Q&A With Gabe Thomas of Savannah Oatmeal Company

We are continuing our Q&A features with KD Kanopy customers this week. Next up, we talk to Gabe Thomas, the owner of Savannah Oatmeal Company. Be sure to check out the photos as well. One features an event from earlier this month at the Tybee Half Marathon, where the company was a vendor.

Q: How did the idea for Savannah Oatmeal Company come to be?

I had problems with digestion and started eating Oatmeal as a remedy. After practicing making Oatmeal for years I was sitting on the back porch one day and decided to it was time to turn this into a business.

Q: What is the most challenging part of running a business? And biggest reward? 

The most challenging part is organizing my time. The biggest reward is helping people start their day off right with a healthy breakfast.

Q: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you or the business? 

I think the readers would be surprised to see how many steps it takes in order to complete the Savannah Oatmeal Cooking process.

Q: What made you decide to go with KD Kannopy for your canopy?

What was it like working with them? KD Canopy offering us a good deal with a quality tent.

Check out our last Q&A Feature with Sweetwater Brewing Company

And our Q&A With Choonimals Clothing Company 


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KD Kanopy Takes 2015 By Storm

This year is looking bright for KD Kanopy. Not only are we off to a great start planning our annual charity golf tournament, but we have a ton of conventions to attend throughout the year as well. These events bring together some of the biggest companies and organizations in America, as well as people from all walks of life . Also, it doesn’t hurt that they are held in some pretty fun places! Take a look at what we have coming up.

2015 International Franchise Association 55th Annual Convention

The IFA Convention, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas takes place on February 15, 2015 and ends on 18 February, 2015. The IFA Convention is one of the biggest events for franchising, franchise management, franchise and distribution, distribution commerce, merchandise, business and entrepreneurship spots. This is an annual event that we often attend and it always proves to be great for networking and building upon the relationships we have with our current franchising clients. In 2015, there are about 2,000 people expected to attend. Below is a picture of our booth at last years IFA.

2015 National Restaurant Association: Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show

The NRA Show will be held May 16-19, 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. The NRA show is a four day showcase of all things culinary. There will be education sessions as well as keynote speakers consisting of world famous chef’s including Elizabeth Falkner, Robert Irvine, Maneet Chauhan and many more! The hospitality industry brings their A game to this event by showcasing up and coming trends in the food/restaurant, and hotel/motel industries. KD Kanopy is no exception. We are proud to show off our canopies and marketing accessories, as well as meet some great people in the process. Check out the NRA Show in action last year here. We are more than excited to attend this show!

United Franchise Group World Expo 

The 2015 UFG World Expo will be held June 14-17th in beautiful Las Vegas, NV. This Expo is another great franchising event we get to attend in 2015. Along with the IFA, the UFG brings together some of the biggest franchises in the world into one giant room in the grand Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino. This three and a half day expo allows us to speak with clients directly and see their canopy in action, as well as address any needs that come up during these events such as set up and teardown time. This helps us to refine and perfect our products even further.

A professionally done tent at events like these goes a long way. Our clients and their custom KD Kanopy tents always stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on the participants. We cannot wait to attend all of these events and to show the participants exactly what KD Kanopy can do for them!



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KD Kanopy Customers Give Us Feedback

We love when our customers send us testimonials. We most often hear how pleased people are with the quality and look of the tents and how easy they are to set. To see just how easy make sure to beck out our You Tube channel where we showcase how to set up several of them with just two people.

Here are some recent testimonials from our customers. Thank you to everyone for sending these over. We would also love to hear from you!


From the Junior Wolverines:

We have been very pleased with the tent!  The Junior Wolverines is a middle school cross country club, so the tent is mostly used in the fall during cross country season.  The kids and parents LOVE the tent!  It has been much better than our previous 10×10 tent.  I’m so glad we got the side wall as that turned out to be great for blocking the sun during the hot summer/early fall afternoons and blocking the wind during the late fall/early winter mornings.  The tent went with us to all our meets around the ATL Georgia area, as well as to the USATF Junior Olympics XC Region 4 and National meets in Myrtle Beach, SC!  We had 17 kids compete at Nationals.

