Refrigeration Magazine - November 2020

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Refrigeration spotlights on AIS, Missouri Valley, and Hilke Ice.

November 2020 Vol. 203 │ No. 11 ISSN #0034-3137

EDITORIAL STAFF Editor/Publisher Mary Y. Cronley (404) 819-5446 Senior Staff Writer Joe Cronley (404) 295-5712 Art Direction Markurious Marketing (678) 439-6534

ADVERTISING, SUBSCRIPTIONS, ACCOUNTS Mary Y. Cronley Editor/Publisher (404) 819-5446 Established as ICE in 1906, Refrigeration Magazine™ is published thirteen times a year, including the Annual Buyer's Guide. Postmaster: Send notice by form 3579 to: Refrigeration Magazine 2930 Cedar Knoll Drive Roswell, GA 30076 Annual Subscriptions: US: $49/year or $79/two years International: $79/year Single Copies: $6/copy Copyright © 2020 by REFRIGERATION Magazine™. All rights reserved.

Cover Image Courtesy of Aaron Costic of Elegant Ice Creations






COVID NEWS Gearing up for Possible Vaccine, Maine Officials Contending with Shortage of Dry Ice


CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS 8 7 -Eleven Expands Delivery to Now Include Seven Platforms

15 S tore of the Future...Again

11 13

ICE MANUFACTURER’S PROFILE Hilke’s Ice Comes Full Circle With Production Expansion



ASSOCIATION NEWS 13 M issouri Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association Now Accepting Nominations for Lifetime Achievement Award 17 M oValley Association to Grant Two Scholarships

AIS to Launch New e-Commerce Website








Title Here

A list of our advertisers

Classified advertisements by region




Ice Still At The Forefront Even today, with the rollout of a vaccine for Covid-19, ice plays an important part. No matter who is slated to receive the vaccine first, ice plays an important part in keeping the drug safe and secure until it is administered. So much so, that even the state of Maine has reported a shortage of dry ice. Maine CDC director Nirav Shah, said that Maine is working to increase their ultra-cold storage facilities there, to house the vaccine. The story can be found on page 6. There is a lot in this issue of Refrigeration: Hilke Ice announced they are expanding their tonnage from 120 to 200 tons by the end of the year; 7-11 announces they are adding 7 platforms to their delivery service; and Mo Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association is accepting nominations for the Mo Valley Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as applications for their scholarship program. It’s been an interesting year, which has caused most of us to reflect in some way, on our lives, the lives of others, and what we’re going to do moving forward. Being the free spirit that this writer is, I have embraced the new consciousness that this has resulted in, and am staying focused on the now, not only for myself personally, but for the magazine I’ve called home for the past 40 years. Whatever we can do to serve you here at Refrigeration Magazine, whether it has to do with your plant expansion, plant changes, or plans for your own future, we are here as a conduit of some sort…keeping us all together is some sort of way. It’s how a family works. Have a safe holiday season. See you next month.


4 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020

“Whatever we can do to serve you here at Refrigeration Magazine, whether it has to do with your plant expansion, plant changes, or plans for your own future, we are here as a conduit.”

REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020 5


Gearing Up For Possible Vaccine, Maine Officials Contending With Shortage of Dry Ice By Fred Bever

Dry ice is in short supply, just as health officials look to secure more for possible COVID-19 vaccine storage. News that a highly effective vaccine for COVID-19 could be available before the end of the year is creating excitement in the medical world. It has also triggered a race to secure the ultra-cold-storage capacity needed to keep the vaccine viable. That’s tightening the supply for a vital commodity used by many of Maine’s lobster processors — dry ice. Maine CDC director Nirav Shah says more information is needed before he’s satisfied that the Pfizer vaccine will be as successful as the company’s initial information shows. But he is planning for it. “We are working to expand the scope of ultra-cold storage that we’ve got in Maine. We’ve already talked to the various hospitals in Maine that have such facilities, and then we on our side are working to acquire additional freezers to bolster our internal capacity to store that vaccine,” he says. 6 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020

