March 25, 2023

Two University of Guelph students are not only balancing their studies — they are also balancing their own business.

Mike Sutton and Matt McCoy are the two behind Canadian BBQ Boys. They recently appeared on an episode of Dragons’ Den, which can be seen here on CBC.

Matt McCoy and Mike Sutton on Dragon’s Den. Photo provided by Sutton.

Sutton and McCoy began their business in 2015 while in high school. Sutton’s parents had hired someone to clean their barbecue, but felt that they were overcharged for the service they received. This gave Sutton and McCoy an idea.

“It just so happened we both love grilling and both love the grilling season, so the pieces were there. We put it together,” McCoy said. “We officially started during the first summer of university after we finished exams. We put together the business plan and taught ourselves about barbecues online, how they work and how we should come up with a process to clean them.

“We would knock on doors in the evenings to fill the following day with business. We would then do the service of cleaning the barbecues all day, then knock on doors at night again,” McCoy said.

Although grilling season is in the summer, that doesn’t mean they take a break throughout the school year.

“We are constantly working on the business to prepare for the season. We just launched our online parts store and we are looking at expanding our business by recruiting more employees,” Sutton said. “We are currently in full-time studies and we dedicate our day to our business. And then, once five o’clock hits, we dedicate that to doing our homework,” Sutton explained.

Mike Sutton and Matt McCoy pictured at their viewing party. Photo provided by Sutton.

Their episode on Dragons’ Den aired on Jan. 10. The pair hosted a viewing party at the University of Guelph the night of the episode and they were eager to share the news with everyone.

“We had about 100 of our friends, family, colleagues and customers attend,” Sutton said.

“Yeah, it was cool,” McCoy added with a smile.

Individuals interested in Canadian BBQ Boys’ service or those looking for a summer job can reach Sutton and McCoy on their website, Facebook and Instagram.

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