From Gecko Hospitality

“The tent is awesome. I’ll certainly let you know if I need anything else”

From: Big Sky

We set up the tent and love it! It was super easy for just 2 women to set up and it looks great.

From Oskar Blues

“We’ve been using KD Kanopy tents for ten years at a ton of events through the Colorado Sun, Wind, Rain & Snow and these babies hold up.”

From Abita:

I just wanted to let you know that it is one of the best purchases I have ever made for our business.  It looks great, is easy to set up and take down, and is very good quality.  It has also given us a professional appearance that we really needed.  Thanks again!!

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Q&A With KD Kanopy Client: Sweetwater Brewing

We continue our Q&A Feature with some of our customers. This week we are profiling Sweetwater Brewing. We talk with the company to learn about how the company got started, what it’s like working with KD Kanopy and challenges and rewards. Now, start readin’ .


1. How did the idea for Sweetwater Brewing come to be? 

The company started in Colorado in the early 90’s when ideas started flowing from Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney. The two met at the Colorado University in Boulder but quickly learned that beer was more fun than books! Freddy visited Atlanta during the Olympics in 1996 and saw the opportunity for West Coast style brewery in the south. A little less than a year later, SweetWater Brewery was up and runnin’ on the west side of Atlanta and their beers were poppin’ up in Virginia Highlands watering holes. Seven years later, the brewery built their second, and current, brewery adjacent to Ansley Park. Fortunately, the brand kept growin’ and folks kept seekin’ out SweetWater brews. The brewery recently wrapped up its $19 million expansion and plans to flow into several new states further north and west this year.

2. What is the most challenging part of running a business? And biggest reward? 

Working for SweetWater really is a dream come true. The brewery is turning 18 this year and I’ve been around for 13 of those great years. Experiencing such success and growth with Freddy and the whole SweetWater team has been a sight to see and we sure have learned a lot. The ability to work closely with Atlanta and Georgia non-profits is one of the highlights as well as just making folks happy with our brews! Every day is different here at the brewery which is a great challenge!

3. What is something readers would be surprised to know about you or the business?  

SweetWater Brewing cranked out over 192,500 barrels of beer last year. That’s almost 48 million pints of beer!

4. What made you decide to go with KD Kannopy for your canopy? What was it like working with them?

We love working with KD Kannopy. We turn to KD Kannopy often for our needs and many of our most impactful festival pieces come from them!

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Meet One of the KD Kanopy Clients: Choonimals Clothing Co

Here at KD Kanopy, we have the pleasure of working with some amazing companies and people in our line of work. Which is why in our next series of blog posts, we are going to feature some of our clients so you can get to know them a little more too.

Choonimals founders, Matt Peters, Chris Theibert & Chad Long

One that tops that list is Choonimals Clothing Co. Founded in 2007, the Columbus, Ohio based company creates a unique twist on the animal kingdom we all know and love. We dive in a bit deeper in this Q&A with one of the founder, Matt Peters to learn more about how they got started and where they are going. As well as a look at how they use their custom KD Kanopy tent!

1) A bit of background

Founded in Columbus, Ohio in 2007, Choonimals Clothing Co. is its own creation of animals and creatures from an otherwise normal animal kingdom. Originating from sketches drawn to pass time and anger teachers during high school classes, the Choonimals artwork style was born. Each “choonimal” has fangs, crooked eyes and the occasional spiked tail. Apart from honoring animals through art, the brand is also  committed to raising awareness and support to prominent animal welfare causes, including recent partnerships with Sean Casey Animal Rescue in New York.


2) How did you decide to turn this into a business?

