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This story appears in the July 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The Entrepreneurs: Joanne Johnson, 34; Marcel Sbrollini, 42; and Rod Sprules, 33; founders of Robustion Products Inc. in St. Laurent, Quebec

The Product: The Java-Log is a fireplace log made primarily from recycled coffee grounds. Sprules, a mechanical engineer, first learned of the high heat capacity of coffee grounds while working on a heated cold weather suit for his former employer. When coffeehouses became popular, he thought of converting used coffee grounds into the Java-Log. Today, the product, which retails for about $2.50 per log and burns hotter than traditional firewood, is sold through Home Hardware, a major Canadian hardware chain; Home Depot in Canada; grocery stores; and a variety of smaller stores in Canada and the United States. Product sales via the company's Web site ( are also growing.

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