What is special about the ice from an Ice House? The ice is made from filtered, dechlorinated, softened water. It is frozen in layers using falling water. It is then chipped into pieces that fit just right into your cooler, cup, glass, or straight into your mouth. The process is completely automated from when the water enters the system to the ice delivery. The entire system is enclosed from the environment and no human hands touch the ice during this process. This gives you an ice that is clean, clear, chewable and tastes great.
How is the ice purchased? From the front customer panel, a person simply inserts the purchase amount in any combination of bills, quarters, nickels, or dimes just like other vending machines they commonly use. The customer then presses one of two buttons to select either a 16 pound bag or, for the same price, 20 pounds of bulk ice dropped directly into their cooler. If a 16 pound bag is chosen, the bag full of ice slides out immediatley to the left of the customer panel less than 10 seconds after pressing the button. If they choose 20 pounds of bulk ice, the customer simply pulls the chute handle on the far left to dump ice delivered to the bulk chute.
Why is the ice less expensive than that sold in coolers at grocery stores and convenience stores? There is no middleman. The Ice House manufactures and vends the ice in a completely automated fashion. There are no transportation costs and no labor costs from workers handling the bags.
Is ice all that is available from an Ice House? Some Ice Houses are equipped with optional water dispensing systems. A customer can bring a clean 1 gallon, or 5 gallon container to the Ice House to purchase the same water used to make ice.
Is the ice and water purchased from an Ice House safe? The water comes from a certified source. It is further treated through filtration systems to meet a high standard. Those Ice Houses with water vending, sell the water after it has been run through an ultra-violet system to kill possible microbes that might remain in the water. The ice itself, or even the filled bag, is never touched by human hands until the customer picks it up. All components touching the ice are made from food grade stainless steel. The entire system is maintained, cleaned, and inspected at regular intervals to assure safe, clean production. The systems are inspected and licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Health, as well as local governing agencies. Ice and water safety should concern consumers. Very dangerous pathogens can be found in water that is not properly treated. Many pathogens can still be present in ice when it is not properly manufactured and handled. Ice Houses reduce these hazards through aggressive treatment, regular inspections and maintenance, and especially through the reduction of human contact. Read this article about how dirty ice can make you sick.
Who operates the Ice House? Independent owners trained in their safe operation are completely responsible for each Ice House. These independent business people from your community are personally active in the day to day operation. They have made a significant investment in these facilities and their business is dependent upon providing a safe, desirable, excellent quality product 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
How can someone become an Ice House owner? Contact Ice House Oklahoma, LLC for information to see if you are qualified and eligible for a location of your choosing.
What steps are involved with getting an Ice House operational? ~ Purchase one or more Ice Houses. ~ Purchase or lease a small plot of land (or part of a busy parking lot). ~ Apply for city building permits. ~ Arrange for electricity, water, and a phone line. ~ Average cost for 1 house with a typical installation and typical options is approximately $115,000 in place before fees and taxes.
Is financing available? Ice Houses are eligible for financing through SBA guaranteed loans. These and conventional loans typically are available for 80% financing to qualified applicants at most institutions offering commercial loan services. Some owners form partnerships and eliminate the need for financing.
How do I know I won't be competing directly against other Ice House America vending machines? Each Ice House is assigned a protected area where Ice House Oklahoma, LLC will not sell another machine for a guaranteed period of time.
Does Ice House America have a warranty policy? Yes, every Ice House comes with a 12 month warranty against defects in material and workmanship. Some individual parts have longer term guarantees.
Once the Ice House is installed, what else must be done before it can begin operation? Ice House Oklahoma, LLC handles the initial startup and our experienced personnel provide thorough training and skilled technical assistance.
Who delivers and installs an Ice House? Delivery and limited basic installation is provided by Ice House Oklahoma, LLC.
Do I need any employees to run my ice vending business? Not usually. The Ice House produces and delivers ice without human hands ever touching it. It is completely automated. General maintenance and upkeep are simply accomplished with a few hours of time each week. In addition, many owners derive tremendous pleasure from picking up money from their Ice Houses. However, owners of multiple units may hire personnel to perform daily operations on a route for their machines.
What are the standard and optional features of an Ice House? There is much too much to list here, but to name a few: ~ Exterior wall panels are 4" insulated refrigeration panels. ~ Built and anchored to withstand 150 MPH winds. ~ 750 new bill capacity for the standard bill acceptor. ~ Three phase electric. ~ Building foot print is approximately 200 square feet. ~ Ice machine mounted on top of machine, for total height of 15'. ~ Approximate weight of unit is 10,000 pounds. ~ Standard 2 ton ice maker capable of producing 4,500 pounds of ice per day. ~ Optional 3 ton ice maker capable of producing 6,000 pounds of ice per day. ~ Ice bin can store 6,500 pounds of ice. ~ Vends 16 pound bags or 20 pounds of bulk ice. ~ With optional equipment, the machine has the capacity of approximately 500 vends per day. ~ Optional water vending system is available.
Is the Ice House the only size ice vending machine available? A smaller Ice Hut is now available. It occupies approximately a 84 square feet area. Its approximate weight is 5,500 pounds and comes standard with a 1 ton ice maker or an optional 2 ton ice maker. Contact Ice House Oklahoma for more information on the Ice Hut.