Printer Friendly

The long hot summer: Golden Eagle Ice Co. hopes for heat to increase business.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND was the kickoff to the three busiest months for Golden Eagle Ice Co. of Little Rock.

With 45 percent of the business in central Arkansas, Golden Eagle is the largest ice company in the state.

Big R Ice Co. in Pine Bluff is a close second with 40 percent of the market. A handful of smaller companies have the rest of the state's ice business.

But now, Golden Eagle is ready to vie for an even bigger share.

"What we're trying to do is just grow as our resources will allow us," says Joe Pullam, a friend of Golden Eagle President Diane Bray who is consulting with her about the business.

In order to grow, the company has expanded its resources.

Golden Eagle has installed a second 40-ton tube ice machine. It handles 40 tons, or 10,000 bags, of ice a day. That means the company now has an 80-ton, 20,000-bag-a-day capacity.

A new automated bagging machine also has been added to allow for 2,000 bags of ABAGA Ice an hour.

ABAGA Ice is how Golden Eagle has marketed its product since the company formed in 1991. The marketing scheme seems to be working.

"It surprised me how quickly we built to the customer base we did," Pullam says.

Bray's husband, Bill, owns Golden Eagle of Arkansas Inc., a Little Rock-based beer distributorship.

Diane Bray thought an ice business would complement her husband's interests, so she started the company.

Pullam says, "Bill and Diane Bray are real marketing-oriented people."

He says, "From the start, I think they could see it more than I could."

Investing in Expansions

Including the purchase of another ice company in Hot Springs in 1991, Golden Eagle has invested $500,000 in expansions. The most recent expansion with the ice machine cost $160,000.

"We don't want to overgrow our market," Pullam says.

But the market is demanding more.

Last summer, Golden Eagle actually had to purchase ice from other companies just to meet demands, he says.

In the company's first year, it sold 996,000 bags of ice. Last year the figure jumped to 1.8 million.

The company, which started with three refrigerated vehicles, now has eight. It has 800 accounts and gradually is expanding its territory throughout the state.

Even though ice season has just officially started and temperatures have been relatively cool, 1993 sales are already ahead of last year.

Golden Eagle is yet to be in the black, though.

"We're getting closer -- possibly by the end of the summer we'll hope to be at a break-even," Pullam says.

The past two mild summers have not been conducive to major ice sales.

"The ice business is almost totally dependent on the weather," Pullam says.

Although the business is seasonal, ABAGA Ice also is used year-round for packing poultry for shipping, cooling cookie dough in food processing and keeping the water cool when minnows are transported over long distances.

Still, summers can make or break the company. The company has prepared for what it hopes to be a busy summer by adding 16 additional employees to an existing staff of 12.

"If we have a long, hot, dry summer, it will make all the difference," Pullam says. "It always does."
COPYRIGHT 1993 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Across Arkansas: Central
Author:Rengers, Carrie
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:May 31, 1993
Words:543
Previous Article:Farm aid in Kazakhstan: Winrock Program assisting in dairy, poultry, sheep production.
Next Article:Central: Central Arkansas hotels & motels.
Topics:


Related Articles
THE `WHY BOTHER EXPANSION'.
WHAT A COOL SUMMER! UNUSUALLY CHILLY SEA GETS PART OF CREDIT.
FREEZE LEAVES WEATHER MAP TOPSY-TURVY.
SOME LIKE IT HOT; ICE VENDORS, INSECTS HAVE FIELD DAY IN VALLEY'S SEARING HEAT.
Arkansas business list: largest SBA lenders.
Largest SBA lenders.
Artic Ice Cream is looking forward to another red-hot year in 2004.
Hot water: geothermal research at Chena Hot Springs Resort continues.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters