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My visit to Humphrey Charcoal in Brookville, PA

We are completing a long road trip and were on I-80 just East of Pitttsburgh today.  I planned a stop in Brookville at the Humphrey Charcoal headquarters to see about buying a few bags of their lump - didn't have room for too many due to the amount of stuff already in our car.

I stopped at their 'Humphrey Industries' building and asked about buying some lump.  The sales person I needed to speak with was at the warehouse.  She said to come down and she'd show me what was in stock since they had just been mostly cleaned out by a large commercial client.  The warehouse is huge but was mostly filled with bags of briquettes.  She did have some 5 pound bags of lump that they were probably going to throw out since they were dirty and not saleable.  She offered them to me for $2.25 per bag.  Their normal price for a 20 pound bag at the warehouse is $12.95.  The small bags were good for me since they would pack better in the car. I managed to take 10 bags but she still has some left.

They normally don't sell much from the warehouse, so make contact first if you intend to go there.  She said they get their lump from Ohio, Missouri, and Tennessee.  It comes in bulk trucks and they package it in Brookville.  They make briquets in Brookville also.

There are a few stores in Brookville that also sell their lump - Mikes Supermarket, ACE hardware, and Giant Eagle Grocery.  I didn't visit these to check prices.

I love the quality of their lump and have been very happy with the group purchases arranged by @cortguitarman

Barry Lancaster, PA

Comments

  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 974
    I had several 40 pound bags shipped to me several months ago - over 50% chips and dust.  Tried to contact them by phone and email several times, left several messages and never received a response back.  I will never buy any lump from them again. I know @cortquitarman loves it but my experience was horrible.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Rudderville, TN

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,055
    dlk7 said:
    I had several 40 pound bags shipped to me several months ago - over 50% chips and dust.  Tried to contact them by phone and email several times, left several messages and never received a response back.  I will never buy any lump from them again. I know @cortquitarman loves it but my experience was horrible.
    I have used over 40 20 pound bags of Humphreys and it always amazes me how large the pieces are and how little dust there is.  How were yours shipped?  We get it shipped to a trucking depot (3 pallets last time) and go pick it up in our own vehicles and bring it home.  Perhaps it was the shipping that caused your  problems?
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 974
    I've had hundreds of pounds of charcoal sent Fedex and UPS from at least 5 other charcoal companies and several of them were beat half to death with relatively little impact to size.  None of the boxes in this shipment were damaged and these bags seemed packed with the bottom of the barrel leftovers.  Even the lump in the middle of the bag was small, chips, or dust.  Pure crap and no response from Humphries.  If you can feel the bag at the store, then I would think you would be fine but I will never trust them to ship me decent lump.  Absolutely no customer service and obviously didn't want to hear about any problems.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Rudderville, TN

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,055
    I can't speak for why they didn't reply to your notes or phone calls.  All I know is that I am very happy with their product and how they treated me when I stopped by yesterday.  Every one of my bags has very large pieces - some of them look like tree limbs.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • Well, this stuff is essentially nature and hand-made so inconsistency between batches is to be expected. Of course shipping and handling can impact the quality of the product too.
    When I'm not Eggin', I'm scootin'   Eggin' and 'cueing from Temecula Ca; an hour from San Diego, an hour and five minutes from Palm Springs, and an hour and a half from Los Angeles (yeah, right. With THAT traffic?)
  • RRPRRP Posts: 12,841
    edited September 2013
    Shiff said:
    She said they get their lump from Ohio, Missouri, and Tennessee.  It comes in bulk trucks and they package it in Brookville.

    So they do not have a kiln there, but merely buy from other producers in other states and repackage it? Guess they have worked it out to be cost effective, but they are at the mercy of their suppliers for quality, species of wood etc, huh? Do get me wrong I just have had a different impression that most of those producers have their own kilns, packaging plants etc. Me learns something new every day!

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,055
    They have a kiln at their company in Ohio but their headquarters is in Pennsylvania. I heard that it is due to harder Pennsylvania laws about making charcoal.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • RRPRRP Posts: 12,841
    Thanks...that makes sense! I live in a state that if they could figure out a way to tax a wet dream they would do it...

  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 974
    Gogogordy said:
    Well, this stuff is essentially nature and hand-made so inconsistency between batches is to be expected. Of course shipping and handling can impact the quality of the product too.

    All 4 forty pound bags were crap - that's not inconsistancy.  Shipping and handling can impact the outer parts of the bag, but this was all small, chips, or dust.  Who ever loaded those bags knew it was horrible and didn't care.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Rudderville, TN

  • Good stuff, @Shiff. I haven't been egging as much lately so I still have a pretty good stock. I'll probably be ready off an order by winter. Also, since adding a Rutland to the egg, I just don't go through lump as fast.

    As for Humphrey quality, I've been pleased. I will agree that customer service is not the greatest in regard to getting calls returned. That was my initial experience. After ordering from Lee Humphrey a few times, he has been great. I also email him which seems to get better results than calling.

    @RRP PA has stupid environmental laws that don't allow charcoal production in PA. The Brookville plant is where the company began. They still are headquartered there but all production is done in Ohio.

    The last time we ordered we were able to get a price of $14 per bag. $2.00 shipping cost isn't bad. I'll stick with em.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • GogogordyGogogordy Posts: 258
    edited September 2013
    dlk7 said:
    Gogogordy said:
    Well, this stuff is essentially nature and hand-made so inconsistency between batches is to be expected. Of course shipping and handling can impact the quality of the product too.

    All 4 forty pound bags were crap - that's not inconsistancy.  Shipping and handling can impact the outer parts of the bag, but this was all small, chips, or dust.  Who ever loaded those bags knew it was horrible and didn't care.


    I never inferred that a 40 lb bag constituted a batch. 4 forty pounders likely still came from the same batch....
    When I'm not Eggin', I'm scootin'   Eggin' and 'cueing from Temecula Ca; an hour from San Diego, an hour and five minutes from Palm Springs, and an hour and a half from Los Angeles (yeah, right. With THAT traffic?)
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