“We may have vaccine here as early as some time in December. We can only hope anyways,” says Dora Mills, chief health improvement officer at MaineHealth. Mills says that hospital system has freezer capacity to store tens of thousands of doses of the vaccine for long periods of time. But she adds that the freezers are mostly located in the greater Portland area, which could mean challenges in trying to safely transport and store vaccine farther afield. “Of course we don’t want to be storing them, we want to be administering this vaccine. And the good news is that there are also other ways the vaccine can be stored for a short period of time. So for instance the shipping box it arrives in has a lot of dry ice in it. That dry ice can be replenished and you can keep the dry ice in it for about 15 days in that box,” she says. But she adds, dry ice — frozen carbon dioxide — would need to be replenished daily. And at 50 pounds of ice per box of vaccine, she says, that can add up. And just as the entire nation gears up for what is hoped will be a massive distribution effort in the near future, it looks like the dry-ice supply may be drying up.

“Quite honestly with dry ice, there’s already been a shortage,” says Alan Tracy, president of Vessel Services Inc., which sells dry ice from Portland’s waterfront, mostly to the fishing industry. Tracy says that the pandemic-induced drop in car travel has in turn reduced the supply of liquid CO2 that’s a byproduct of making the gasoline additive ethanol. And now dry-ice manufacturers are putting vaccine-related purveyors at the front of the line.

Mills and officials at other hospital systems in Maine say they are casting around for new sources for dry ice. Those could include brewers, she says, who sometimes use it, and the University of Maine. A university spokesman says it is researching both its cold storage capacity and its potential dry-ice manufacturing capabilities, and will report to the state CDC by the end of the week. RM

Tracy is all for making sure vaccine can get where it needs to go. But the new demand is coming at a time when he usually can depend on robust sales, as lobster processors are freezing and shipping product for the holiday markets. “We just had a number of calls today about it. And all we can do is try to keep people up to date, but it’s too bad when people really look to ramp up their businesses, and if you’re shipping frozen things,” he says. At Luke’s Lobster, co-founder Ben Conniff says the team indeed spent the day contending with a sudden drop in dry-ice supply, with no immediate solution in sight.

But she adds, dry ice — frozen carbon dioxide — would need to be replenished daily. And at 50 pounds of ice per box of vaccine, she says, that can add up. And just as the entire nation gears up for what is hoped will be a massive distribution effort in the near future, it looks like the dry-ice supply may be drying up.

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REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020 7


7-Eleven Expands Delivery to Now Include Seven Platforms As consumers increasingly crave convenience and are looking for more ways to stay home, 7-Eleven Inc. is expanding its delivery portfolio. The Irving-based convenience store retailer added three of the largest U.S. ordering platforms to its delivery offers: Uber Eats, Grubhub and Instacart.

as everyday essentials like phone chargers, toilet paper and beauty products. Beer and wine can be delivered in select markets.

“Our customers crave convenience now more than ever,” 7-Eleven Vice President of Digital and Head of Delivery Raghu Mahadevan. “Today, that may mean ordering in more frequently because they’re The latest partnerships bring 7-Eleven’s total number staying home and avoiding crowds. But it could also of delivery options to seven, being rounded out by mean delivering Slurpee drinks to the beach or ice Postmates, DoorDash, Google Food Ordering and Favor to a socially-distanced backyard barbecue. These (available in Texas only). extraordinary times have accelerated “Today, that may mean “When 7-Eleven began offering our efforts to get the products to our ordering in more frequently delivery in 2017, we certainly didn’t customers as safely as possible.” foresee a pandemic accelerating because they’re staying home Together with these platforms, on-demand ordering platforms and avoiding crowds. But it 7-Eleven offers on-demand ordering from convenient to essential,” said could also mean delivering to more than 90 percent of the c-store 7-Eleven Chief Operating Officer Slurpee drinks to the beach retailer’s footprint. Instacart, the most Chris Tanco. “This year we’ve or ice to a socially-distanced recent addition, will offer 7-Eleven doubled our delivery footprint products in the majority of its U.S. backyard barbecue. and quadrupled our daily delivery markets by the end of the year. orders because customers know they can count on us for their necessities in about 30 Additionally, 7-Eleven offers delivery via its propriety minutes. We look forward to continuing to respond as 7NOW app in select markets. our customers’ shopping behaviors rapidly change.” 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more Users of the delivery platforms have access to thousands than 71,100 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in of products, including food and beverage items like North America. RM pizza, 7-Select snacks, coffee and Slurpee drinks, as well

