Follett History

Follett has been creating innovative solutions inspired by ice since its beginning in 1948. The road to becoming an industry leader in both healthcare and foodservice ice and refrigeration has been paved by the tenacity of all Follett employees and management over the company's long history. Here is a timeline highlighting that tenacity and continuous innovation inspired by ice.
Roy Follett
Roy Follett
 

1945

The automatic ice machine is introduced, beginning a new age in point-of-use ice production as an alternative to the ice delivery truck.  A demand for ice storage bins is created.

1948

Korber Sales and Manufacturing Inc. is founded by Roy Follett and Henry Korber in New York. The company sells and distributes sub-contracted ice storage bins to York ice machine distributors.

1951

Roy Follett buys out partner Henry Korber and forms the Roy Follett Corporation, moving the sales office to Long Island.

Don Follett - early
Don Follett
 

1954

With the passing of Roy Follett, his son Don Follett (NAFEM President 1982) joins the company.

1957

Don Follett moves the ice bin manufacturing in-house, and the company relocates to a 20,000 sq. ft. facility in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, to accommodate the new business. Follett begins producing ice storage bins with a new ice check door, the precursor of SmartGate™ ice shield.

1967

With business continuing to grow, the company moves to a 63,000 sq. ft. facility in Easton, Pennsylvania, its current location.

The company incorporates as Follett Corporation and adds vending machines and ice merchandisers to its existing ice storage bin business. 

Early ice dispenser
100 lb freestanding ice and water dispenser
 

1968

York receives a patent for its ice maker that produces nugget ice and delivers it through a tube to a receptacle above the machine. Follett incorporates this ice maker into its 100 lb freestanding ice dispenser.

1970

Follett develops an original equipment manufacturer contract with York to manufacture their bins.

 early undercounter ice and beverage dispenser
The first undercounter ice and beverage dispenser

 

1973

Recognizing the emerging trend of self-service drink stations in food service, Follett introduces the first undercounter ice and beverage dispenser, which is the predecessor to the current Vision™ ice and beverage dispenser line.

1977

Follett acquires the rights to York's diced ice machine and patents and begins manufacturing its own nugget ice makers with remote-fill capabilities. This technology becomes the Maestro™ ice machine line and provides customers with a nugget ice now known as Chewblet® ice.

   

1978 - 1983

Follett expands the plant and office facilities to support the growing business.

1989

Follett introduces the U150 undercounter dispenser with significantly improved beverage cooling. The unique undercounter design of the dispenser improves traffic flow and dining room aesthetics.

ITS SG1350G
Ice Transport System (ITS)
 

1991

Follett introduces the Ice Transport System (ITS), which makes ice transport faster, safer, cleaner and easier than ever before.

     
Early Symphony 50 countertop 
Symphony ice and water dispenser
 

1993

The company introduces the Symphony™ countertop 25, 50, and 110 Series ice and water dispensers. Follett also expands the ice and beverage dispenser line with the U300, an undercounter dispenser with larger ice storage.

     
Steve and Don Follett 
Steve and Don Follett
 

1994

Don Follett's son Steve Follett (NAFEM president 2010-2012) becomes President and CEO.  Don remains as Chairman until his retirement 2001, when Steve assumes the title.

     
Ice DevIce 
Ice•DevIce
 

1997

Follett introduces the patented Ice·DevIce™ ice storage and dispensing system to dramatically reduce labor and increase safety and sanitation involved with the storage, dispensing and transport of ice.

1999

Follett introduces the 12 Series ice and water dispenser with 12 lbs. of storage and 400 lbs. of daily production for compact countertop ice needs.

2000 - 2002

The company introduces the VU155 and the redesigned VU300 for increased options and functionality, including cold carbonation, in the undercounter beverage dispenser line.

Ice Pro DB650SA
Ice Pro bagging and dispensing system

 

2003

Follett introduces the patented Ice Pro™ automatic ice bagging and dispensing system that makes bagging ice fast, easy, and profitable.

