AC ICE COMPANY INC. was established in 1977 by Ed Churchwell and Mark Achziger. Our first Location was in the service bays of a Phillips 66 gas station. Our first ice machines were two Manitowoc 1100 cubers and a Star can block maker. We hand bagged the ice and stored it in a four by eight freezer that sat on a trailer. This trailer was also our first delivery unit.
Our business soon outgrew our gas station area so we bought land next door and installed 24 Manitowoc ice machines of the very first Clinebell ice bin. We also installed 6 Clinebell B-56 block makers and automated our plant to include an automatic bagger and heat sealer. We also built a cold storage freezer that held 60 pallets of ice. Our service area expanded to most of northeastern Colorado.
In 1988, we saw the need to expand into markets with a bigger population base. We bought a small ice company in Fort Collins and put in a freezer to store the ice. All of the ice was produced in our Brush facility and transported to Fort Collins. As the years have passed we have expanded our freezer space in our Fort Collins warehouse, and our delivery territory goes from the Wyoming border down into north Denver and a 50 to 60 mile radius of Fort Collins.
In 1999, there was the need for yet a bigger facility. We moved to our present location at 221 Hospital Road in Brush. This building gave us the room to expand once again. We installed a cold storage freezer that could hold 200 pallets. We installed two Vogt Ice Machines that can produce 30 tons of ice a day. We again automated our bagging system to make it more efficient and sanitary. A three-truck dock area was built to make it easier to load our route trucks and trailers with palletized ice instead of one bag at a time.
The new decade brought new challenges. Our sales were growing at such a pace that we did not have enough ice production to keep up. We were buying 20 to 30 semi loads of ice from other ice companies in order to satisfy our customer’s demands.
In the spring of 2002 we again expanded by doubling our ice production up to 60 tons of ice a day. Now, instead of having to buy ice we were able to sell extra ice to other companies that ran short in the summer. We have helped other ice companies as far east as Wisconsin and as far west as California. With our extra capacity we were able to help FEMA with the devastating Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
The winter of 2013 brought another expansion both in production and service. A Morris Ice Machine producing 50 tons of ice a day was installed next to our existing Vogt Ice Machines. This allows us to produce and package 220,000 lbs. of ice per day.
We have also, once again, modernized our packaging process to make us more efficient and sanitary in getting our packaged ice to our customers. At this same time we also expanded our service area to cover southern Colorado. We opened a warehouse facility in Colorado Springs and now supply customers within a 60-mile radius of Colorado Springs.
As we have grown we have constantly strived to improve our product and keep our service at the highest level. We are proud to be members of the International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA). Their motto, “ice is food”, is one that we take seriously.