Follett History

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.

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. 

1968

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

1970

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

1973

Recognizing the emerging trend of self-service drink stations in foodservice, 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 machines 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.

1991

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

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 capacity.

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.

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 ice storage and 400 lbs of daily ice 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.

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 raises 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.

2004

Follett introduces the patented Horizon™ 1000 series 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 up to 75 ft away 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 (this facility is now part of Follett's sister division, QualServ). Follett also expands the Easton facility.

2007

Follett introduces the patented Ice Manager™ diverter valve system that automatically delivers ice from one Horizon ice machine to two storage units up to 75 ft away. 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 for ease of maintenance and cleaning.

2010

The single door upright medical refrigerator's market entrance reinforces 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 introduces 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 1 and 2 cu ft  countertop refrigerators that offer minimum size and maximum performance.

Follett launches the 7 Series 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 is named Best Innovator Finalist by FoodBev.com.

Follett rebrands Satellite-fill as RIDE – remote ice delivery equipment – to better communicate the technology's ability to dispense Chewblet ice up to 75 feet away from the ice machine into a beverage dispenser or ice storage bin.

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

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 of 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 also launches Performance Plus undercounter refrigerators and freezers, designed to specifically meet the temperature performance requirement of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Newly redesigned Symphony Plus™ dispensers and Maestro Plus™ ice machines represent the next step in Follett’s ongoing efforts to meet the demanding needs of the healthcare and foodservice markets. The "Plus" line offers next level sanitary features, greater ease of service, energy efficiency, quieter operation, and faster cleaning and sanitizing time.

2015

Follett announces the newest addition to its line of innovative ice machines, the Maestro Plus undercounter  icemaker bin. The undercounter icemaker produces up to 425 lbs of ice over a 24 hour period with over 90 lbs of storage. This new machine comes with a choice of Micro Chewblet™ ice or flake ice.

Follett adds 1 and 2 cu ft countertop freezers to complement its countertop refrigerators, offering a comprehensive compact refrigeration line ideal for small storage needs such as mother's milk, vaccines, specimens, medications, blood/plasma and patient food

Follett adds another 73,000 sq ft to its facility by leasing office and production space in nearby Hanover Township, PA. The Customer Care and Technical Service call center relocates to the new facility, along with production lines for Symphony Plus, 7 and 15 Series and refrigerator/freezer products.

2016

Follett introduces Horizon Elite™ 1010 and 1410 series ice machines with a revolutionary new water management design that dramatically reduces scale buildup in ice machines and the associated costs of scale mitigation, all while remaining very water efficient. Horizon Elite is recognized by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) with a Kitchen Innovations (KI) award, and by the Foodservice Consultants International Society (FCSI) as its runner-up 2016 FCSI Product of the Year.

Follett Corporation is acquired by The Middleby Corporation, a $2 billion global leader in the foodservice equipment industry, and becomes Follett LLC, an independent operating company of Middleby. 

2017

Steve Follett is honored by the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) with its 2017 President’s Award, which recognizes a non-elected NAFEM volunteer who has donated time and expertise to the betterment of the organization. The award was presented at The NAFEM Annual Meeting during The NAFEM Show, the association’s biennial trade show and exhibition.

Follett introduces a new line of 45 cu ft medical-grade double door refrigerators, featuring an industry-exclusive center-plenum air distribution system that delivers superior temperature consistency at all levels within the cabinet. Additionally, an enhanced feature set is released in all of Follett’s upright refrigerators and freezers. The new touchscreen control package includes essential features, from data collection and alarms, to an electronic locking system, using a 7” intuitive, full-color capacitive touchscreen user interface.

Horizon Elite 2110 series Chewblet ice machines are launched, featuring the same patented scale-inhibiting design as the 1010 and 1410 series but with greater production capacity. The 2110 series is Follett’s largest production ice machine to date.

Follett’s popular 7 and 15 Series ice and water dispensers have a brand “sparkling” new addition – sparkling water in an all-in-one ice, chilled still water, and chilled sparkling water dispenser.

2018

Follett expands its line of Horizon Elite ice machines with the launch of the 710 and 1810 series ice machines.  Horizon Elite 710 series provides a simple choice for applications with medium ice demand, while Horizon Elite 1810 series offers Follett’s most popular production capacity.  Both machines have Horizon Elite’s patented scale-inhibiting design.

2019

Following a career spanning more than three decades, Steve Follett retires. He is succeeded by industry veteran Korey Kohl, Middleby Group President overseeing the Middleby Beverage Group, including Wunder-BarConcordia Beverage SystemsJoeTap and Bloomfield.

Several new products are launched, including Tempo compact ice machine featuring an industry-leading 90 lbs of ice production per day and 30 lbs of storage capacity. Other best-in-class features include integral drain pump, optional EZ-access filter, and semi-automatic cleaning system with automatic alerts.

A new line of 12 cu ft medical grade refrigerators is also released. Delivering the ultimate in temperature control, these high-performance refrigerators feature the same industry-exclusive back-plenum air distribution system as Follett's existing line of upright refrigerators. This advanced airflow design delivers superior temperature consistency at all levels within the cabinet, even when heavily loaded with product.  

Also for the healthcare market, Follett introduces a new, cost-effective bacterial-retentive in-line water filter system that reduces the risk to ice machines from waterborne pathogens that may be present in a facility’s water supply. The new bacterial-retentive filter system, with a validated life of up to six months, is a collaboration between Follett and Pall Medical in which Follett will be the exclusive supplier of Pall 0.2 micron sterilizing grade filtration for ice machines and dispensers in the U.S.

To keep up with its growing business, in December 2019 Follett announces the expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Forks Township. A $12 million, 90,000 sq ft addition will bring the total manufacturing and office space under roof to approximately 250,000 sq ft. The expansion and related investments are expected to be complete by mid-2021.

2020

Follett LLC becomes Follett Products,  LLC.

2021

Follett partners with PHC Corporation of North America (PHCNA) to market and sell the PHCbi line of ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers, pharmaceutical grade refrigerators, and biomedical freezers to Follett’s healthcare customers. These co-branded products are offered alongside Follett’s existing portfolio of high-performance refrigerators, freezers, and ancillary products. Follett also adds sold-state refrigeration solutions through its partnership with Phononic.

The brand Vector Lab Products is launched to offer a full line of Energy Star® certified cold storage products and solutions designed specifically for the Life Science and Academic Research markets.

Follett completes the 90,000 sq. ft expansion at the Easton, PA facility, increasing the facility size to over 225,000 sq. ft.  The expansion allows Follett to streamline operations under one roof, optimize factory layout to improve efficiency, and increase capacity to support the growing demand from Follett's diverse customer bases in the foodservice, healthcare, and life sciences industries, both domestically and around the world.

The call center for Customer Service and Technical Service and the production lines for Symphony Plus, 7 and 15 Series and refrigerator/freezer products return to Easton from the Hanover Township facility where they had been located since 2015.