Follett also introduces the REF5 undercounter refrigerator that raised the bar for medical grade refrigeration with the industry's fastest temperature pull down and recovery.

The company trademarks the term Chewblet® for the nugget ice Follett ice machines have been producing since 1977.

Horizon with RIDE to IBD
Horizon ice machine with RIDE technology
 

2004

Follett introduces the patented Horizon™ 1000 ice machine with a totally new design concept for optimal performance. The Horizon ice machine is selected as the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) Product of the Year in 2004.

Follett develops and patents the Satellite-Fill™ remote feeding system (later renamed RIDE® remote ice delivery equipment) with Horizon ice machines. It allows for ice delivery from up to 75 ft. and the option of locating the ice machine in the back room for improved aesthetics, ease of maintenance, and less intrusion into the end-user experience.

2005

The company opens a manufacturing facility in Gdansk, Poland to better serve customers in Europe and the Middle East. Follett also expands the Easton facility.

 Ice Manager Diverter Valve System
Ice Manager Diverter Valve System

 

2007

Follett introduces the patented Ice Manager™ diverter valve system that automatically delivers ice from one HorizonTM ice maker to two storage units up to 75 feet away. The Ice Manager is named the FCSI Product of the Year in 2007, receives the NRA Kitchen Innovation award in 2008, and is featured in "What's Hot! What's Cool!" at NAFEM 2009.

2008

New models of the Symphony™ ice and water dispenser line move the ice machine behind the splash panel to increase accessibility to the ice bin and ice machine itself for ease of maintenance and cleaning.

Upright Refrigerator REF20 Pharmacy     REF1 on med cabinet with nurse

Single door upright refrigerator
Countertop medical refrigerator
 

2010

The single-door upright medical refrigerator's market entrance reinforced Follett's goal of superior performance with a back plenum air distribution system that ensures consistent cabinet-wide cooling, feature-rich alarming for critical product storage, and a modular unit for easy maintenance.

Follett introduced the ID650 high capacity dispensing bin for high volume drink stations with constant demand.

2011

The company creates another market leader in medical grade refrigeration with high performance countertop refrigerator that offer minimum size and maximum performance.

7 Series all configurations
7 Series ice and water dispensers - freestanding, undercounter and countertop

 

Follett launches the 7 Series (patent pending) line of ice and water dispensers that offer a sleek and attractive compact dispenser designed specifically for the office environment.

Most of Follett's ice and water dispensers and Maestro ice machines qualify for the CEE Tier 2 specifications for highly efficient ice machines.

   

2012

Horizon 700 Series ice machines and Micro Chewblet ice are introduced. 7 Series ice and water dispenser named Best Innovator Finalist by FoodBev.com.

Follett launches a new marketing campaign featuring the RIDE system – remote ice delivery, compatible with Chewblet® ice machines, dispenses up to 75 feet away into a beverage dispenser or ice storage bin.

All ice and water dispensers are embedded with Agion® antimicrobial protection.

   

2013

To accommodate increasing product demand and continuous growth, Follett expands 25,000 sq. feet of warehouse space.

Horizon self-contained air-cooled ice machines and 7 Series ice-only dispenser earn the Energy Star.

Follett’s 7 Series ice and water dispensers receives 2013 Kitchen Innovation Award for its drainless design by the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

QR code initiative is launched to assist field services agents on technical service calls to better assist our customers.

15 Series Models

15 Series ice and water dispensers  countertop and freestanding

Precision Undercounter Refrigeration

Performance Plus undercounter refrigerators and freezers

 

2014

Carbonless water filter system expands Follett’s line of water treatment systems options.

Follett launches the attractive and durable 15 Series drainless ice and water dispensers offering the same great features as 7 Series, but with 15 lbs ice storage capacity and up to 100 lbs of ice production in 24 hours.

To meet healthcare industry demands, Follett introduces medical-grade upright freezers, offering more storage capacity for critical products.

 

Follett introduces Performance Plus undercounter refrigerators and freezers, designed to specifically meet the temperature performance and heavy use requirement of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.