Mountain Flame, Inc.
Like many successful ventures, Mountain Flame evolved from a combination of hard work and coincidence.
It was in Hollywood fashion Catskill Mountain style that Brian and Marcia Olenych literally packed up all of their belongings in a 1963 pickup truck and moved from Newark, NY to the Catskills in 1978.
Brian was a recent graduate of Delhi College and both had fallen in love with the area. It was decided, the Catskill Mountains would be their new home. "Brian became a chimney-sweep and we decided to see if we could build a business," Marcia recalled nostalgically.
The chimney cleaning business steadily grew, but it was an idea from a customer that moved the Olenychs lives into a newer and more environmentally friendly direction. In the course of a conversation, the homeowner showed Brian an article about "radiant heating fireplaces" built from brick. The idea was immediately appealing and a short-time later, Brian was building such a fireplace in the couple's house. By early 1980, Mountain Flame was established.
In the early years the company specialized in brick and tile heaters. The business grew again in 1986 when Brian and Marcia traveled to Finland to meet the Tulikivi family for themselves. There, they toured the Tulikivi factory and were introduced to the marvels of radiant heating with soapstone. The couple didn't need convincing that soapstone fireplaces would become the focal point of Mountain Flame.
Brian and Marcia quickly became an official Tulikivi dealer. Despite the fact that they didn't have any customers ready for this product, they mortgaged their home and ordered enough stone to build nine fireplaces. Fortunately, the couple's optimism was soon echoed by customers in the market for an efficient, environmentally friendly, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing heat source.