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The Rosenberger story.

Rosenberger Cold Storage:

20 Years After Incorporation

The ability to recognize an opportunity and to act at that opportune moment, combined with a constant recognition of the customers' welfare as the guiding force behind all development, have made the 20 years since the incorporation of Rosenberger Cold Storage, Inc. a dynamic and prosperous era.

The Rosenberger story began in 1945 when Raymond H. Rosenberger converted a chicken house that stood beside his Hatfield PA dairy into a community locker plant. The World War II effort had created a shortage of home freezers and people needed space in which to freeze the produce of their farms and gardens. When current Rosenberger Cold Storage president Henry Rosenberger took over management of his father's business in 1972, lockers were still renting for $12 per year and Rosenberger's had branched into offering custom meat cutting to keep those lockers stocked with chops and steaks. But times were changing. Increasing numbers of people were purchasing their own home freezers. Fewer "put up" large summer vegetable harvests. Consumers began looking for supermarkets as a source where they could purchase frozen foods, not store their own.

Meanwhile, food producers in the Hatfield area, including Keller's Creamery, Moyer Packing Co. and Longacre Poultry, were growing and facing the decision of whether to build their own freezer storage facilities or haul their products into one of the cold storage facilities in Philadelphia. At the same time, those existing cold storage businesses were dealing with the rising costs of doing business in often antiquated facilities.

The early '70s were a ripe time with possibility for a visionary new cold-storage business in the Montgomery County suburbs. The year 1970 saw Rosenberger's building of a new 3,000 square foot freezer and retail store operation. Two years later witnessed the incorporation of Rosenberger Cold Storage as a separate entity from Rosenberger's Dairy. By 1977, Rosenberger's Plant #1 on Koffel Road in Hatfield had expanded to its current 50,000 square feet and included blast freezing and transportation services. May 1983 brought the addition of Plant #2, a 64,000 square foot facility on Bergey Road with three rail car dock sidings and eight refrigerated truck spaces. Expansion continued through the 1980's at a rapid pace. A sophisticated ice manufacturing and distribution program was established and is now capable of producing 160 tons of ice daily. Rosenberger Cold Transport, Inc., a service for distributing products in a consolidated freight program throughout the Northeastern United States, was formed in 1984. By 1992, Hatfield's Plant #2 had grown to 177,500 square feet and seen the addition of the 230,000 square foot Plant #3, dedicated to the expanded rail to truck consolidated services.

Rosenberger Cold Storage's growth has not been limited to the Hatfield area. In 1988, the company built Delaware Cold Storage, Inc., a modern 112,000 square foot, single story facility at the Port of Wilmington. Delaware Cold Storage represents the importer/exporter segment of Rosenberger Cold Storage Companies. In 1989, Rosenberger purchased South Central Pennsylvania Freezer Storage Company, Inc., in York, PA. Rosenberger changed the plant's name to York Cold Storage, Inc., expanded its existing 60,000 square feet to 145,159, and is using the facility to increase the company's base for production support and as a base for future distribution to the Northeast.

But to company president, Henry Rosenberger, any talk of Rosenberger Cold Storage's development cannot be confirmed to building and expansion. "Buildings are just concrete," he says. "There have to be ideas behind them."

The growth of Rosenberger was initially fueled by the strength of Montgomery County food producers who have continued to serve strong customers of their Hatfield neighbor. But Henry recognized early on the importance of developing a more diversified and national customer base in order to carve out a maximum market share throughout the Northeast region.

Even when Rosenberger Cold Storage was a fledging company with 3,000 square foot of cold storage capacity, Henry saw several factors that were very much to the advantage of the tiny business. The cost of developing public warehouse storage in the city was creating a move to the suburbs where Rosenberger was already established. Road access to the suburban Montgomery County location was favorable as well. Location was a tremendous plus for Rosenberger; approximately 40 percent of the population of the United States lived within a 350 mile radius of Hatfield. The frozen food industry was booming, with consumers ever more eager to try new products from their grocers' freezers.

Today, Henry sees those factors still working in Rosenberger's favor. The future is equally bright with promise for a company that is not satisfied to rest on past accomplishments but constantly striving to improve its performance. Henry looks ahead to the development of more cross-dock distribution programs, improved shipping modes, greater ease of distribution through a state-of-the-art transportation and logistics system.

