Matt grew up as a pastor's son in a small West Texas town. The Cotton Gin Smoker story really started back in 2001 when Matt took welding shop class his senior year in high school. Each class mate was tasked with an end of the year project to pass the class. Most of the other students were building things such as cattle pins and such. Not having any cattle, he wanted something that he would be able to use. So he set out to build a smoker on a trailer. He did just that; and when coming back to visit the class, Matt remembers his shop teacher taking him back to the shop and showing him the sea of grills and smokers that were now lining the shop floor. Mr. Askins said “Matt, you transformed people’s thinking. This is all they want to build now.”
Fast forward 20 years and with the help of two other men, Cotton Gin Smokers (CGS) was born. The drum smoker that CGS produces originated in Matt’s basement in SW Michigan. From a shop class to a small basement, the Cotton Gin brand has been fueled by honesty, integrity, and a commitment to quality. The Cotton Gin brand has grown from a shop class project to the nation-wide brand of Cotton Gin Smokers.
Matt is now the sole owner of Cotton Gins Smokers and under his vision the company has grown into what it is today. The CGS headquarters is now located in South Bend, IN.