Vault Ice - Featured Member

Posted by Made in Oklahoma on 08/17/2017

So why did Vault Ice choose to get into the premium cocktail ice business?

Originally, we had a focus on ice carving, ice sculptures and things like that.  My team and I talked to people in the hospitality business and learned there was a need for craft cocktail ice.  And it's not just the "cool" factor of having a perfectly clear, premium chunk of ice in your glass.  It's because fast-melting ice means serving a watered down drink that isn’t consumed as quickly. When people don’t finish their drinks quickly, they are unlikely to order another, and the bar’s sales decrease.  It's a quickly growing market with no dominant national provider and we intend to be just that. 

 Melt test of Vault Ice against machine ice

So what makes the ice so special?

The water that becomes the ice goes through an intense process to ensure the most crystal clear rock of ice obtainable. To really achieve this there are a few things that must happen. We have to freeze the ice slowly, Freeze it in one direction and keep the ice in constant motion. We allow the ice to freeze over a few days before harvesting which afterward we slab, cut and seal to bring you what you would see in your glass.

 Click here to see a video of the process 

The company has grown a bit from what I've seen?

Yes, The company is strategically expanding.  Upon acquisition, there were only two employees.  We increased that number immediately and will have 16 to 20 employees on staff by the end of 2017.  We are also relocating from the existing 5,000 sqft facility that the building has been in for the past 28 years into 25,000 sqft new manufacturing plant located in Norman, OK.  Some of the equipment will include 150,000 cubic feet of freezer space, 400 ice block freezing tanks and multiple CNC machines that will process over 30 million pieces of ice per year. 

Can you tell us how you got into making ice?

Well, I've owned several businesses and have worked with former Ideas in Ice owner Ken Burkemper when I needed ice sculptures for events. When Burkemper announced his retirement in the fall of 2014, I was worried about how that would affect the event market. So, with no experience in the ice business, we acquired the company along with our partners as Square Deal Capital and worked out a deal with Burkemper to stay on as a consultant and to help find new talent during the transition.  Shortly after we rebranded from Ideas In Ice to Vault Ice then adjusted our focus from ice sculptures to premium cocktail ice.   

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