MACHINE OWNER SPOTLIGHT
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Don Waller spent his career between auto manufacturing and construction. While on vacation in 2007, Don saw an ice vending machine in Lousiana and though it was an interesting concept. Within 6 months, Don found a machine for sale in Oklahoma City and decided to take a chance. A few years later, Don now owns a total of 9 machines along with his daughter and son, all around the Oklahoma City area, as well as Flagstaff, Arizona.
“My name is Don Waller. We have a company called Waller Ice. I come from a background of automotive and construction. I was in construction for many years and went to work for my father-in-law in automotive remanufacturing business, and after 20 years of that, I went back into construction. And then in 2007, I happened upon an ice machine in Louisiana and I thought it was a neat concept. I said, well, I’m going to look into this. And we purchased a free standing machine already established here in Oklahoma.
Well, I was commuting back and forth from here to Flagstaff, and there was no machines in Flagstaff. So I said I’m going to check out what would it be like putting the machine in Arizona. So I started researching other brands, and that’s how I found Kooler Ice. And I really enjoyed talking with Kerry, and he was super at helping me with questions and information and stuff like that. So, to make a long story short, I purchased a 2500 series for Flagstaff. So I ordered the machine, and Donnie came out and set the machine up. Donnie’s a great guy. Super helpful. I just had to have everything lined up, the to where I was putting it, the power, and a plumber lined up, and we installed that machine in Flagstaff.
From that point on I said, well, let’s look at putting a Kooler in Oklahoma now. So to make a long story short, I ended up buying four more machines and we installed them in Oklahoma City. When it comes to marketing of the machine, I found that, you know, location, location, location. You have to have a location, and the machine kind of sells itself. My favorite things about the machine is, I’m going to say how easy it is to clean. I like to keep the machines clean. They’re compact, they’re easy to maintain.
I would say if I had any advice to give someone in the ice business, you have to be able to turn a wrench. In other words, you don’t have to be a mechanic, but you’ve got to have somewhat of an ability to change a filter. If you have a water line that leaks, you have to reinsert it. You might have to put a fitting on. Kooler offers the services to do it. But of course, you’re in it to make money, and when you can do the work yourself, you save money. I am very glad I got into the ice business.”
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY