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  1. Throw Back Thursday - Antique Ice Machines

    The ice machine has come a long way since its inception in 1880! The first ice maker was produced and patented by in 1844 by John Gorrie as a device to cool down his patients. The first patented ice maker for food was filed by John Gorrie in 1851. Far from the large machines of today, early ice makers relied on relied on a mechanical compressor and, of course, no electricity. Only very small amounts of ice could be created by the earliest machines


    Before the invention of the ice machines, freezing water was harvested from lakes and rivers when available. This meant, of course, that only those living in cold climates would ever have refrigeration, and then only for several short months out of year. Home ice machines did not begin to be popular until the 1920s, when improvement to technology and the advent of electricity in virtually every household allowed this once luxurious item to be readily accessible.

    Ice machines had a style hey day in the 1950s, when post war America focused on the home and domesticity. Housewives would pose proudly before their innovative machines, stuffed with every type of imaginable food as a sign of prosperity. Home refrigerators tended to come in bright sherbet colors and be as sought after as computers and other tech devices are today.

  2. True One Section Work Top Freezer

    TWT-27FIn the kitchen, it’s necessary to use every possible surface available to you. If you’re preparing a common dish, why not have the ingredients close to you? And, what if most of those ingredients need to stay frozen? Well, the solution might be a True One Section Work Top Freezer.

    There are several styles of work top freezers, but the True version is made with stainless steel, has 2 shelves for easy access, and keeps your materials at 10 below (F). The stainless steel makes for easy cleaning, so you’re not having to fight at the end of the shift to get your work surfaces cleaned off.

    What about the height? Just right to give you a great work surface. Perfect for stirring, putting some flour over and rolling out dough, or even assembling something intricate. Perhaps these freezers could work well in other places in the kitchen, as well – with the casters on it, you can roll the freezer to where it needs to be, rather than simply being content to leave it in one place.

    Having casters also means that it’s easier to clean when you’ve got to mop down the entirety of the kitchen. Just move it out of the way and you’re good to go. It’s just the right height to work, and just the right size to store what you need. 

  3. Toppings for Frozen Yogurt

    Frozen Yogurt and Fruit We’re in love with ice and all things frozen over here at Ice Machines Plus, which brings us to today’s topic.  Today is Frozen Yogurt Day! In celebration of one of the best desserts in the world, we’re going to talk about some of the toppings that you can put on your frozen yogurt.

    Now, we know what you might be thinking: what do frozen yogurt flavors have to do with ice machines?  Maybe not a lot, but some of these frozen yogurt concoctions that you can make for the kid in you can be translated into super-sweet adult delights.

    Fruits

    Any type of fruit that you can think of works well with frozen yogurt and your frozen yogurt machine.  You can find a wide range of fruits, limited only by your imagination.  There’s peaches, pineapple, kiwi, pomegranate, bananas, blackberries, well, you get the idea. 

    Chocolates

    Yes, chocolate can play a part of your frozen yogurt experience. Now, we’re not doubting the healthiness of the frozen yogurt, but there are definitely some folks out there who believe that chocolate should go with everything.  You can even put chocolate flavored yogurt chips in your froyo.

    Nuts

    Nuts are popular as anything. Who’s to say that you can’t put a little bit of crunch in your own frozen libations?  You can run the gamut from peanuts to pecans to hazelnuts and even pistachios.  Blend it up in the froyo, and you’ve got a little surprise with each of your bites. 

    Candies

    Nope, you can’t leave out candies from the mix.  This covers a huge range, from candy imperials to lemon heads, to Pop Rocks to gummy bears and beyond.  Anything that’s considered candy can be put into your delicious frozen yogurt treat. 

    Syrups

    Here’s where you can go really crazy.  Chocolate syrup, butterscotch syrup, caramel syrup… they’re all up for grabs when you’re looking at a bowl of fresh frozen yogurt with just a touch of rum.  Hit it with just a little bit of the syrup and you have something completely decadent.

    Whether you’re making slushies with your nugget ice or frozen yogurt treats in your commercial freezer, you’re looking at a lot of fun with frozen yogurt.  

    Photo Attribution

  4. Design Considerations for Bar Coolers

    Back Bar Cooler What do you need to know before choosing a bar cooler? Quite a lot actually. Choosing the wrong bar cooler can have a major impact on your overall bottom line. If you’re opening a new bar or thinking about replacing your old bar cooler, here’s what you’ll need to know.

