We had the good fortune of connecting with Leroy Hite and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leroy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My junior year at Berry College, I participated in their new entrepreneurial program. I started a different firewood company, caught the entrepreneurial bug and saw a glimpse of what would later become my vision for Cutting Edge Firewood. I was hooked, but too scared to take a leap of faith.
I worked at Chick fil a for a year thinking about becoming an Owner Operator; I worked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car for 3 years; and then I got a good respectable corporate job in downtown Atlanta. Yet while working for others, I had this weird obsession about firewood. I couldn’t get it out of my head. My wife and I joked that when my old 1993 GEO Prizm with 266,000 miles on it broke down, I’d buy a truck and start a firewood business on the side. Two months into my corporate job, the faded red Prizm gave out and it was going to cost $5K to fix a car worth $300. That weekend, I ended up fasting and praying all day Saturday, and by the end of the day, I decided to take a small leap of faith and start the firewood company on the side.

The following Monday, I went to work and they fired me on the spot – I still don’t know why. Turns out it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I realized I would be taking that real leap of faith immediately and started a firewood company full-time, not on the side. No one advised me to do this, in fact everyone thought I was crazy for the next 4 years, but my amazing wife supported me and my crazy idea. I got a personal loan, maxed out 8 or 9 credit cards and bought a truck, trailer and a piece of equipment to get started. I needed that push, to be fired, to force me to take a chance and start the world’s first high-end firewood and cooking wood company.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
A roaring fire is like a beautiful sunset. Everyone loves it. It’s universal, primal and unifying whether you are a 95-year-old man from Ethiopia or a 3-year-old girl from Georgia. After a stressful day, I can pour a whiskey, sit in front of a fire and my stress level goes down. I think deep thoughts while watching the flames. My wife can join me, and it’s romantic. My three daughters come out to make s’mores and memories around the firepit that will last a lifetime. Around a fire, teenagers will put their phones down and talk to their parents. A fire can be the center of a wedding reception, and I make some incredible food over fire with Cutting Edge cooking wood.
Before Cutting Edge Firewood started, the industry standard of seasoning wood included leaving firewood and cooking wood to sit outside and rot for 12 months and literally have mushrooms growing out of it. We’ve disrupted that standard. Our unparalleled service, branding and experience matches the product quality of our wood. We have a special drying process that guarantees our wood is free of rot, mold, mildew, bugs and fungus.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m actually more of a homebody. I’d stay home, watch movies, hang out around our fire pit and I’d cook amazing meals with our wood-fired pizza oven and Big Green Egg – all with Cutting Edge Cooking Wood of course.
If we did go out, I’d suggest we kayak on the Chattahoochee river, hike in the Georgia Mountains or visit the Georgia Aquarium.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without a doubt, my wife deserves big recognition. Our second year in business, my wife was at home with our 1-year-old daughter and pregnant with our second daughter. She also worked for the business 50+ hours/week handling customer service, scheduling deliveries, paying bills and making products in the evenings. To make it harder, I was working 100+ hours per week, so I wasn’t much help at home.
Then in 2017, we found ourselves in a tough financial position and couldn’t get any outside financial help to grow the business to the next level. I went to my wife and said “I know we have two little girls at home and you’re 8 months pregnant with our third child, but let’s sell our home and move into a rental.” And that’s what we did. She believed in me and in Cutting Edge, and that allowed us to grow Cutting Edge. The business has thrived ever since.

Website: https://www.cuttingedgefirewood.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cutting.edge.firewood/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/firewoodandcookingwood/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cefirewood

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cuttingedgefirewood/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/cutting-edge-firewood-peachtree-corners

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9xwEZZK9_R5LLnVf2urrzA

Image Credits
Chef Kevin Gillespie

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.