The History of HABCO

History

OVER 60 YEARS OF INDUSTRY LEADING INNOVATION

While HABCO has been innovating technology in the refrigeration business for decades, most would say our history first begins in the 1940s, with a milkman and a sandwich.

History
History
History
History
History
History
History

History

OVER 60 YEARS OF INDUSTRY LEADING INNOVATION

While HABCO has been innovating technology in the refrigeration business for decades, most would say our history first begins in the 1940s, with a milkman and a sandwich.

History
History
History
History
History
History
History

Chapter 1

THE MILKMAN’S SANDWICH

1946

After serving in the Air Force during WWII, Harold Brown began driving a milk tuck in 1946. If HABCO began anywhere, it was the moment this entrepreneurial Milkman sold his lunch to a construction worker at Sunnybrook Hospital. Now this
seemingly unimportant moment was actually a bolt of inspiration, and within the year, led to Brown’s Food Service, one of Canada’s first mobile caterers.

1953

Brown’s Food Service, a simple moment that led to a thriving business. Harold had now established a company synonymous with fresh hot coffee, famous meat pies, and delicious butter tarts.

1959

Now known as one of Toronto’s most successful industrial caterers with a very innovative sales model. Each driver of a truck was responsible for his own sales, allowing him to plan his own route and build his sales volume. This system practically eliminated waste
and increased the sale of products exponentially.

Chapter 2

THE DRINKS ARE ON US

1960

With the food and beverage equipment market emerging in Canada, Harold’s entrepreneurial spirit struck once again. Mr. Brown made a move that prompted the birth of H.A. Brown Ltd. Soon this name would be known for dispensing the era’s top brands in beverage, as well as numerous innovations in mobile catering.

1962

With Harold’s service company, H.A. Brown Ltd, in full swing, several soft-drink manufacturers asked him to work out some technical issues with their dispensers. As a result, H.A. Brown Ltd. invented the world’s first countertop beverage dispenser featuring lift-out modular refrigeration. This innovation is known today, as Cassette® Refrigeration, HABCO patented.

1965-1967

H.A. Brown Ltd is now at the forefront of the beverage industry. The company facilitated the invention of the Algonquin Counter-Top Beverage dispenser, the innovative K-WAY dispensing system, and more. In addition to serving its new list of clients, the company won the bid as the primary supplier of beverage equipment to Expo 67’ in Montreal, became a major player at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, and the Montreal Forum.

Chapter 3

TEAM PLAYER

1973

Founder, Harold Brown, of H.A. Brown Ltd. has announced his retirement as president, and appointed his son, George Brown, with a promotion to be the new president.

Beverage systems, beverage dispensers, and reach-in, self-serve coolers. This company is rapidly growing and offers something for everyone.

1976

Pepsi and Brown team up for 1976 Olympics. Pepsi-Cola Co. decided to employ H.A. Brown Ltd’s innovative beverage dispensing system to serve throngs of soft
drink customers during the 1976 Summer Olympics.

This Same year, George Brown and his business partner, Jim Maynard decided to purchase the company from Harold. It was also around this time the industry nicknamed the company “HABCO”, a label that became so interchangeable with their products, it stuck.

Chapter 4

THE NAME KNOWN TODAY

1983

A refreshing breakthrough. H.A. Brown Ltd has designed and manufactured the Sodamistic, a

1985

George and Jim officially changed the name H.A. brown Ltd. to HABCO. Of greatest significance, 1985 marked the year that HABCO began manufacturing glass door merchandisers, and standalone coolers, all featuring Cassette® removable refrigeration.

1989

HABCO has designed a new automatic sample server, uniquely styled for Coca-Cola Ltd. This new system encourages impulse buying and increased sales.

Chapter 5

IN PRESENT TIME

1990

HABCO began experimenting with their first low-temp freezer model to support the food service industry. Early models, virtually hand built, in a low volume pre-production format were often referred to as the “Ferrari” of freezers

HABCO began experimenting with their first low-temp freezer model to support the food service industry. Early models, virtually hand built, in a low volume pre-production format were often referred to as the “Ferrari” of freezers

2000

HABCO continues to build on a long-standing relationship with Coca-Cola and diversified its market focus into Food Service within Canada.

HABCO continues to build on a long-standing relationship with Coca-Cola and diversified its market focus into Food Service within Canada.

2018

Chris Strong joins HABCO as President and Chief Strategy Officer, with a mandate to restructure HABCO Manufacturing and implement a succession plan.

2020

George Brown steps down and promotes Chris Strong to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Jim Maynard exits HABCO in an operational capacity and joins HABCO’s Board Of Directors as Co-Chairman. Diane Brown, the wife of George Brown, joins HABCO’s Board Of Directors, also as Co-Chairman.

2024

HABCO releases first-ever pharmaceutical-grade refrigerator with a variable speed compressor, aptly named the SE18HCRxGVS

HABCO sees continued success each and everyday, with much more exciting news to come.

TALK TO A SALES OR SUPPORT REPRESENTATIVE ABOUT THE NEEDS OF YOUR RESTAURANT OR COMMERCIAL KITCHEN.

TALK TO A SALES OR SUPPORT REPRESENTATIVE ABOUT THE NEEDS OF YOUR RESTAURANT OR COMMERCIAL KITCHEN.