Oklahoma Retailers are Preparing for Big Changes to Beer, Liquor and Wine Sales

The Oklahoma Regulations Governing the Sale of Wine and Beer Amendment, also known as State Question 792, was on the November 8, 2016 ballot in Oklahoma. The SQ 792 supported completely changing the laws governing alcohol sales and distribution in the state, allowing grocery stores and convenience stores the ability to sell full-strength beer and wine. The SQ 792 was approved and will go into effect starting October 1, 2018.

Currently, the Oklahoma law allows beverages containing less than 3.2% ethanol by weight or 4% alcohol by volume to only be sold in licensed liquor stores at room temperature.  Grocery stores and convenience stores are able to sell low-point beer at refrigerated temperatures. However, with the passing of SQ 792, any establishment with an alcohol license will be allowed to sell full-strength beer and wine refrigerated.

Being able to sell refrigerated alcohol beverages is the key change for many retailers in Oklahoma. Several of these retail locations have already started preparing for the changes that will go into effect this fall. Liquor stores are adding refrigerated storage, merchandising coolers and beer caves to their retail locations.  Convenience stores who were only able to sell certain alcohol at cold temperatures, can now add to their display coolers. Retailers that have not started to prepare for these changes will need to act fast.

Although U.S. Cooler does not sell direct to merchants, we can help in the design and planning stages for additional cold storage space. Whether additional merchandising coolers or a Brew Cave is needed, U.S. Cooler can help retailers create the cold storage merchandising space required for this change.

Beer display in convenience store

 

ABOUT:

U.S. Cooler manufactures walk-in coolers and freezers supported with a complete line of engineered refrigeration systems, glass doors, parts and accessories. To learn more about U.S. Cooler visit www.uscooler.com.

 

An Increase in Manufacturing Efficiency Reduces Production Lead Time

Year after year our manufacturing production has been challenged with the demand to keep up with the increase in sales. Last year was particularly “challenging” with no true slow-down in the demand for custom walk-in coolers and freezers.

U.S. Cooler has a continuous goal of improving efficiency and reducing waste; making us as lean as we can possibly be. Several positive impacts in the past year have taken place in our facilities to make U.S. Cooler even more efficient. Our manufacturing facility has recently added over 16% more production capability. By automating more processes, adding new equipment and adding managers to focus on efficiency, U.S. Cooler has been able to decrease our production lead time on custom orders to approximately three to four weeks. Naturally, our lead time can fluctuate depending on the market but we are hopeful that U.S. Cooler will be able to sustain this lead time on custom orders.

Wadlinger Named Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager

Quincy, IL, January 15, 2018 – Justin Wadlinger was named Regional Sales Manager for U.S. Cooler’s Mid-Atlantic Territory, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and District of Columbia. Wadlinger is from Mount Wolf, PA and brings with him ten years of experience in the building industry. This experience, along with his enthusiasm and professionalism, will lend itself well toward serving U.S. Cooler’s customer base.

U.S. Cooler is happy to bring him on board and is assured Justin will be a valued addition to this territory and our organization’s aim to enhance dealer support.

For additional information on Wadlinger Named Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager, contact Kaitie Herbranson or visit www.uscooler.com.

 

U.S. Cooler to Support Hurricane Relief Efforts

U.S. Cooler is assisting hurricane victims by supporting Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief efforts.  Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by the hurricanes. Our thoughts and prayers are with these families as they work to rebuild their lives and communities. From orders received in October, Craig Industries will be supporting Samaritan’s Purse hurricane relief efforts.  To learn more about Samaritan’s Purse or if you would like to donate directly, please visit the Samaritan’s Purse website.

Bliefnick Named Greater Phoenix Regional Sales Manager

Tommy Bliefnick was named Regional Sales Manager for U.S. Cooler’s Greater Phoenix Territory, including Tucson and the surrounding communities. Bliefnick has numerous years of sales experience and has been living in the Phoenix area for over 6 years.  Bliefnick’s sales experience will lend itself well toward serving U.S. Cooler’s customer base there. U.S. Cooler is confident that Bliefnick will be a valued asset to this territory and that his presence will enhance local dealer support.

For additional information on Bliefnick Named Regional Sales Manager, contact Claire DeVoss or visit www.uscooler.com.

ABOUT:

U.S. Cooler manufactures walk-in coolers and freezers supported with a complete line of engineered refrigeration systems, glass doors, parts and accessories.

Walk-in Cooler and Freezer Online Buying Guide

Walk-in coolers and freezers are a very custom product. Standard sizes are available in the industry but they assume some standard specifications. Walk-ins are not a one-size fits all item like other foodservice equipment. If you are shopping for walk-ins online, make sure to review the specifications used in sizing that walk-in. Where the walk-in is located geographically as well as if it will be installed indoors or outdoors makes a difference in the required equipment needed to run your walk-in effectively.