We didn’t mean to start the business… people just really loved the concept of Choonimals so it slowly grew over time and we learned along the way. So, the hardest part, is the unknown. With that said, I would say the biggest reward is also the unknown. We have lived on tour busses, travelled across the country multiple times and met a lot of amazing people along the way. We are excited to see where we go next.


3) How do you stay connected to your customers and fans?

Myself or one of my two co-owners are at every event. We love to personally connect with our fans. If you see our tent at a festival around the country, one of us will be there to say hello!


4) What is the best use you have gotten out of your KD Kanopy tent?

The Warped Tour is our main tour every year. It covers almost 50 cities in 50 days. We see a lot of tents break, crumble, and go to the tour graveyards. Our KD Tent has lasted two long tough years and it is still in great shape. We are only getting a new one for this year because we want to have 2 now!


For more information about Choonimals or to buy some of their apparel go to www.choonimals.com. You can also find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/choonimals, on Twitter @choonimals and Instagram @choonimals and #choonimals.

Check out this video from the founders showcasing the ease of ease of setting up the tent.




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Scoot on Over To Our You Tube Page to Pick Out Your Next Canopy

KD StarTwin 685 & 1320

Have you been over to our You Tube Page where we have set up videos of our canopies? Two of the most recent showcase the StarTwin 685 and 1320. Normal Setup time is around 45 minutes and tear down is even less.

Here’s the video link:

KD StarTwin 685 & 1320

Here are some written instructions as well on these sturdy tents.

Your package should contain a measuring cable, center plate, 6 steel stakes, steel assist bar, jack handle, center pole (5 sections), stake puller and your fabric top.

Place your center plate into the ground and attach the middle loop of the measuring cable, take the other two ends and walk away until the cable is taught. Walk in a large circle to make sure that your area for the canopy is clear.

When holding both ends of the cable place your first stake. Then, take one end of the cable and place it on your stake and the other end on the center plate, hold the middle loop of the cable and walk away until it is taught on both ends, now place your 2nd stake, repeat this process until all 6 stakes are set into the ground.

Roll your fabric out and place the aluminum cuffs over the end of the stake

Take your aluminum poles out of the bag, leaving the protective tubing inside the bag, put the poles together making sure that the jack is at the bottom and the dome is at the top.

Place assist bar through hole in jack and use two people to pick up the pole and walk under the fabric. Place the dome cap into the steel ring and keep walking forward. Once taught, have two people lift up on the assist bar and lift the pole onto the center plate.

Use crank handle to tension the canopy until you can feel the fabric snap back, be careful not to over tension your canopy. Enjoy the shade and added professionalism and branding for your company!

Don’t forget to check out the set up video to showcase for the KDStarshade 400 & 800. If you are looking to add a strong branding and professionalism to your event, check out the video here.

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KD Kanopy & Kids Mobility Network: Goals in 2015

We have some great news coming in from a charity golf tournament we sponsored again in 2014 for the Kids Mobility Network and can’t wait to share these accomplishments as well as share what else is coming up for the organization this year.

But first, here is some background on the organization.  The Kids Mobility Network helps provide equipment to kids with a disability to under-insured or uninsured families. This ensures children are safer and gives them a sense of independence, which is something all kids deserve.

Courtesy: Kids Mobility Network

Check out this Q&A With KD Kanopy President, Matt Kayser, following the tournament who talks about why this is important to the community.

And now, for the 2014 achievements from this very special organization. Of course, at the top of the list is the Golf Tournament Fundraiser we sponsored  in July of 2014. We hosted 144 golfers and raised more than $13, 000 for Kids Mobility Network.  We can’t wait for next year’s tournament at Meridian Golf Club on July 13, 2015.  We will share registration details as we get closer to the tournament.

