Industry News | January 14, 2014
Beverage-Air Celebrates 70 Years of American Innovation
Beverage-Air, manufacturer of a complete line of commercial refrigeration products, announced that 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the company.
Beverage-Air, founded in 1944 by John Buffington in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, became a leader in the foodservice industry by inventing the first horizontal, forced-air cooler in the Deep Well Series. The company was then known as The Punxsutawney Company with a trade name of “Beverage-Air.” As the business steadily grew and the demand for commercial refrigeration products increased, John brought his brother Herman Buffington on board to help continue to grow the business. This venture would help to make Beverage-Air a nationwide commercial brand by the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. By 1950, Beverage-Air further developed the “air cooled beverage system” for horizontal coolers and expanded the product line to include shallow wells, club bars, dairy models, cube makers, and direct draw systems.
With business booming in 1958, the decision was made to build a new manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This facility became the corporate headquarters and the company was renamed Beverage-Air. The industry’s first glass door merchandisers and reach-in coolers were produced at this facility beginning in 1966.
To accommodate continued growth in 1969, a second facility was built in Brookville, Pennsylvania. The original Punxsutawney Company closed its doors and all operations were moved to Brookville and Spartanburg. These facilities would see numerous expansions between 1972 and 1990. To meet customer demands and manufacturing requirements, Beverage-Air constructed a third facility in Honea Path, South Carolina, in 1995.
Throughout the years, the company changed ownership by way of several acquisitions. In 1972, Buffington sold the company to Tannetics Inc., and it was operated by Clinton G. Gerlach. Tannetics was sold to Gerlach Industries Inc. in 1983. Gerlach Industries Inc. made the decision to sell the company to Specialty Equipment Companies Inc. in 1986. Beverage-Air remained a part of Specialty Equipment until it was sold to Carrier Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation in the year 2000.
Finally in 2008, the Ali Group acquired Beverage-Air. The Ali Group is a large and diversified global leader in the foodservice equipment industry, consisting of 76 brands worldwide. In 2010, the corporate headquarters was relocated to a newly constructed, LEED certified facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where it remains today as part of the Ali Group North America Campus. In commemoration of its 70th anniversary, Beverage-Air has published a collectible 2014 Calendar that illustrates old/new model innovations with product benefits and features throughout the years.
For 70 years, Beverage-Air has been dedicated to being a leader in innovative refrigeration equipment solutions. The goal of the company is to blend its heritage of leadership, exceptional product quality, and solution-based engineering to provide customers with a comprehensive range of refrigeration equipment and unmatched aftermarket service. Beverage-Air is a global leader and manufacturer for commercial refrigeration products in the foodservice industry.
Food & Beverage
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