Jerry & Donna Camenzind purchased their first icemakers in 1966, what was later to become Arctic Ice, began in the back of their restaurant with 6 - 400 lbs. per day Kold Draft icemakers. This purchase was recommended to be a good investment by a friend who was to serve as a partner in this new ice company. When the friend left the partnership about a year later, it was up to Jerry, Donna and their growing family to make this investment work.

1966 - 1968 
From 1966 to 1968, Jerry and his family produced 240 bags of ice per day. Each paper bag was filled with 10lbs of cube ice, and it took 2 days to fill the 500-bag capacity delivery truck. At this time, the small truck was their only means of storage, so after 2 days of production, the third day was spent delivering ice.


1969 - 1972
 
Due to the success of their ice sales, Jerry and Donna moved their icemakers from the back of the restaurant to a block ice plant in St. Charles, MO, purchased in 1969. The plant had the ability to produce 500 big 300 lb. blocks of ice per day. Even though the majority of their ice production was in the form of block ice, only 25% was sold as block. Most of the blocks were cut into cubes and sold as bagged, cube ice. Not only was ice produced differently than it is commonly produced today, approximately 50% of ice deliveries were to automated ice vendors. These coin-operated, highly mechanical machines would dispense bags or blocks of ice automatically, similar to a soda machine the size of a truck. Even though ice was manufactured and distributed differently, the most important aspect of the business has remained the same. Service, both in the early days of Arctic Ice and today, has remained the key to successful company growth. Taking care of the customer by meeting their particular needs and treating each customer with respect and courtesy has been key to the success of Arctic Ice.


1973 - 1977
 

Arctic Ice can also attribute their success to utilizing new technologies to increase efficiency and productivity. In 1973, Arctic Ice took their first big step toward greater production efficiency by purchasing their first Vogt® Tube-Ice® machine. This greater production efficiency led to their purchase of two additional Vogt 5000's in 1975. In that same year, Arctic Ice also moved the company to what was to be their permanent home for years to come. At this facility, ice was processed from the 3 Vogt icemakers by a homemade storage bin, an automatic poly sacker and then conveyed to the storage room to be tempered.

During this time other family members began working at the company. The first two were Jerry and Donna's sons' Mark and Steve with their daughter Sherrie to soon follow. Their children's first duty was usually bagging ice. Having their children work as part-time baggers was a necessity in this family, and it also gave their children an early respect for the company. Today, even though Sherry has limited involvement within the company, all five of Donna and Jerry's sons are valuable, full time members of the family company. The oldest son, Mark, functions as a general manager while taking incoming orders and dispatching trucks. Doug is the plant engineer and mechanic, and his brothers Steve and Mike work in sales. The youngest brother Chris, along with his wife Karen, works with Donna to manage the office and company bookkeeping.    


1978 - 1999
 
In 1978, Arctic Ice bought their first high capacity Vogt P24 22 ton per day ice machine.  Three years later, Arctic Ice purchased a second P24. Their continuing success motivated them to replace both of these machines by their first two Vogt P34AL Ice Makers in 1985. As Arctic Ice has grown they have made it a priority to utilize the latest technologies. In some cases they were the first to employ new industry equipment. Their first two Vogt P34AL icemakers were connected to one of the first AIS Packaged High-Side refrigeration systems. They were later the first ice company to employ a Kamco 35 ton live bottom bin and most recently were the first to use a Keith Walking Floor holding bin in a packaged ice operation.  


1999 to Today
 

In the spring of 1999, Arctic ice moved into their new, state-of-the-art ice plant. At this facility, four Vogt® P34AL-200 stretch Tube-Ice® machines function with a high-side refrigeration system to produce approximately 265 tons of ice per day.  Ice is transferred to an 85-ton Keith® WALKING FLOOR® holding bin and then to the packaging system by a custom-designed, fully automated AIS Screw Delivery System. The screw system yields a four station bagging system coupled to three Hamer FFS (Form, Fill and Seal) Machines, a Turbo Automatic Block Press and a fully automated Raesco palletizing system. This facility also boasts 8 loading docks and two freezers with the combined storage of 1,900 full size pallets of ice or 580,000 bags. To deliver all this ice, Arctic Ice dispatches 25 full time delivery vehicles. This new state-of-the-art facility has greatly increased their processing and distribution efficiency.  Through the years, Arctic Ice has seen many changes and tremendous growth. Hard work and the utilization of new technologies for greater productivity have been important to their success. But central to this success has always been honesty and a strong commitment to customer service. It is this customer service that will allow them to continue their growth while maintaining a loyal customer base. What began as a side business in the back of a family restaurant has evolved to be not only a major ice plant but also a family legacy.  Now with five sons, 3 grandsons and a daughter-in-law in the business, Jerry and Donna have taken family owned and operated past the norm and into a whole new level of success.








1498 Kinark Drive  |  St. Louis, Missouri  63132
Phone: (314) 989-9090  |  Fax: (314) 989-9889

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