But the biggest reason behind Rosenberger Cold Storage Inc.'s 20 years of growth and success cannot be described in terms of construction or even strategy. It is something more basic than that and perhaps more difficult to put into words. Yet Rosenberger's customers know that it's there. It might be called attitude.

That attitude is the same one that made Henry Rosenberger "ease out" the outdated community locker service a bit at a time through the '70s and '80s rather than close it up all together. "We were sensitive to the idea that we were getting too big for our britches, that we were throwing out the little guy in favor of bigger customers. We recognized the locker was an important social center as well as a business."

Sentimental? Maybe, and yet it expressed the germ of an idea that continues to distinguish the Rosenberger business today. The customers' needs come first. They dictate the direction of the company. And there is no "little guy."

Today, speaking of his current business and of the people who have been carefully developed to provide the "world class" service for which Rosenberger is known, Henry says, "Our kind of service doesn't just mean being nice to the vice president when he visits us. It means remembering that the tucker at the door is a very important person. He's going to talk about us when he gets back to his company and it's up to us to determine what he says. We don't serve big guys and little guys. Every contact along the way is equally important to us."

Rosenberger Cold Storage

Companies History of Company

Rosenberger Cold Storage and Transport began as a service to the local community in 1945 by Raymond H. Rosenberger when he converted a chicken house into a locker plant beside his Hatfield Dairy. The frozen food industry was then in its infancy and home freezers were unavailable due to shortages caused by the World War II effort. This service provided local storage to the neighboring community to preserve the products of the gardens and farms.

The original locker plant was razed in 1970 to make room for the expanding Dairy operation. A new 3,000 sq. ft. freezer and a retail store operation was built on Koffel Road and opened in 1970. The retail store, the Dairy Wagon, sold meat in addition to ice cream, milk and other dairy products and convenience items. Additional bulk storage space in this facility was soon filled by the demand for local food storage by meat packers and food processors requiring space for their products.

In 1972, Henry, William and Marcus Rosenberger incorporated Rosenberger's Cold Storage, a new company - separate from the Dairy - which offered a full line of storage services. Over the next five years, this facility was expanded several times to its present 50,000 sq. ft. and included blast freezing and transportation services. In 1980, ice manufacturing and packaging was added to the production capacity of this plant.

Again, the increased demand for quality services in frozen warehousing prompted the building of a new facility and the development of a distribution center. In May 1983, the 64,000 sq. ft. Bergey Road, Plant #2, with 3 rail car dock siding and eight refrigerated truck spaces was opened. The following year, this facility was expanded to 110,000 sq. ft. In 1985, 50,000 square feet were added to complete the total plant at 177,500 square feet.

In 1984, a transportation company was formed, Rosenberger's Cold Transport, Inc., completing an integrated service to food manufacturers for distributing products in a consolidated freight distribution program to the Northeastern United States. These services fulfill a vital need for a variety of meat packers, food processors, bakeries, food distributors, importers and exporters in the Philadelphia area who are receiving and shipping goods to the entire world.

In 1986, the Bergey Road site expanded adding 128,000 sq. ft. Plant #3 is dedicated to the distribution segment of warehouse services. Opening in June 1987, the plant offered expanded rail to truck, consolidated services for new processors marketing products in the Northeastern USA. Plant #3 in Hatfield was expanded by 100,000 sq. ft. and opened in March 1991 bringing the total square footage to 230,666. This expansion will fulfill the increasing demand for space and will complete the development plans at the Bergey Road site.

The development of the management of Rosenberger Cold Storage & Transport, under the leadership of Henry L. Rosenberger, founder, added a strong staff and engaged consultation from several sources. Greenfield Associates of Lancaster, Pa., with Chester H. Raber, Ph.D., continues to provide consultation to top and middle management. (Annual planning has been done with improving success for several years.) In 1989, strategic planning was begun to develop a five-year plan.