KD Kanopy Cares For Kids Annual Golf Tournament

2014 Achievements

  • Biggest Year Yet! Kids Mobility Network provided $525,000 of community benefit in 2014!
  • New Facility - Kids Mobility Network purchased and moved into a new facility.  This results in lowered operation and facility costs by 20 percent.
  • New Office Manager -Kids Mobility Network welcomed Lilly Martin to the team as the organization’s Office Manager.  Lilly is also bi-lingual in Spanish and English, which help serve the Spanish-speaking community.


What’s New & Goals  in 2015

  • New Website: Which will also feature an online inventory viewing application that will allow visitors to see details about our in-stock inventory.
  • More Corporate Sponsors: Kids Mobility Network hopes to add to the list of corporate sponsors to expand services to better serve children with disabilities across Colorado and beyond.

Here is a list of other donors donating their time, money and/or resources to help Kids Mobility Network provide children with disabilities the necessary equipment to enhance their safety, mobility and independence.

·       All Medical

·       Ascent Elevator

·       Cable Recovery Services

·       Dunn Law

·       Heritage Electric

·       HomeSpec

·       It’s Done Plumbing

·       Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation

·       Leslie & Stephen Secrist

·       Nancy Student & Michael Linderman

·       Proform Construction

·       Wells Fargo Bank

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Top 10 Highlights of 2014


Happy 2015! Hopefully it is off to a great start for you. This past year has flown by and we don’t know about you, but 2014 brought us much happiness and success. To celebrate this, we are highlighting the top moments of 2014 for KD Kanopy. 2014 left some big shoes to fill, but we have a feeling  2015 has the potential to be even better!

1. Charity Golf Tournament for Kids Mobility Network

We hold our KD Cares for Kids Charity Golf Tournament every year, and every year is a success. 2014 was no exception! We raised over $13,400 for Kids Mobility Network and had a blast while doing so. No kid should be without proper care, and we are blessed to be in a position to help. Read here for more details!

Setup Video: KDStarshade 400 & 800

2. Canopy Setup Videos

Our canopies are so easy to setup and tear down, you only need two people. It’s true! We proved ourselves with a series of video’s showing just how to setup a KD Kanopy. They are durable and fun too! Check out the videos here and here.

3. Q&A with Mary of KD Kanopy

Our Q&A Segment with the newest member of our team, Mary, was a hit! We are so happy she has joined the team and now we can share some reasons why that is with you. To find out more about Mary and a little about working at KD Kanopy, check out the full article here.

4. Staff Q&A

Mary wasn’t the only KD Kanoper we interviewed. Towards the later portion of 2014 we started to interview our staff and share it with you all. Needless to say, not only have they been successful posts, they have been a blast to read and write! From the President of KD Kanopy, Matt Kayser, to VP of Sales and Marketing Ian McIntosh, we love giving our clients and the public a chance to know us better. Get to know us and our staff better here.

5. Client Testimonials

2014 brought some amazing new clients as well as deeper bonds with existing ones. We value customer service and nothing makes us happier than when our hard work pays off and we get raving reviews from our clients. After all, we wouldn’t be around without them! Here is one from Chad Melis at Oskar Blues, “We’ve been using KD Kanopy tents for ten years at a ton of events through the Colorado sun, wind, rain & snow and these babies hold up.” Want more testimonials ? Read more here.

6. Caught off Guard at Sports Authority Field at Mile High

This was such a fun one to make! Carri Wilbanks went around asking Bronco fans some bogus questions and their answers were priceless. We hope you enjoy watching the video as much as we enjoyed filming it! Check it out here. Hopefully there will be more of the “Caught Off Guard” series in our future.

7. IFA Tradeshow

KD Kanopy was among 300 businesses that headed down to New Orleans for the International Franchise Association’s Convention. KD Kanopy offers amazing discounts for franchises and it was so much fun getting to know everyone! To see some of the franchises we work with click here.

8. Launch of New Website

We launched a new website in 2014, and she’s a beauty. Not only that, the functionality is much better than the old site and that helps our customers navigate the site with ease. Whether browsing or ready to design and order a custom canopy, our new site makes it fun and easy. It’s the start of the show! Check it out.

Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater

9. Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater Renovation

Fiddler’s green underwent a major renovation in 2014, and we were part of it! You can find our canopies throughout the venue and heavily in the VIP area. Fiddlers Green has never looked better and we are so glad we got to be apart of it! Want to know more? Click here.

10. The EFI VUTEk GS5000r Digital Printer

Getting that perfect digital imagery is no luck. It takes skill, precision and an amazing piece of machinery! The EFI VUTek GS5000r’s  quality and accuracy ensures we get that flawless finish every time. Watch it in action, it’s pretty cool.


BONUS HIGHLIGHT: KD Kanopy turned 30 in 2014! And we celebrated with one of the biggest sales EVER. Here’s to the next 30!


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Ring in 2015 With Some A Fun Q&A From Our Employees

First off, Happy New Years Eve everyone! Or, if you are reading this and the calendar reads 2015: Happy New Year! Looking back on 2014, we have a lot to be proud of and grateful for. Of course, at the top of the list are our wonderful customers. We have received some incredible compliments this year on our customer service, quality of tents and timeliness. We are thrilled we are able to help increase your presence and branding at events with our canopies.

We are also thankful for our incredible staff, which makes this company worthy of the amazing testimonials we see day in and out. Our fun office culture and dynamic make our company an incredible place to work. We believe that makes us a stronger company and able to be our best for you. To wrap up this year, we wanted to make sure you got to know some of our employees more.

If you missed it, here is a list of who we chat with:

1. Check out Ian’s Q&A here where he shares what is most proud of with the company and lets out something you would be surprised to know about him.






2. We also hear from Chuck, where he talks more about how KD Kanopy originated all because of a crazy storm. That storm led to a bright idea and we are now leading the industry in innovation and new ideas.





3. Matt Kayser, the President, talks challenges and rewards and tells us, makes KD Kanopy different from competitors.





4. And Mary, who is our newest employee, shares a funny moment of working here and tells us why this job is unlike any other.






Now, we chat with some other KD Kanopy employees, who share proud and funny moments, memorable customers and New Years Resolutions. Enjoy!

 Q: What are you most proud of with KD Kanopy in 2015? 

The entire team. I joke around a lot, but this crew is one of the best. –John Mac, Graphic Designer. (Keep an eye on John’s answer and you will see he really does joke around a lot!)

I would have to say the growth. We are growing like crazy and it is nice to see that the sales are increasing every year!  - Shelly Bangs, Account Executive.

I am extremely proud of our expectation of growth for the year of 2015 and I know we will work as a team to hit our goal! –Maranda Bell, Account Executive.

2. Most memorable customer?

I don’t have one specific memorable customer, however, I will have to say that I absolutely love working with all the Papa Murphy’s Franchise owners! They have been one of my most loyal customers and I just love seeing them grow as a company as well! I get excited for them as they open new stores and expand over the US. – Shelly Bangs.

My most memorable customer has to be Amy from Hutshop.com – She always makes it a point to make me laugh on every call that we have. I love how personable she is! It’s such a highlight during my busy days.  – Maranda Bell

Most memorable customer would be Kidney Stones Treatment. When he received his tent he called me and said he just set everything up and it brought tears to his eyes. The frame is very durable and the graphics looks beautiful! -Kami Knight, Account Executive.

They don’t let me talk to customers. I am locked in a room with Manila paper, crayons and finger paint all day. It’s glorious. –John Mac

3. Funniest or most memorable moment of this year with KD Kanopy?

My best memory of this year at KD Kanopy was when I turned 30 and everyone decorated my office (with crazy ecards) and surprised me with all sorts of fun presents and a hot sauce of the month club subscription! –Lisa Fay, Account Executive.

