About the Company
Founded in 2012, GoBQ Grills is an Illinois LLC based in Chicago. Units are assembled and fulfilled in Nashville, Tennessee. We ship directly to outdoor grilling enthusiasts worldwide, and continue to grow our company and expand our line of portable grills and accessories. So if you’d like to be a GoBQ-er too, click here to order yours today!
Ever feel shackled to your backyard, or limited to grilling a few steps from your car because traditional grills — even the “portable” ones — are just too bulky and heavy to take with you? We did too.
It all began in 2002 when Eric Goeken — a young broke college punk without a car — wanted to tailgate with his buddies before the game. But lugging a bulky, heavy grill across campus on foot or by bike was out of the question. And even if… what do you do with the grill when you’re ready to go to the game? An idea was born. Invent a truly mobile grill that folds up, can fit in a backpack, and when you’re done you can just bring it right into the game with you!
Fast forward 12 years, an architecture degree, a patent, a bunch of prototypes and a successful crowdfunding campaign later: Today Eric’s a 30-something hipster without a car (he drives a truck though) — and he and his business partner Todd Zaroban have developed that idea into an amazing product that grilling fans are clamoring over… the GoBQ Grill. It’s the ultimate outcome — merging three of their favorite things — friends, food and the outdoors!
Keep me posted!
It Goes Where You Go
Meet the Founders
Eric GoekenCo-Founder/Chief Product Designer
AKA: The man behind the grill – Eric's inventive skills are matched only by his passion for grilling, green architecture and sustainable design. Since he was first allowed to wield a hammer and nails as a young'n, Eric has been building stuff — furniture, robots, you name it. Care to know how to build a graphene supercapacitor? Subscribe to Eric’s YouTube channel, and you might just be lucky enough to find out. If you could care less about graphene supercapacitors, be sure to check out his most ingenious method of cutting a grapefruit.
In his professional life, Eric spent eight years at an architectural firm, where he helped design commercial properties including the Peninsula Players Theater in Door County, Wisconsin, and Regents Hall at St. Olaf College. He hails from Omaha, Nebraska, and has an architecture degree from Iowa State University.
Though Eric has devised a number of brilliant inventions, the GoBQ is his pride and joy — and he can’t wait to share his passion with other grilling enthusiasts.
Todd ZarobanCo-Founder/CEO/Marketing Director
Todd is the branding/design/business guy, and keeps Eric in line and focused on one invention at a time, which is no small task.
He’s a proven entrepreneur, having run his own successful graphic design and web development firm for the past 20 years. He has served as brand consultant, web developer and visual communications designer for such major brands as Bayer, McDonalds, Hefty and AstraZeneca.
He too is a grilling junkie, and happens to make the best BBQ pulled pork in all of the land. Todd is also from Nebraska, and has a BFA degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He currently lives in Chicago with his lovely wife Stefany, ornery son Zander, and adorable baby daughter Zoey.