Active membership with the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and The Refrigerated Research Foundation (TRRF) has provided technical information and scientific support for proper storage and handling of all food products. This professional association networks worldwide in common interest of proper food preservation and distribution. Supervisory personnel receive training seminars and support literature, news briefs, legal and regulatory information pertaining to all aspects of the warehouse and transportation industry. Over twenty of Rosenberger's Cold Storage & Transport staff have attended TRRF.

The key strategies of Rosenberger Cold Storage & Transport are defined by paying attention to customers' needs, marketing the value added services, rather than competing strictly on price and increased market share, and selecting customers to fit the customer base and value added services offered. Expansion of space will be required to meet this objective. Market segments of our industry were defined in terms of: 1) import/export; 2) distribution/consolidation: and 3) production support. Growth was defined along these terms with seasonal business used to provide additional volume.

In 1988, Delaware Cold Storage, Inc., a newly constructed 112,000 sq. ft. facility, as opened at the Port of Wilmington. Delaware Cold Storage, Inc. represents the import/export segment and was operational in seven months.

In 1989, South Central Pennsylvania Freezer Storage Company, Inc. was purchased and its name changed to York Cold Storage, Inc. The plant, a new 60,000 sq. ft. facility, increased the company's base for production support and a base for future distribution and related services to the Northeast. In 1991, an addition of 85,159 sq. ft. was added, bringing the total square footage to 145,159.

Chronology of Rosenberger

Cold Storage Companies

Growing Service Tradition

1945 Rosenberger's Locker opened

from refurbished chicken

house. Offered 650 individual

lockers for local garden frozen

storage. 1970 Rosenberger's Dairy Wagon

and Cold Storage replaced locker

plant. Offered 3,000 sq. ft.

frozen storage with deli/convenience

fine foods store. 1972 Rosenberger's Cold Storage incorporated

as a new company

separate from Rosenberger's

Dairy with a 7,500 sq. ft. new

addition - freezer room "B"

and "C." 1973 Office expanded to serve USDA

school lunch program for five

counties, including dry warehouse

requirements served by

12 dry vans. 1975 Space for blast freezing plus

9,000 sq. ft. added to Plant #1

on Koffel Road. Customer base

expanded with distribution of

frozen fruit to east coast. 1977 Added "D" room with 19,000 sq.

ft. to complete Plant #1 with

new 78' pallet storage profile. 1978 Purchased Bergey Farm with 47

acres adjacent to railroad for

truck/rail expanded service. 1980 Ice manufacturing began at

Plant #1 with rebuilt 30-ton

turbo equipment. High interest

rates stalled plant expansion. 1983 Opened Plant #2 on Bergey

Road with 44,000 sq. ft. freezer

with rail and main office. 1984 Added "C" room with 64,000 sq.

ft. to begin east coast distribution

center for major account.

Transportation company, Rosenberger

Cold Transport, Inc.

was formed. Secured ICC PUC

operating authority. Consolidation

program began. 1985 Expanded Plant #2 to 150,000

sq. ft. Plant #1 converted to ammonia

refrigerated system. Enlarged

dock and employee service

space. 1097 Opened Plant #3 with 120,000

sq. ft. for major corporate focus

into expanded distribution.

Fleet expanded to 20 reefer

units. 1989 Opened Delaware Cold Storage,

Inc., Wilmington, DE, for port

access to provide export/import

fruit and meat service. 1989 South Central Pennsylvania

Freezer Storage Company in

York was purchased to service

York/Lancaster/Harrisburg production.

Name changed to York

Cold Storage, Inc. 1990 Plant #3 expanded to 24,000 sq.

ft. with transportation center. 1991 York Cold Storage, Inc. expanded

to 145,159 sq. ft. total space

for all plants at 21.3 + million

cubic feet.

"Spices" According to ASTA

The spice industry has compiled a list of its products which is designed to help with food labeling decisions. Published by ASTA, it is the first of its kind in this trade. It shows the items the industry considers to be "spices" for labeling purposes as well as the products which it recommends be listed separately to comply with FDA and USDA labeling regulations (the current government rules are also noted on the List).

Under "spices" ASTA shows 43 products, from allspice to vanilla beans.

A free copy of the new Spice List will be sent to anyone requesting it on business stationery. Write: ASTA, 928 B'way., N.Y., N.Y. 10010.
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Title Annotation:Rosenberger Cold Storage and Transport
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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