The Man Behind the Melt

You may know it as “the blue stuff” or “the boxed one.” Eco-melt is one of our best selling ice melters because it’s effective; it’s convenient to store; it’s safe for concrete, lawns, and pets; and it doesn’t stain. But it’s also our favorite ice melt to sell here at the store, because it’s made in Garland, Utah by Pat Cannon, the nicest guy ever.

We sell Eco-melt as fast as Pat can make it. Winter after winter, he makes and delivers it to 4th South Ace Hardware, working furiously to keep us in stock. In spite of the long drive, Pat always delivers with a smile. And when storms hit, he makes the long drive in some of the worst weather conditions, just to keep his word. Thanks to our customer loyalty to the brand, we keep Pat very busy!

Pat’s father started making Eco-melt 20-odd years ago, by experimenting in the kitchen at night, after work. Working at a chemical company, in the eighties he saw a growing demand for blended ice melting products that were more eco-friendly than straight salt. Pat remembers his dad filling up cookie sheets with ice and spreading various blends on the trays until he perfected his formula. Pat was in high school when his dad left the chem company and struck out on his own. Pat worked for him through college and then took over the business from there.

“I ‘ve been unemployed for 20 years. I don’t know what it’s like to work for anyone else,” Pat joked. “I’ve stayed small. I think it’s best to provide a really good product, and keep my family in tact.”

Because Eco-melt is such a great product, Pat has received many offers over the years for backing or money for his formula, but he has always shied away. Twelve years ago when a drought spread through the western region, it became tough to make it on just ice-melt. Pat bought a little sprayer and developed his own fertilizer blend called Eco-turf. Once again, Pat’s superior product led to success. He landed contracts for the local school district and some churches, in addition to his residential business. “I tried to keep it small” maintains Pat. But he stays busy year round in Garland, mixing chemicals, and maintaining his 10-acre horse farm with wife Angie and their three children.

I love to recommend Eco-melt, not just because of Pat, but because it works. When I spread it on the ice chunks that build up on my driveway, it literally makes loud cracking noises while it eats through the ice. As opposed to salt, the magnesium chloride (what makes it blue) forms a slushy layer between the ice and the concrete, so it works to melt the ice, but doesn’t do any damage to my already deteriorated driveway, or run off into my flowerbeds and destroy my soil.

If you haven’t tried it yet, stop in and pick up a 50lb box of Eco-melt for $13.99 and help support guys like Pat, who make it a pleasure to carry local vendors at Ace.

by Heidi Grieser

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