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Hilke’s Ice Comes

Full Circle

with production expansion By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor

Hilke’s Ice Co. owner Laron Hilke announced last week that operations at Freeburg would be expanded by 80 tons per 24-hour cycle — from 120 to 200 tons — by the end of the year. “For the last three years, business has steadily improved and we’ve struggled to keep up with production,” said Hilke. “The demand is unreal.”

Tom Howat of Modern Ice Equipment & Supply in Cincinnati, Ohio, which recently inked the deal with Hilke, has been part of the family’s history since 1974.

Currently, the company has two 20-ton and one 80-ton machine, and the newest unit will have an 80-ton capacity, all purchased from Vogt Machines in Louisville, Ky.

“He got my parents started in the ice business,” said Hilke. “He sold Dad a 400-pound ice machine, an ice chest, a box of bags, and a scoop.”

“We’ve always used Vogt Machines,” said Hilke.

This new machine, like the others already in use, dwarf the production from that era but Hilke is known for its tube ice, and about a year ago, Hilke said he knew something would have to be done. “I can store 700 tons of ice in four freezers,” said Hilke, who has three in Freeburg and one in Cuba. “We moved ice very fast last summer and I could have moved another 1,000 tons if I’d had more production, so we decided to do something about it.” Hilke added that he knew the only options were to add another cold-storage facility south of town or

REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020 11

add production. In July, he started making inquiries and the deal came together relatively quickly. With the new ice machine, Hilke said the roof will have to be raised six feet, which was done in 2007 when the last 80-ton machine was installed. Verslues Construction handled the job then and will do so again. “We have a great relationship with Verslues,” said Hilke. “They do a fantastic job.” It’s also important that every piece of equipment used by Hilke Ice is homegrown. “I’m making damn sure that everything going into this business is made in America,” he said of augurs, evaporators, and receiver tanks. Should demand continue, Hilke said he can add another 80-ton machine. “We could go to 280 tons of capacity overnight if need be,” he said. In that event, another roof will have to be raised and if business continues to improve, Hilke said he could see adding another machine in a couple of years. Hilke Ice offers seven and 20-pound bags of tube cube, the ice with the hole in the center, and 10-pound block ice, though that is not nearly as popular. “Block ice accounts for about one percent of my

business,” Hilke said. “It’s a generational thing. Young people don’t even know what block ice is or what to do with it.” Once the new machine is up and running, Hilke will look at next summer to see what changes need to be made with his workforce. “We may go from 6-8 hour shifts to 12-hour shifts,” he said. “It would be nice to put more people to work because I refuse to do automation. We won’t know what will happen until we get there.” At this time, Hilke expects to have 45 employees working next summer. “We’re fortunate that business picked up,” he said. “About 10 years ago, corporate ice companies tried to run the independents out and we didn’t know what would happen to us. About six or eight years ago, we fought back and slapped corporate down. These corporate outfits can’t give service like independents can.” Of particular interest is where the new machine will be placed, since the building which will house it was once the site of a car wash operated by the Hilkes. Now that Laron and Donna Hilke own the car wash in Freeburg, located across from Holy Family Parish, the circle is complete because what stood there long before the car wash was Hilke’s Cafe, operated by John and Marie Hilke. RM

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Top to Bottom: Ice flows into the ice bagging machines as ice is bagged and loaded onto pallets; Tom Howat (left) of Modern Ice Equipment & Supply in Cincinnati, Ohio has been part of the family’s history since 1974, when he sold John Hilke his 400-pound ice machine to get things started.; Operations will expand from 20 to 200 tons per 24-hour cycle by the end of the year.

