Tennessee Valley Ice Makes Their Own Polar Vortex
Inside Tennessee Valley Ice, the cold is so common it's just part of the job. “You just put on as many clothes as you can and get to work,” Scottie Clark says.
But this week's sub-freezing temperatures made this freezer a retreat. “We'd come in the freezer to get a little bit warm,” Clark says, “because it was warmer in the freezer than it was outside.”
And even though the ice company relies on the single digits to do their job, it doesn't help their bottom line. “We can't sell ice when you can make it outside,” Gary Bloodworth says, “so it's not good."
But regardless of the setback, the ice makers keep chilling so the 110 ton bins never go bare. Overhead chutes carry the ice into the bagging room, where it's sorted into 10 or 20 pound portions, bagged and then sent up the conveyer belt where it's placed on a pallet.
Next it’s forwarded to the freezer, where the 15 degree temperature is top priority. “If the temperature is not just right in this freezer or the other freezer,” Clark says, “the ice will start making condensation. Then it will start getting really hard and then you have to wait until consumers get it at the store and have to break it up again."
But with the right ratio of ice and cold, this Hometown ice is on its way to 1500 boxes across the Southeast, carrying the Tennessee Valley name. “Brand means nothing in the ice business,” Bloodworth says, “it's just being the company that's there that gets the business.”
For more on Tennessee Valley Ice, click here to visit their website.
By: Latricia Thomas
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