    Space considerations

    The primary thing to remember before choosing a bar cooler is that it has to fit into the available space. Measure the dimensions of your current unit to give yourself a guideline, or measure the void where the new one will go and subtract an inch on all sides. That will give enough air circulation for most units. If you’re looking for a reach-in beverage cooler, decide whether you’re going to place it on top of the bar or under the bar before measuring.

    Door type

    The best door type for bars is to have a sliding glass door. In a tiny bar with a lot of people it’s awkward to dodge the door every time it’s open. It’s also good to have glass instead of a solid type because you’ll spend less time trying to find what you’re looking for. That being said, some prefer a solid door so they don’t have to make their back bar equipment look neat in the fridge.

    What are you serving?

    If you are selling beer or wine, there are special coolers that have features to chill those drinks. For instance, wine coolers have racks to fit large wine bottles. Keg refrigerators might have draft lines installed into the unit. What you really want to avoid is buying a cooler that can’t fit your bottles.

    New or Used?

    You might be tempted to pick up a used unit, but be warned. The lifespan and quality of a used refrigeration unit may be far lower than you might think. It is better to bar coolers new so you know exactly what you’re getting.

  5. Does Your Bar Need a Commercial Glass Chiller?

    Beer Mugs Having a frosty mug handed to you at a bar can add a little something extra to the experience of drinking at the bar.  It always seems to be a more special experience when it’s cold and you can see the frost as they pour the libations into the chilled mug.  Have you ever wondered about how the bartenders get these glasses cold?

    There are commercial glass chillers for that.  This is something that falls into the equipment lists of every bartender in the land.  Each one of them has a glass chiller designed to hold a lot of glasses.  One of our favorite glass chillers happens to be one that can hold nearly 200 mugs inside.

    There are a number of wire shelves inside of the chiller to keep the freezer’s contents organized, and most of the commercial glass chillers have an automatic defrosting system in case there is too much ice buildup.

    The chillers will conveniently fit underneath bar counters, working in conjunction with the bar washers and the kegerators.  One of these could possibly fit by your three sink undercounter sink. 

    If your patrons are looking for frosted mugs, then the commercial glass chiller seems to be the way to go.  They’re dynamic pieces of equipment which will add that something special to the experience. 

    Thanks go out to Dennis S Hurd on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture.

  6. Choosing a Refrigerated Deli Case For Your Store

    Refrigerated Deli CaseIf you’re thinking about opening a deli, a convenience store, or a bagel shop, you’re going to need at least one refrigerated deli case.  The type of case which you choose will make the difference in convenience and accessibility for your customers. How do you choose?

    Grab-and-Go or Employee Assisted?

    The grab and go style of deli case is excellent for places which are serving prepackaged items like containers of yogurt or already wrapped sandwiches.  Some situations, however, warrant a more full-service approach – like the services which cut meat on demand. 

    Do you want storage space underneath?

    If a deli case is listed as single duty, it is comprised of simply the case without any storage capacity.  If it is listed as double duty, there is a small storage area underneath the case which can be used for extra supplies, ‘working’ meats, or other accoutrements.

    Forced Air or Gravity Coil?

    The forced air systems circulate the air around the cabinet.  These are used in situations where the items aren’t left in the case very long, or they’re impervious to drying out. 

    The gravity coil system places the refrigeration at the top of the case and allows it to settle down around the material within the case.  They’re not actively moving air around the chamber.

    How big do I need my refrigerated deli case to be?

    Think about the footprint where you’re installing the case.  If you’ve got an empty space with which to work, it can be very easy to get items which are too large or too small for the space. 

    When you’re looking at some of the best deli cases, it can be difficult to really suss out the details which you need.  If you’re looking for a case for your new place, take a look through our catalog.   

  7. A Beverage Cooler Can Increase Revenue at Your Gym

    Gym membership sales in the United States continue to increase, with more people taking their personal health and well-being seriously than in the past. Most gyms’ revenue comes in the form of membership packages, training fees, and rental equipment (racquets for racquetball, court time rentals), but if you own a gym and fail to offer some sort of refreshments, protein shakes, or energy drinks, you may be missing out on an even greater source of revenue that comes at very little cost. While it may cost quite a bit to install a new basketball court or Olympic sized swimming pool, blending up a smoothie or offering cold sports drinks are simple, low-cost options that can help elevate income. The right beverage cooler will help increase these sales exponentially. With over 45 million gym memberships nationwide, it is important to take the extra step separate your establishment from others.

