Celebrating 40 Years!
In 2020 we are celebrating forty years of building handmade BBQ smokers and grills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Watch our anniversary video for the timeline of our history from 1980 to 2020.
Forty years ago, before the age of cell phones and PCs, in a small welding shop on a Lancaster County farm, the legendary work of a simple Amish craftsman was just beginning.
While corporations were pushing production limits with industrial robots, Ivan Stoltzfus was busy serving local farmers in the quiet countryside of New Holland, PA.
With an outgoing personality, an inventive mind, and years of experience in metal working, Ivan enjoyed few things more than repairing equipment and designing new products in his shop on the home farm.
When a customer asked Ivan to build a pig roaster, he designed and built the cooker in his custom welding shop. The happy customer spread the word, and before long, pig roaster sales became a substantial part of the business.
Original Meadow Creek Welding Shop
Inside the original Meadow Creek Welding shop
Early model of Meadow Creek Pig Roaster
Cooking on PR series roasters in the early days
Early model of 3-pit "chicken cooker"
Cooking for an event at our current location
Timeline of Meadow Creek Welding
- In the late 80s Ivan developed the “chicken cookers,” a line of charcoal pits with pivoting “sandwich” grates, designed to simplify grilled chicken fundraisers.
- By the early 90s, Ivan’s sons had joined him in the shop, including Melvin, who now worked in the shop full time.
- In 1997 Melvin purchased the family business, and by 1998 we had outgrown the shop on the farm. We purchased a nearby property and built a 5,000 square foot shop. We still did some contract fabricating, but our main business was barbecue equipment.
- In 2000 we added a 50x50 warehouse, and in 2002 we built another 50x50 addition and installed our first dedicated paint room.
- In 2005 we introduced our reverse-flow tank smoker series and by 2007 we were building four sizes of tank smokers.
- Around 2006 we added stainless steel sinks to our product line.
- In 2007 we opened a separate retail store named Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply. By then we were exclusively building barbecue equipment and selling through dealers.
- In 2011 we added new office and lunchroom areas and turned the old office area into shop space.
- In 2013 we developed the BX50, the first smoker in our box smoker series, and it sold more than any other Meadow Creek cooker did in its first year. Within three years, we added two more sizes.
- By the busy season of 2014, we were crowded again and struggling to keep up with orders. Instead of expanding our building, we implemented a new workflow based on lean manufacturing principles and improved our production capacity by 30% with room to expand.
Today we offer a full line of barbecue smokers and grills for barbecue enthusiasts, caterers, fundraisers, and competitors. Melvin’s brother Ivan J is a partner in the business, and we have a dozen people working here.
In 2020 the Stoltzfus brothers and the Meadow Creek team celebrate forty years of building handmade smokers and grills in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Although Dad is no longer with us, we are still motivated by the same values that built our company in the early days.
We still believe it takes more than raw steel and cool machines to build a BBQ grill or smoker. Every piece of Meadow Creek equipment is handcrafted in a culture of integrity—a rich tradition that values honesty, skill, kindness, diligence, and efficiency.
Our team loves what they do and works hard to give our customers more than their money's worth. Serving the barbecue community is a privilege, and we thank each of our customers and supporters for making our work possible.
Join our community of customers who are cranking out exceptional barbecue on rugged American-made smokers and grills by a brand that has stood the test of time: