Hi-Vis Cabinets = Increased Ice Cream Sales$$
“3 different looks same quality cabinet”
C. Nelson Mfg., Company, Oak Harbor, Ohio, USA, introduced their first Hi-Vis dipping cabinet in the summer of 2008 and Nelson has not looked back since. According to Kelley Smith, Owner and Head Engineer, at C. Nelson Mfg., “the goal of this new style cabinet was to bring the customer closer to the ice cream and enhance their buying experience”. The success of this new line of ice cream dipping cabinets has increased C. Nelson’s exposure to dairies and ice cream chains around the world.
Below is a brief summary of 3 different Ohio, USA, customers and the unique ways they designed their ice cream dipping front counters. All three have experienced increased ice cream sales and increased customer satisfaction. They all wanted an updated and unique look to their ice cream parlor areas. Their continued purchase of these newly designed cabinets has proven Kelley Smith 100% right on target.
Eric Gerber started in the ice cream business with a run down tired looking former Dairy Queen store on the outskirts of Defiance, Ohio, March 1999. Eric’s journey to learn the business and how to make quality ice cream took him down a 13 year path of trial-and-error. Eric started with one ice cream store and today he owns 4 shops, with #5 on the drawing board, all serving quality hand dipped ice cream. In his new shop Eric wanted to feature his family’s recipes of homemade ice creams, great tasting coffees and teas, and delicious hot grilled sandwiches & flat breads. Eric opened his new store late summer 2012 with time to work out the kinks for the Christmas holiday season.
Eric picked the 16diphv gelato style dipping cabinet from C. Nelson because they allowed his customers to get up-front-and-personal with his homemade ice creams. Eric wanted his customers to really see his quality ice creams before they made up their minds. Eric chose the clean white and open look for his front counter. Eric wanted the ice cream dipping cabinets to be the focal point showing off his ice creams like diamond rings in a jewelry case at the jewelry store. The cases became part of the front counter and connected with an ice cream cake & novelty display case. This layout also allowed the cabinets to breathe in cool unrestricted air though the compressor housing keeping the cabinets cool and running efficiently. Eric’s front counter is all about the homemade ice cream presentation; it is about showing off his ice cream. Eric told me many times while we were designing his new store, “why would I want to hide all these great looking ice creams?” Eric is happy to report that his sales have proved him right$. His customers buy with their eyes and the C. Nelson cabinet makes that happen best!
Mike and Peter Mitchell started with their first store in Cleveland in 1999 and today they have over 8 stores. Their stores currently use a 16diphv and a 12diphv C. Nelson cabinet for dipped ice cream sales as well as several BD cabinets for ice cream storage and backup flavors.
The Mitchell brothers decided to go with a faux-wall counter built about 6 inches in front of the dipping cabinets, this allowed the cabinets to front breathe, allowing good air flow in and though the compressor housing area, keeping the cabinets cool and operating efficiently. As Mike told me, “it is important not to block the air flow of any of the ice cream cabinets they will not operate correctly”. Mitchells then built a bench area, over the faux front wall, where small children could stand and look into the ice cream cabinet, thus making their selection of their choice of ice cream a fun and exciting experience.
Mike and Pete love children and realized early on that it was key to keeping the children involved in the ice cream selection process, they wanted the children to feel that they are part of the Mitchell’s ice cream family. This design was a change from their first few stores and it has paid off with increased sales. They wanted their customers to have fun, enjoy the selection of ice cream, be part of the family, and wanted to increase sales of dipped ice cream. They achieved success on all of their goals. Mike told me years ago, “if we take care of our customers and involve them in the ice cream buying experience, they will take care of our needs” Mike and Peter were right. Today they are growing, having fun, and selling lots of wonderful tasting Mitchell’s homemade ice cream in their C. Nelson Hi-Vis dipping cabinets.
In 1938 a local Cincinnati family started a small dairy with their focus on quality fresh milk, today they are distributing ice cream to 30 states and have over 300 ice cream parlor/neighborhood stores. UDF, as they are called by the locals, made the switch to C. Nelson Hi-Vis cabinets in the summer of 2008, UDF wanted the little children to be able to get close & seethe ice cream. The curved glass cabinets allowed their customers to really see their ice cream,
UDF fell in love with the new design after they tested their rectangle ice cream boxes in the Hi-Vis cabinets. Generally, a traditional ice cream cold wall cabinet will not work with boxed ice cream; there is no air-circulation inside the cabinet because of the tight fit. But C. Nelson once again met the challenge with the work of Kelley Smith and his engineering team, and designed their cabinets to work for those dairies that use rectangle shaped ice cream containers.
UDF designed their ice cream parlors using three 8diphv cabinets with a façade panel added to the front of the cabinets to give them a built-in counter look. The design concern of the façade was how to allow for air flow to keep the cabinets operating efficiently. As you can see, see picture, they used air vents in front of each of the
compressor openings and everything worked perfectly. Easy to clean and easy to operate were the service requirements Kelley Smith had in mind when he designed the Hi-Vis line of Gelato Style/Low Glass cabinets. The UDF folks loved how these cabinets “displayed” their ice cream and how easy they are to maintain. The entire ice cream parlor area resulted with an updated look simply by using the new C. Nelson ice cream Hi-Vis dipping cabinets. UDF was very pleased.
C. Nelson introduced a new line of dipping cabinets that satisfies both the gelato and traditional ice cream dipping shops. The high visual display area of the ice cabinet and the ease of operation has been a big winner for all of C. Nelson’s customers no matter how small or how big. C. Nelson has designed new sundae and smoothie prep stations and is upgrading their entire line of dipping cabinets. Kelley Smith told me he wants to build the most energy efficient cabinets for the ice cream industry. He wants his newly designed cabinets to operate longer and provide his customers with a tool to increase sales at the store level. This newly designed High-Visual dipping cabinet is doing just that and the proof is in the increased sales for C. Nelson’s customers.
Contact me today for a digital plant tour and see what everyone is talking about.
Eric Gerber has been planning this store for years, he searched for the right location, the right building, the best equipment package. Eric stayed focused and keep looking for the right deal to come along and finally a year ago it did. Working with Eric for the past 15 years designing his earlier stores, developing new products, and consulting on operational issues, has lead me to understand what he my customer wanted. Eric’s Irresistible Ice Cream is about to open and this job is no different than what my many dealers deal with everyday. I work well with industry suppliers because after 35 years in the food business I understand what it takes to complete a store package.
The services I managed for Eric were; 1) equipment selection, 2) equipment layout, 3) ice cream homemade recipes, and 4) general pricing and product formulation. Eric is a smart operator he knew what he wanted.
I was proud to place 2 C. Nelson 16DIP-HVdipping cabinets as “focal point” pieces.
These cabinets directed the customer’s eye to the center of the serving line and pulled them across the back wall menu board. Eric designed his lighting around the LED cabinet lighting for a more dramatic retail experience. Eric has brought an uptown feel to a rural market. Eric said he wanted his customers to feel like they we getting their ice cream treats in Chicago, IL, New York, NY, or Columbus, OH. Eric spent months researching his market and the markets of those successful operators in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Eric has exceeded his desires, stop in and see what I mean, his store is beautiful! The ice cream…is fresh made and tastes great!