    When your gym members exercise, they will naturally sweat and lose essential nutrients and vitamins. These should be replaced soon after a workout, so offering a protein shake, an all-natural smoothie, or sports drink at your gym will not only help improve your bottom line, but will be a massive hit among gym-goers. This is where the juice bar and beverage cooler make a huge difference.

    At my previous gym, pizza was offered on the first Monday of every month. Despite the drawbacks of pizza as a post-workout meal, the gym always seemed to be twice as full on this Monday.  (I can’t say I was a fan of Bertha enjoying a meal on the weight bench when I wanted to work out, however.) Our beverage cooler was also rarely full- offering little selection, and the beverages in the cooler were markedly overpriced. Needless to say, I didn’t really enjoy these “perks” very often. With a beverage cooler and health shakes, your members’ post-workout needs will always be met, a

    Beverage Coolers in Gym taken from Above Note the Beverage Cooler at Bottom Right

    A few weeks ago, my brother invited me as a guest to check out his gym, citing the benefits of what he called a “real gym”. It cost twice as much, but the benefits far outweighed the cost difference. There were no “Pizza Mondays”, but instead,a full smoothie bar, with seemingly unlimited options. These included freshly blended fruit drinks, protein powders, and all natural additives that were designed to help you reach whatever goal you were trying to achieve. Aside from that, three glass door merchandisers - beverage coolers - lined the wall immediately to the right upon entering. These beverage coolers were found keeping their contents illuminated and perfectly visible as soon as anyone walked through the door. It was the first thing I noticed, and provided a beverage selection that would make any convenience store owner envious. From energy drinks to sports drinks and vitamin water, this gym had an unbelievable selection, and the right beverage cooler to house everything – in an exceptionally visible, well-lit display. With 87% of Americans taking some sort of dietary supplement¹, the ability to offer a few at your gym will greatly boost your popularity, as well as your income.

    True GMD45 Black Glass Door MerchandiserAside from being able to offer a great variety of beverages and shakes to increase revenue, the ability to offer these perks make attending your gym far more desirable than a gym without these amenities. The shakes do not take a lot of time or effort to make, and require only a compact ice machine, commercial grade blender, and the food products which will be used. When it comes to displaying pre-bottled beverages, few can provide benefits like the True GDM-45 can. This glass door merchandiser from True lets you show off your beverages while keeping them cool and ready for consumption. The ratchet locks keep its contents safe and help prevent theft. True also offers smaller and larger beverage coolers if you wish to offer a greater or lesser amount of beverages in your gym.

    There are ways to improve earnings at your gym, even if you are not signing up new members. Adding a few items like an undercounter ice machine, a new blender, and commercial beverage coolers will allow you to offer healthy refreshments that others may be unable or unwilling to provide. There is more that goes into a successful gym than benches, weights, and treadmills. Gym-goers now have an increasing amount of options when it comes to value, selection, and working out. Providing a few options aside from the water fountain may be one way to separate your establishment from the competitors’. And that’s why we’re here to help. Ice Machines Plus can provide you with all of your gym equipment… that isn’t gym equipment.

    ¹ Statistics acquired from Partnership Capital Growth

  8. True’s GDM-72: Make Your Customers Want It!

    True GDM-72 Glass Door MerchandiserThere is a certain art to influencing the impulse buy. Whether you aim to make your customers purchase something on a whim in your convenience store, gas station, or corner store, one thing is true, you want people to buy more, and think less. My Achilles heel comes in the form of a certain strawberry banana sugary beverage. When I see it sitting behind the door of a glass door merchandiser like True’s GDM-72, I just have to have it. True is the number one manufacturer of glass door merchandisers in the entire world, so if you need the best, you turn to True. The GDM-72 is a staple in stores across the country, and you would do well to prominently display your most popular items in a glass door merchandiser like this one.

    Perhaps I gravitate toward my favorite beverage because it reminds me of my the vacations of my childhood, buying these drinks two at a time and drinking them as we walked to the beach. When you place products in your glass door merchandiser, you are promoting them in a certain light that appeals to customers. The feelings evoked by them will cause your customers to make a purchase that they may not have intended to make in the first place. I know there have been more than a few times I’ve walked into a store to get gas, only to walk out with my favorite beverage (even when I’m not thirsty).

