Monday, December 31, 2012

We are Alberta's Ice Company | Columbia Ice

Columbia Ice is Alberta's Ice Company because the only place we do business is in Alberta.  If BC called for ice we would say heck no because they don't want our pipeline.  If Saskatchewan called begging for ice... well we would send a reefer full of ice to them because in the busy summer months they send a reefer to us if we are running low.  That said in general, 99.9% of the time all the ice made by Columbia Ice stays in Alberta. In terms of ownership, where the profits go, we are 100% Alberta.
Map of Canada with Alberta highlighted in orange.
Columbia Ice is Alberta's Ice company

When we say Alberta's Ice Company we mean to say we can ship reefers or truckloads of festival ice to anywhere in Alberta.  If you are having a small party in Calgary it really isn't in our everyday delivery range.  

Have I confused you? 

We are Alberta's Ice Company when it comes to ordering a truckload of ice.  When I say truckload I mean a big semi load of ice.  When it comes to needing 15 big bags of party ice, our delivery area shrinks to Edmonton and area because we do not have a factory in Calgary.  Driving 4 hours to deliver 15 bags of ice wouldn't be worth it from a cost perspective.  You could buy a freezer for the price it would take to deliver that ice.  

At Columbia we distribute ice to liquor and gas stations in and around Edmonton.  We ship ice via reefer outside this delivery radius to anywhere in the province.  If someone was willing to pay enough we would even ship ice to the moon.   Sadly this never happens because they don't need ice on the moon.  

For all your ice needs in Alberta call Alberta's Ice company, Columbia Ice.  

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

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Monday, December 17, 2012

How is packaged ice packaged?

Although not as exciting as how they put the caramel in a caramel bar, how we put cubed ice into a plastic bag is still very riveting reading material so hold on to your hats and get ready to be blown away.

Last year when we only had a little ice factory, we would hold a bag under a spout, press an electric gas peddle and bam we could get a bag full of ice.  At that point we would then use a closer to put a little metal clip on the end to close the bag, hence the equipment being called a closer.  Next the small bag of packaged ice would be put on a conveyor belt and taken to the poor smuck whose job it was to frantically put 5 small bags of ice into one bigger bag we call a tote without falling behind.  I say poor smuck because making ice this way was like sweating to the oldies if the oldies were the sound of ice being made.
Inside of an Edmonton Ice Factory.
Ice goes from the auger to the bagger.
Our big ice bags come in a big roll.
image of ice bagger.
Our new bagger puts the packaged in packaged ice.

This is where the packaged ice is hiked to the QB.

Lucky for us poor smucks Ernie, the owner of Columbia Ice decided to invest in building a brand new ice factory with an automatic bagger.  This meant there was no holding an empty plastic bag beneath a spout.  In fact this meant no human contact or interaction with the ice during the bagging process.  It meant no more having to close the bags of ice either as the new bagger would heat seal the bags of ice closed.  All we had to do is stand like a quarterback at the end of the bagger and wait for the packaged ice to arrive.  The days of being a poor smuck was over as making packaged ice never was easier, well at least relative to how we would package ice before.  Of course there are still issues because the bigger the machine, the bigger the baby that machines tends to be and our ice bagger is no exception, but that is a story for another day.

If you need ice in Edmonton give Columbia Ice a call.  We are Edmonton's ice company.


The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

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Friday, December 7, 2012

We deliver ice even in a blizzard. | Columbia Ice

Delivering ice in Edmonton during the winter isn't always easy.  Mother nature has a way of saying hello when you least expect it.  The other day everything looked clear as I, the Iceman, left Edmonton for Redwater to make sure they had enough ice for Christmas cheer.

"Ha, ha," said the man in the sky as he decided to have some fun with me.
ice delivery in the Edmonton winter can be fun

The snow started to fall in big snowflakes making it hard to see.  To make it more fun when a semi would drive by for about 10 meters I couldn't see a thing, but don't worry the Iceman was not afraid.  He did not turn back and cry for mommy even though it might of seemed like the sane things to do considering you could barely see.  The Iceman was like the little train that knew it could.  One wheel in front of another.

On the way I might have passed Gibbons.  Not really sure because it was like living in a little house in the prairie book where you needed to use a rope to get from the house to the barn.  I could not see gibbons, but I assume it was still there to be passed and had not been nuked by some cold war relic of a nuclear missile.

Lucky for the Iceman the snow disappeared when I reached Radway.  One moment there is a blizzard and the next their isn't.  Radway was good, Redwater was not and Gibbons.. well what can you really say about Gibbons other than the diesel at fas gas there pumps really fast which is nice when it is cold.  I did stop at Gibbons on the way back just to make sure it was still there.

For all your packaged ice needs call or email Columbia Ice, Alberta's Ice Company.


The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Why we chose the name Columbia Ice for an ice company?

Expanded Columbia Ice logo.
Columbia Ice, Edmonton's Ice Company
Once upon a time there was a liquor distribution guy and a butcher who became friends.  Together they decided to join forces and build an ice company in Edmonton.   Polar Ice, not the vodka was born.  Sadly for reasons unknown to me the butcher and the liquor guy decided to part ways with the butcher keeping Polar Ice.  The liquor distribution guy, still wanting to be in the ice industry decided to create his own ice company and Columbia Ice was born.  The name Columbia Ice was derived from the popular tourist destination Columbia Icefields between Jasper and Banff.   After running the company for a number of years the liquor guy decided to sell Columbia Ice to Ernie Graveline, a coffee guy who wanted to get into manufacturing and chose ice.  Ernie, seeing that the main ice manufacturer in Canada was struggling with debt issues which resulted in a Canadian company being bought by an American one, decided the time was right for expansion so he built a new ice factory up in Acheson which is just between Edmonton and Spruce Grove.  The idea was to slowly increase the amount of ice supply and work hard to be known as Edmonton's ice company.  Unlike the newly created American ice company, Ernie wasn't interested in conquering the world, just wanted to be the best ice company in Edmonton.  Although it is not the most exciting story, it is our story and how Columbia Ice got its name and came to be.

If you need large or small bags of ice for a party or event just give us a call or send us an email.  We are Edmonton's Ice Company.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

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Does google know your Edmonton liquor store exists?