A Heart Surgeon Walks into a Barbecue Store

doctor in surgical mask

Sounds like the start of a corny joke, right? Well, it’s not. It’s a true story that happened right here at Sobie’s. So, yes, a heart surgeon really did walk into our store, along with his house manager. The good doctor was looking for a new barbecue in the $500 range.

Budget is very important of course, but we also know an assessment is needed before a diagnosis is made. Other factors, like preferred cooking style, number of people, and fuel type should be discussed and taken into consideration before spending any amount of your hard-earned dollars. And so our staff member (Febian) asked the doctor a few questions:

Febian: “When do you typically use the barbecue?”

Doc: “At family get-togethers and parties.”

“How many people do you generally feed at the parties?”

“A lot.” The house manager smiled knowingly.

Turned out the doc likes to host large groups and grilling food is a big part of the enjoyment for him. We also discovered that his specialty is grilled steak, chops and chicken. He’s not a low and slow smoker type, preferring instead instant searing heat.

One thing led to another and he ended up purchasing a top-end TEC infrared barbecue, worth about 10 times more than his original budget range. The house manager’s smile broadened and she nodded her assent.

That sale took place about four years ago. We didn’t hear from the heart surgeon again (which means all’s well), until recently. He came back to our store and Febian said:

“Hi doc, how’s the TEC?”

Doc: “You remember me?”

“Of course,” Febian answered. “It’s not every day that a customer comes in to buy a barbecue worth a few hundred, and ends up with one worth a few thousand.”

The doc laughed (not only does he have a house manager, we discovered that he has a good sense of humour too). Doc said the TEC was just fine, although a bit dirty from all the use; he was in the store to buy some accessories in preparation for a welcome home party for his son.

Febian asked if the TEC had been cleaned at all over the last four years, to which the doc replied “no.” Because our staff is trained to know the idiosyncrasies of every make and model of barbecue we sell, Febian could guess that the doc’s burners were likely not working at full capacity. While infrared burners incinerate just about everything that comes into contact with them, over time food debris builds up inside the tiny perforations that make up the ceramic burners.

Febian asked, “When is your party?”

Doc: “Tomorrow.”

Febian: “I’d like to pop over with my toolbox to give it a complimentary check before your party. I can do it around 6:30pm, after we close the store”

So pleased and taken aback was the surgeon, his heart nearly skipped a beat. [Okay, I made that up, but I needed to slip in the corny joke before the story ends.]

Moral of the story: We know we’re not the only barbecue retailer in town. But we are the most appreciative. We love our customers and we show it. Thanks for your ongoing support!

If you enjoyed reading this story, click here to read the one about how we pulled out all the stops to fix a  broken knob. 

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