ICE I: The Beginning

The idea of ICE was conceived in early 1998. A local manufacturer of Mexican food called Delimex had grown out of not only its current manufacturing plant, but also its newly opened plant in Otay Mesa. They began a search to build a relationship with a cold storage distribution warehouse to house its growing needs for frozen storage. They spoke to many groups, including all the local owners of current cold storage warehouses in search of the right “marriage”. The one that best fit was the talks with Hamann Construction, whom had not only built their current facility, but also owned the perfect location: a 5 acre parcel right next door to their brand new production facility.

Once negotiations between Hamann and Delimex were in the final stages, an exceptional team of managers and supervisors was assembled. The original plan for ICE was to operate about 1,250,000 cubic feet of freezer space, and leave room for future growth in a dry warehouse built as part of a 3,700,000 cubic foot facility.

The future came faster than expected, as a local strawberry processor approached ICE during construction, and asked ICE to dedicate most of the remaining half of the property to them for blast freezing and storage of their products. To the credit of ICE’s owners, Jeff and Gregg Hamann, they took the bold step of building out the entire 3,700,000 cubic feet with freezer and blast freezing, and in May of 1999 ICE hit the ground running.

After a successful first year in business disaster hit our local economy with the Southern California electricity crisis. Rates shot out of control and ICE was doing everything it could to keep competitive pricing while trying different options to stabilize their costs for power. Energy can range anywhere from 15% to 30% ICE’s overhead, and it hurt profitability in its second year. But ICE stabilized the following year and the future again looked bright. As ICE steadily filled up, it became obvious that there was not only a potential for growth, but a critical need. ICE began to look at possible expansion.

ICE II: The Expansion

In response to high customer demand for additional warehouse space, Hamann Companies expanded the capabilities of ICE with a new 125,000 square foot (7,500,000 cubic foot) state of the art facility located about two miles south of our original cold storage location. This new, environmentally green building, which achieved LEED Gold Certification, added 29,000 pallet positions to our existing 11,000 position capacity. Due to the economic downturn that began in 2008, ICE 2, as it came to be called, was off to a slow start. Despite this obstacle, the facility was truly innovative, and served as a model for how energy efficient a facility that typically uses a large amount of energy could be run.

Due to relatively lower energy costs leading to the increased opportunity for more competitive pricing, and to a partnership with a local food distribution company to occupy the majority of our first building, ICE 2 began reaching its capacity every year at the height of the strawberry harvesting season. Each year for the next six years, our “slow” season became a little busier, until finally, we again required additional space to meet the varying needs of our growing customer base. At the beginning of 2018, we regained full use of our original facility.

Today, Innovative Cold Storage Enterprises, Inc. is proud to maintain a wide range of refrigerated warehousing services, including short term and monthly frozen storage, cooler storage, blast freezing, USDA exports, and cross docks. We stand ready to fulfill the demands of the ever changing landscape of refrigerated storage and cross-border business.