    The GDM-72 is the largest glass door merchandiser available from True. It is a three door unit that offers 72 cubic feet for storage. Twelve adjustable PVC coated shelves allow you to store a great amount of products of various sizes. This way, you can fit anything from 12 ounce cans to gallons of milk, or two liter bottles of soda. The GDM-72 is also one of True’s glass door merchandisers that features a bottom mounted compressor. This causes the floor of the cabinet to be elevated, allowing you to place more products in clear view of your customers.

    What makes the GDM-72  even more desirable is the advanced door system that it provides. The doors of the GDM-72 feature a patented, integrated door light which shines brightly on every product inside the merchandiser. The doors are self-closing, and are insulated with the latest energy efficient technology, ensuring that every product stored inside the GDM-72 remains safely stored and at the proper temperature. The T-8 light bulbs used are energy efficient, and last longer than standard bulbs, so they need to be replaced far less often. The True GDM-72 glass door merchandiser is also ENERGY STAR qualified due to its efficient operation.

    Whether potential customers enter your store with a goal, product, or service in mind, True’s GDM-72 will help influence their decision to buy, and to buy more. The GDM-72 is recognized as one of the most popular, reliable glass door merchandisers available today. Whether your customers want it or not, make them want it more with the GDM-72 from True.

  9. True T-49: A-PLUS Refrigeration

    Prior to this week, the “Plus” in our brand name served little more than a fancy extension to the products we offered at Ice Machines Plus. We could recommend water filters, operating stands, ice scoops, or other accessories, but recently we have decided to expand our selection a bit. Now the “Plus” in our name encompasses refrigerators – along with many other commercial appliances – and also includes the True T-49, an exceptional, Energy Star rated, commercial refrigerator from True. We now supply even more products and accessories, with more being added to our inventory every day, so you can outfit your business with the highest quality, most profitable equipment possible.True T-49 Energy Star Refrigerator

    We chose to spotlight the True T-49 because it encompasses everything that a good commercial refrigerator should. It provides a good amount of storage space, with 49 cubic feet available. It is durable, with the ability to resist the wear and tear that inevitably comes with life in the busy commercial kitchen. It was also smartly designed both internally and externally as well, which we will cover later. Perhaps most important is the fact that the True T-49 is energy efficient as well, having earned an Energy Star qualification due to its conservative consumption of electricity, and the efficient way it keep products cool.

    When we refer to a smart design, the T-49 performs well on all levels. Internally, there are six adjustable, PVC coated wire shelves – each with the ability to hold up to 250 pounds. Since the shelves are adjustable, there are near infinite possibilities as to what you are allowed to store in the True T-49. The compressor, mounted on the bottom, operates in the coolest, cleanest area of the kitchen. Top-mounted compressors often operate in a dirtier, greasier environment, and are more susceptible to a shortened life. The bottom mounted compressor also makes service and cleaning a far easier task than it would be with a top-mounted compressor.True T-49 PVC coated shelves lastExternally, the True T-49 leaves little to be desired. The doors are constructed of fine 300 Series stainless steel – the finest available – which is better at resisting dings, dents, and scratches. It is far easier to clean too. The recessed door handles prevent users from catching clothing or chef coats on them, making the kitchen a safer operating environment. If you have ever had the misfortune of working in a kitchen with protruding lever handles, you know painful a whack in the ribs or to the elbow can be. The True T-49 eliminates this risk altogether.

    Recent trends also suggest that energy efficiency is playing an increasing role in the selection process for commercial refrigerators. The True T-49 performs well in many areas and has earned its Energy Star label for many reasons. The T-49 features oversized fan blades to circulate air better while consuming less energy. The magnetic gaskets and self-closing doors ensure that the doors to not remain open, and are sealed positively when closed, keeping the cool air inside. These features, among others, keep the True T-49 a step ahead of the competition.

    If you’re in the market for a new commercial refrigerator, the True T-49 should receive much consideration. Having worked with this refrigerator in a few different foodservice establishments, I have found it is a “must have” if you require a mid-sized refrigerator, with a good balance between product quality and price. Consider the T-49 from True for all of your kitchen’s refrigeration requirements.

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