Made in Ontario: The ICEE Company
The ICEE Company was founded in 1967 in Los Angeles County, and celebrated their 50th “ICEEversary” in 2017. ICEE employs approximately 1400 people, 165 of which are in Ontario and another 110 throughout the state of California. The company services, supplies and delivers ICEE products not only across the nation, but across the world as well. ICEE has been headquartered in Ontario for about 28 years and continues to grow.
The Long Road to Ontario
The frozen product originated in Coffeyville, Kansas where Omar Knedlik put a Coke bottle in the freezer to make the drink. Customers enjoyed it so much that he sold this idea to a manufacturing plant in Dallas, Texas. That manufacturing plant invented the ICEE brand and then sold the ICEE rights by county, one of which was LA County. The LA County ICEE Company began buying the different counties to unify the brand into the ICEE Company that exists today.
Dan Fachner, the President and CEO stated why the City of Ontario was such a perfect fit for the company, “One of the real draws to Ontario is the great freeway system to get to really any place you have to go. If you want to go to Vegas or San Diego, you can be there. If you’re going to LA, or if you’re going to Orange County. I absolutely love the freeway system. The other thing is we do a lot of flying. We talked about being an international company. And so being able to fly and be so close to the Ontario Airport is really a plus for everybody.”
While known primarily for its carbonated frozen drinks, ICEE has invented many products used in the frozen drink industry.
The spoon straw was invented to allow consumers to get every last drop of their ICEE drink once they got to the bottom of the cup. ICEE also created the famous dome lids that are used for their drinks to avoid the issue of over stacking with a flat lid. These two innovative products became a huge marketing theme for the company, and a part of ICEE experience.
ICEE is also working on a new single barrel machine that allows consumers to mix in their own flavor shots, from classics like cherry and blue raspberry, to new flavors like sour grape and chile mango lime. The machine is being leveraged into their frozen adult beverage company, Parrot Ice, for new products like Jack and Coke. The new machine can also be used to customize their new frozen coffee beverages.
A Part of the Community
Being headquartered in Ontario has been beneficial for not only for The ICEE Company, but for their employees too.
The affordability of Ontario makes it easier for ICEE employees to make a living and afford the lifestyle they want. ICEE is able to bring new employees into California and have them easily afford to live somewhere in the Ontario area.
“Bringing new talent in is extremely important to us and one of the things that we really strive for is to stay young,” said Dan Fachner, “We’re always looking for good, young talent that may come from anywhere across the country. And being able to come to Ontario and being able to afford to live here is really a plus. In a lot of parts of Southern California that’s very hard to do.”
The ICEE Company also held an event at the beginning of the summer where they gave out their carbonated frozen drinks at their HQ for free to anyone that came to visit their company. The company hopes to continue these giveaways as something that they can continue to do for the Ontario community.
To learn more about The ICEE Company, visit www.icee.com
The ICEE Company is located at 1205 S. Dupont Avenue, Ontario.