U.S. Cooler indoor walk-in cooler without a floor.

Here are some important things to consider before purchasing a walk-in cooler or freezer online.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor and outdoor walk-in coolers and freezers are manufactured differently. Outdoor models require additional weatherproof items on the walk-in. If your walk-in will be located outdoors, it will require some type of weather ceiling strips or a rain roof to protect the panels from the elements. If refrigeration units will be located outdoors, they require a weather cover as well as all-weather controls.  An Indoor walk-in will not work properly outdoors without additional equipment. Indoor and outdoor refrigeration units are sized differently. Look closely at the description to make sure it will fit your location needs.
  • Floor or No Floor:  Whether or not you’ll need an insulated floor depends on where your walk-in unit will be installed.  Walk-in freezers almost always require an insulated floor unless you have an insulated concrete floor already in place with thermal breaks. Walk-in coolers do not always require a floor, but it depends on where the walk-in will be installed. For cooler units installed indoors on a bare concrete slab, a floor is not essential. In new construction, if you plan on carrying heavy loads in and out of your walk-in cooler, it is recommended to construct an insulated concrete pad with thermal breaks. This will help stop condensation from forming on your concrete floor. For a walk-in to be placed above-grade level such as over a basement or on a second story floor, an insulated floor is required.
  • Holding Product: What you are storing in your walk-in makes a difference in what refrigeration unit is needed. For coolers, many models are sized assuming product entering the cooler will be 55°F and the cooler will be holding at 35°F. For freezers, many models are sized assuming product entering the freezer will be entering at 20°F and holding at -10°F. Models vary, so make sure to check the specifications on how it was sized.  If product is entering or holding at different temperatures than what the refrigeration is sized for, the refrigeration will be sized incorrectly causing it to not work properly.
  • Airflow around the Walk-in: When planning your space, remember that there should be at least 2” around the exterior of the walk-in for airflow. Without the proper airflow around walk-in cooler or freezer panels, panels could sweat or cause condensation.
  • Refrigeration Systems: There are two main types of refrigeration systems used on walk-in coolers and freezers.
    • The “pre-assembled-remote” refrigeration is a split system with the coil inside the cooler/freezer and the condensing unit either outdoors or near the walk-in. Most often on remote refrigeration systems the condensing unit is installed outside of the building. Remote refrigeration units require a licensed refrigeration contractor to install and run lines. For refrigeration warranty purposes all refrigeration must be installed by a licensed refrigeration contractor.
    • The “self-contained” refrigeration system contains the coil and condensing unit all in one that is installed on the ceiling or on/in the walls of the walk-in. Typically, a hole is pre-cut in the ceiling panel or wall panel and the unit drops in. This unit is usually ready to be installed, however a licensed refrigeration contractor must start up unit.
  • Geographic Location: The geographic location where the walk-in will be installed makes a difference. Walk-ins that are located in warmer or colder climates require to be sized accordingly. Walk-ins being shipped to warmer climates, higher elevations or with warm product entering temperatures may need a custom quotation and may not work with a “package” available online. Make sure to check the ambient temperature in the specifications to ensure the refrigeration is sized properly and will suit your climate.
  • Delivery: Due to the large product size, walk-in cooler and freezer panels are shipped on pallets and banded together for protection. A forklift will be needed to unload the unit or the unit can be unpacked and unloaded panel by panel off the pallet while it is still on the truck. Two or three people will need to be available to receive delivery if this choice is chosen. You may be charged a surcharge if it takes too long to unload the truck. Many trucks do not have a large enough lift gate for the size of pallets being delivered, therefor this option may not be available for you. It is recommended to have a fork-lift onsite at the time of delivery. It is a good idea to contact the shipping company to make an appointment for delivery to ensure the delivery process goes smoothly. Residential deliveries and limited access locations may incur sur-charges from the shipping company.

Rueb Named Midwest Regional Sales Manager

Quincy, IL, March 1, 2017 – Clinton Rueb was named Regional Sales Manager for U.S. Cooler’s Midwestern Territory including most of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Rueb has over 15 years of experience with Craig Industries’. Rueb’s unique blend of refrigeration, manufacturing and sales experience will lend itself well toward serving their customer base. U.S. Cooler is confident that Rueb will be a valued asset to this territory and their aim to enhance dealer support.

For additional information on Rueb Named Regional Sales Manager, contact Claire DeVoss or visit www.uscooler.com.

ABOUT:

U.S. Cooler manufactures walk-in coolers and freezers supported with a complete line of engineered refrigeration systems, glass doors, parts and accessories.