1965 - 2015.
Hussmann Specialty Celebrates 50 Years of creating custom
for food retailers.
This is a story of customer collaboration, the dedication of a skilled workforce and a commitment to excellence.
For fifty years, Hussmann Specialty has been providing food store customers with a high level of service and some of the finest custom specialty equipment available. The organization’s success can be attributed to close relationships with its customers in order to truly understand their needs; the development of innovative products to enable the success of its customers; and a strong commitment of the company’s creative designers, skilled craftsmen and knowledgeable sales and engineering teams to settle for nothing less than excellence.
As Hussmann Specialty evolved over the years, growing and changing to meet the needs of the industry, its commitment to customers and dedication to quality have remained constant drivers in its journey.
How it all began.
Although Hussmann Specialty is just now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the organization’s roots can be
traced back even further to the early 1940s. It was at that time when Dell Smith Company, located in East Los Angeles, was enlisted as a distributor for Hussmann Refrigerator Company of St. Louis.
As a representative of the Hussmann Refrigerator Company, Dell Smith designed, warehoused, sold and installed Hussmann products; manufactured components not available by large plant assembly methods; and offered complete food store planning, a commercial refrigeration and air conditioning division and manufacturing facilities.
While Dell Smith was representing Hussmann as a distributor,
Dacey-Plakos Corporation also saw opportunities in the refrigeration
business and established a refrigeration service and installation
company in early 1956.
To satisfy their many customer requests for additional services,
in 1960, Dacey-Plakos purchased the Dell Smith Company,
combined operations in a 40,000 sq ft facility in Vernon,
California, and became a total service company for the
In 1965 Hussmann made the strategic
decision to develop a custom specialty
display case capability on the west coast.
Hussmann had previously acquired its
distributor Dell Smith Company, which was
then a division of Dacey-Plakos Corporation
and had built its first island produce stand
in 1964. The new organization, Hussmann
Los Angeles (LA), became a subsidiary of
Hussmann Refrigeration, Inc.
Hussmann LA demonstrated a unique
business model, creating the most diversified
company of its kind. The new organization
combined contracting, design, engineering,
regional manufacturing, sales, installation
and service for Hussmann products.
A business boom
To give the company the working
conditions and space needed to lead
the custom specialty industry, in June of 1977, Hussmann LA moved from its
location in Vernon to La Mirada, California.
The new modern facility was 106,000 sq ft,
more than twice the size of its previous
Hussmann LA experienced tremendous growth during the
1980s, as food retailers embraced the idea of departmentalized
store layouts, more variety in merchandising, and out-of-the-box
custom specialty case designs. Hussmann accommodated its
customers’ needs, introducing a wide range of new products to the industry.
A break from tradition.
Once again the growth and success of Hussmann LA
necessitated a move from its two-story La Mirada
location into a larger facility in Chino, California. The new 300,000 square foot facility included a
number of well-oiled, individual departments working
together, housing metal fabrication, woodshop, plastic
works, paint shop, electrical, refrigeration, and final
trim ... all under one roof.
In Chino, Hussmann Specialty broke away from traditional production formats, providing each customer with unique and personally crafted
cases that met exacting requirements. Collaborating
with merchandisers, Hussmann translated their ideas
into new designs, while maintaining Hussmann quality
to ensure that the cases turned out exactly as expected.
A recommitment to Specialty customers.
In 2008, Hussmann recommitted itself to driving innovation and flexibility to help Specialty customers create a shopping experience that would draw more consumers to their stores. Hussmann invested money and resources in its Specialty business, hiring four dedicated sales specialists, adding a six-member design team and expanding its engineering group
by 30 percent. In addition, a new test chamber was constructed to help ensure Specialty case performance and regulatory compliance.
Going strong and going beyond.
And while Hussmann Specialty’s emphasis is on fresh foods, the innovative ideas that keep them that way, and the creative case designs that enable effective merchandising of the products, the company continues to demonstrate the collaboration, dedication and commitment that have enabled success throughout its 50 year history.