When Lisa got tears in her eyes when she saw her office decorated for her 30th Birthday. – Kami Knight

The monthly Hot Sauce of the Month club tastings by the group. Always starts with lots of machismo masking fear inevitably followed by everyone walking around in excruciating pain laughing at each others burning misfortune. – John Mac

I can’t say that I have a “funniest moment” because every day in the office of KD Kanopy is an experience in itself. But, every year we collect donations for our charity golf tournament and this past year Monster Energy donated a bunch of t-shirts in various sizes. Well, our 6ft 225-pound manager decided to put on a women’s small t-shirt then came down and surprised his sales team with his new attire. We were all dying laughing! – Maranda Bell

We have many funny moments here, however, I will have to say the one thing that I will miss the most going into 2015 is John Behrens.  He retired this year and he was such an awesome and fun loving Co Worker.  He would make me laugh every day and he will be greatly missed here at KD! – Shelly Bangs

4. What are your New Years Resolutions?

My New Year’s resolution is to attend church every week as well as volunteer in the kid’s ministry. I have wanted to give my time at least once a week to a charity or organization and its time to take the plunge!–Maranda Bell

My New Year’s resolution is to complete a marathon this year. –Lisa Fay

Start smoking and quit working out. Maybe, if I can achieve the first two, I will add a third, but let’s not get the cart ahead of the horse.  – John Mac

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Q&A With The Newest Member of KD Kanopy, Mary!

Our behind the scenes interviews continue with the newest member of the KD Kanopy team, Mary!

If you haven’t seen all the Q&A’s we have been working on this month, you can check those out here.

Don’t miss hearing from Ian, VP of Sales and Marketing, Chuck who is KD Kanopy’s longest standing employee and the President of the Company, Matt Kayser.

Check out Ian’s Q&A here where he shares what is most proud of with the company.

We also hear from Chuck, where he talks more about how KD Kanopy originated all because of a windy storm. Now it’s leading the company in innovation and new ideas.

And Matt Kayser, who talks challenges and rewards and tells us, makes KD Kanopy different from competitors.

Now the spotlight is on to Mary, the newest to the KD Kanopy family.

Q: What are you most proud of with the company?

I am proud of KD Kanopy for the ways they have set standards to not only provide great products but to also put clients first. Like the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, that’s definitely not true for KD Kanopy because although we have many successful stories and the company continues to grow, we’re always working together to figure out how we can make our customers even happier and our products better! It makes me very proud to be a part of that.

Q: Do you have a funny moment or story from the office to share?

Oh boy, there have been many funny moments in the short time I’ve been here, but I would have to tell the story about our 6’5” male co-worker who’s afraid of clowns.  We all purchased clown masks and headed up to our lunch early. When he walked in there was a group of us sitting around a big table wearing clown masks, just waiting.  When he finally walks in his expression is priceless. Needless to say he didn’t eat lunch with us that day. Of course, it was all in good fun!

Q: How is this job different than others you have had?

Free food. There is always free food around here, which is why I keep coming back every day. Only kidding!  Before I came to KD Kanopy I was employed with a well known corporate company. It was your typical day in the office where there was never anything new, you just did what you were told and there was no fun office culture to speak of. KD Kanopy has been a totally different experience since the day I started. We have lunch together, there are weekly meetings that give the opportunity to hear new ideas, they give back to the community with donations and fundraisers and they take really good care of their employees.

Q: What is something people would be surprised to know about you.

People are usually surprised that I am not originally from Denver. I grew up a small town in Pennsylvania called Port Allegany, where the population is only about 2,000 people. (GO GATORS!) I worked at the local pizza shop for 6+ years and now hope to have my own pizza business some day.

Q: And something people would be surprised to learn about KD Kanopy?

Something people may be surprised to learn about KD Kanopy is that although thousands of canopies are sent out each year, the company only has about 20 employees. That includes sales and production!

Q: Best memory of working here?

I’m still the new-girl rookie around here, so I can’t say that I’ve got any memories to share quite yet. I’m sure in due time I will be giving a real good story since they always keep it interesting around here!


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