Alumnus' BBQ Tool Gaining Popularity

Peter Wachtel using his invention the STAKE

A creation of Industrial Design alumnus Peter Wachtel (CCAD 1990) seems to be becoming the “official BBQ tool of the summer.” Last year we reported his invention STAKE and his production of it via Quirky. Since then the STAKE has received a lot of publicity and is being sold through venues such as Target, Fab, and ThinkGeek.

Reviews for the product on the popular gadget site ThinkGeek range from "This. Changes. Everything," to "If Tony Stark ever grilled, this is what he would use."

“I am a big BBQ fan,” Wachtel said. “I was BBQing in the backyard and was amazed that I needed so many tools to cook—I had my spatula, tongs, a fork, a knife, and even a bottle opener. There was a different tool for every function. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to combine all of these needed tools into one multifunction tool that I could easily take anywhere.”

And so Wachtel created the STAKE. He began his design process by taking apart the tools he used while BBQing and creating a rough prototype. After some trial and error, he arrived at his final invention.

Wachtel has also been gaining publicity for his other invention, the Mercado bag, which was designed with farmers' markets in mind. It is made out of nylon mesh and canvas and has multiple compartments to protect fresh produce from being bruised during transport. The bag is also being sold on Quirky and Fab and has even been featured on the LA Times online blog.

Wachtel is the owner and president of Kid Toyology, which designs and develops items for the toy and entertainment industries.