We moved ice very fast last summer and I could have moved another 1,000 tons if I’d had more production, so we decided to do something about it.”

Missouri Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association Now Accepting Nominations for the


MISSOURI VALLEY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD It is time once again to nominate some members for the Missouri Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association Lifetime Achievement Award. The purpose of this award is to honor our fellow industry men and women. Be they ice manufacturers or suppliers, active members or retired (or sold out), living or deceased. Nominees do not have to have had an earth-shattering effect on our industry – they only need to have had an effect on our group and our members. Hence this name as opposed to “Hall of Fame”. The recipient will be selected by the Lifetime Achievement Nominating Committee consisting of our current President (Jerry Burns), immediate past President (Jeff Messerschmitt), Secretary (Tom Howat), previous recipient (TBD) and a member-at-large (TBD). The committee was put into place by then-President Bob Moelter to take the onus of approval off of the entire Board and to open the possibility of some people actually being “surprised” by their nomination, as everything won’t be done in a public format. Any MoValley member that meets the criteria listed to the right may be submitted for induction. The current recipients are listed at RM

Please complete and return this form by February 15, 2021 to: Missouri Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association P.O. Box 70 St. Peters, MO 63376 E-Mail: I propose ________________________________________________________ of ____________________________________________________ to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Missouri Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association. My reasons for this nomination are: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

THE CRITERIA – Nominee can be living or deceased. – Nominee must have been in the industry for a minimum of seven years. –N ominee must be a present or past member of Missouri Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association (either ice manufacturer or supplier). –N ominee must have been outstanding in fulfilling the mission of the MO Valley Assoc.

SELECTION PROCESS Selection for this award shall be as follows. The Secretary shall provide nomination forms to the membership in November. Members shall return the completed forms to the Secretary who will forward them to the committee chair. The committee shall select up to two recipients of the award per year. The award(s) shall be presented at the business meeting. Although the award does not necessarily need to be presented annually, there shall be a maximum of two awards each year.

________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ .

PRIVILEGES –S pecial recognition and plaque at a convention.

Signed _________________________________________________

–R ecognition on a master plaque to be displayed at all conventions.

 I wish to remain anonymous

–M ention in industry publications. REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020 13

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By: Danielle Romano, Convenience Store News.

ess than a year after debuting a one-of-a-kind convenience store in Savannah’s downtown historic district, Enmarket unveiled another new hometown store that will serve as the prototype for future new builds as the convenience store chain pursues expansion. Enmarket, which today operates 126 c-stores, 14 quick-serve restaurants and one fast-casual restaurant throughout Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, is planning future growth of its c-store network through two avenues: acquisition opportunities and ramping up newto-industry locations. Company President Brett Giesick told Convenience Store News that the retailer’s new prototype greatly accelerates its speed to market on new builds by streamlining the preconstruction and construction phases. “We can build this prototype at most, if not all, properties we already own,” he said. The retailer currently has two prototype stores in operation, with two more under construction. The first

debuted in its hometown of Savannah in late March. The second opened in July in Thunderbolt, Ga. In addition to the core prototype design, there is one variation that includes a rear entry for when truck diesel is available in the back of the store. One of these sites opened in June in Port Wentworth, Ga., with another one under construction in Pooler, Ga., which is due to open later this year. “Beyond that, we have a bank of land that we plan to develop with either one version or the other, and we continue to look for real estate that will allow for this design,” Giesick said. The most noticeable difference of the new prototype design is the sheer size of it in comparison to the brand’s legacy locations. The new prototype stores are significantly larger, allowing for an expanded hot, cold and frozen beverage offering, as well as a full kitchen, selfcheckout and mobile checkout, and expanded restrooms. Additionally, with taller open-joist ceilings, the prototype stores feel large and airy, and two entries provide ease of access.

