacon. One way to deter those ravenous rascals is to add a dash or two of cayenne pepper. They don’t like it and the birds can’t taste it.
The process to bring this product to market has been a local one, complete with the usual challenges to overcome along the way. Finding the right silicone was one trial (Hint: it’s not the same stuff found in a tube of caulking). The Coles took their CAD (Computer Aided Design) file to engineering instructor Rick Bsharah at Cape Cod Community College. Bsharah created a plastic model with the college’s 3D printer. From there, the Coles found a machinist in Eastham to fabricate the aluminum mold from which to form the silicone. “That was a big day, that was an expensive step,” Josiah chuckles. They’ve been working with Cape Cod SCORE for the valuable assistance they offer in navigating the business world. Desiree points out, “We’re working with a retired patent attorney to help us through the process of getting a patent.”
It took almost a year before Josiah and Desiree, with able assistants Stella (9 years) and Sophia (7 years), landed You Do It Suet into stores across the Cape in early September of this year. “We wanted to build up an inventory and roll it out all at once,” Josiah says. One would think that owners of a website design firm would be all about online sales, but not the Coles. “We like having our product in local stores,” Desiree states, and Josiah is quick to add, “We’re getting a lot of great feedback from the stores which will help us improve the product.”
You Do It Suet can be found at such places as Agway of Chatham, Dennis and Orleans; Cape Cod Beer; and the Eastham Superette. A complete list of locations can be found on their website.
Is there anything more directly enjoyable when it comes to recycling? Sure, you feel good doing the right thing when dumping your plastic and paper into the appropriate bins. You may even have a little thrill smashing the glass bottles. However, it won’t compare to the hours and days of colorful backyard bird activity in an otherwise bleak winter landscape that’s in store when you hop to it and You Do It Suet.