Some might call it fate. Some might call it destiny. Either way, there is little doubt that the combination of old school milk delivery mixed with the history of Thermo King, the creator of transport refrigeration, generates a little nostalgia. And it definitely yields some fresh, delicious milk. Just ask Jerry Richardson.
When Jerry and his wife, Robin, decided to expand their local ice cream business – Maple View Mobile -- to include home deliveries in the fall of 2016, they embarked on a journey that led them to Thermo King.
“After we began entertaining the idea of adding residential milk deliveries to our six-year-old business, I started paying attention to the delivery vehicles being used by others. I saw Thermo King units running up and down the road, on trucks at the local grocery stores and being used by distribution companies servicing Maple View Farm, the manufacturer of my products. Everything I saw, heard and researched led me to making that first call to the Thermo King dealer in Raleigh, which was the nearest dealer to my Pittsboro/Chapel Hill, North Carolina home and business.
“I didn’t know much starting out, but I knew that if we were going to be successful delivering fresh, organic milk, my first priority should be finding a dependable refrigeration system on my yet-to-be-determined vehicle,” said Jerry.
That call led Jerry to Brian Williams, sales manager at Temperature Control Solutions’ Raleigh dealership, which commenced a relationship filled with education, research, listening and ultimately the specifying of the perfect refrigeration unit and vehicle to fit Jerry’s needs.
“While this was Jerry’s first refrigerated vehicle purchase, he knew what temperatures it needed to keep the farm-fresh milk he’d be delivering, and he also wanted it be dually-compatible for ice cream transport,” explained Brian. “After hearing all of this, I went on a drive-around with Jerry to see how many stops, door openings and idle times were probable, and that’s when we determined the V-520 with SmartPower electric stand-by and optional heating package was the way to go. It will do everything he needs it to do plus maintain residual value.”
The other benefit – and good news for Jerry, was that the unit came in either a nosemount or rooftop version. “I didn’t know rooftop models were available until I met with Brian,” said Jerry. “That was important to me as it gave me more space and flexibility in my configuration.”
After the unit was chosen and the decision that side loading and unloading was the preference, Brian directed Jerry to recommended vehicle OEMs where again, Jerry did his homework. “I’m not one of those people who has to have a certain brand; I want an end product to do what I need it to do. I ended up with the Nissan NV3500 because it fit the bill. It was structurally superior, provided the frame suspension I wanted and offered me towing capacity to pull my ice cream trailer.
“This was important as we will travel to events with both the van and the trailer,” said Jerry.
Painless Process; Excellent Service
Jerry is the first to tell you that he’s not sure where his business will go. While it has much potential and he’s in the right market – one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, one never knows for sure.
“I have high aspirations to grow. The market is ripe, the economy is good and our service appeals to several different types of customers – those who are busy and value home time; those who want locally-grown organic products; and those who love the nostalgia of glass bottle home milk delivery. In addition, my son, Jasen, who works with me on weekends, would like to become more involved in the business.
“That being said, Brian and Thermo King of Raleigh were wonderful to work with … they took the time to set me up properly, explain options, ensure I had what I needed for success, and make sure I knew how to operate the system correctly when I drove away. They also set me up with a service maintenance plan so I know the unit will be serviced properly and I can go do my job – which is to deliver farm-fresh milk and ice cream.
“It really means a lot to me and demonstrates why Thermo King has the reputation it does.”
More information about Maple View Mobile can be found at www.mapleviewmobile.com.
Did You Know?
Maple View Mobile | www.mapleviewmobile.com
Environmental responsibility is in the DNA of long-time Thermo King customer UNFI (United Natural Foods Inc.). With roots that date back to the 1970s when consumer interest in natural foods was sparked, Rhode Island-based UNFI was molded by combining the vision, entrepreneurial spirit and passion of several companies dedicated to healthy, sustainable products