“We removed some of the complexities found in previous prototypes, such as curved walls, atrium-type rooflines and a multitude of wall finishes to reduce timeframes, supply chain issues and costs,” Giesick explained. “The simplified footprint does still allow for multiple exterior finishes, making it easier to build essentially the same store in municipalities with differing building ordinances.” The new prototype features The Eatery, a proprietary foodservice concept that debuted in 2014. The Eatery offers meals across all dayparts, from southern-style biscuits for breakfast, to sandwiches and salads for lunch, to fried chicken or fish with a side of vegetables for dinner.

Other foodservice offers in the prototype stores include: • Grab-and-go food options, stocked in both coolers and hot-hold merchandisers; • Bean-to-cup coffee; and • Mooz, Enmarket’s frozen yogurt program complete with a toppings bar; it is located between the store’s massive fountain wall and the deli case. RM

REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020 15


AIS To Launch New E-Commerce Website Automatic ICE™ Systems is an industry leader in supplying equipment parts to high-capacity ice producers around the world. Whether it’s Hamer®, Leer®, Vogt®, Vitter™, KEITH®, parts for AIS machinery, or other industry specific items that you might need, we have always had the parts and equipment you are looking for when you need it. And, AIS is about to make getting the specialty equipment parts you need a whole lot easier. Very soon we will be unveiling our new e-commerce website. No longer will you have to call us on the phone during business hours, but from the ease of your computer

or smartphone, any time of day or night, you will be able to order the parts you need, at the competitive prices you have come to expect from Automatic ICE™ Systems. We will be starting off small, probably only a few hundred of our best-selling parts; but, we will be adding new products to the site every day. Eventually the website will contain AIS’ full product selection and will feature one of the industry’s largest and most complete inventories of equipment parts and industry supplies. We are excited about these changes coming to our website, and we can’t wait to show you! RM

16 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020


MoValley Association To Grant Two Scholarships The Missouri Valley Ice Manufacturer’s Association granting two (2) $2,000 scholarships this year. The recipients will be announced at the 2021 Annual Meeting.



2. The essay must be a minimum of 1 page with a maximum of 5 pages. One sided, 12 font, Times New Roman, and double-spaced

1. T he applicant must be a high school senor or in a college and be enrolled full time in school. This scholarship can be used for any college or tech school. 2. T he applicant must be an owner or employee or a family member of an owner or an employee of a member ice company or supplier that has their dues paid and has been a member for at least one year.

1. We ask that no names be used on the essay as we are ranking the essays on merit and not by name.

3. All essays become the property of M.V.I.M.A. scholarship committee. RM


3. T he applicant must provide his/her official high school, college, or tech school transcript, including cumulative GPA (minimum 2.75). 4. T he applicant must complete the M.V.I.M.A. application 5. T he applicant should write a brief summary of their goals in life and any good or bad experience they have had with a former or present employer. Maybe what you liked or did not like about your job or duties. Applicant may also write about innovative ideas or suggestions for our industry (packaging, delivery, advertising, etc.). 7. Only one scholarship per person. 8. A letter of recommendation for the applicant must be submitted by a member of M.V.I.M.A. as explained above and returned with the application or sent separately before the deadline to the M.V.I.M.A. secretary. Please mail completed applications, postmarked no later than Feb. 20, 2021 to: MoValley Association PO Box 70 St. Peters, Missouri 63376 Attn: Scholarship Committee Questions? Call Tom at (800) 235-9088 or e-mail at TIE BREAKER In the event of a tie, applications will be given to the Vice President for a final decision - if the VP should happen to be the sponsor of one of the applicants, it would then go to the President to break the tie. REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020 17

CLASSIFIEDS Ad Index American Ice Equipment Exchange, 19 Automatic Ice, 2 Classified Ads..........................................................................................................18-20 Ice Systems & Supplies Inc. (ISSI), 15 Ing-Tech Corporation (ITC), 16 & 18 Keet Consulting Services, LLC (RouteMan), 17

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Rates are $1.00 per word, with a minimum charge. Any blind ads, with an assigned box number c/o publisher, add $10.00. Deadline for upcoming issue is the 1st of the previous month.

KEITH Manufacturing Co., 7 Matthiesen, 10 Modern Ice, 5 Polar Temp, 9











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18 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020

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20 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ November 2020

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