Retail Observer

October 2015

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM OCTOBER 2015 8 After a successful D-Day mission executing precise paratrooper drops from his C-47, USAF pilot Bob Trulaske returned home to the Midwest. Always strategic, always planning, he'd saved up his flight pay and, with the encouragement of his father, Frank, used that pay to seed a startup business making some of the very first commercial refrigerators to cool beer and soft drinks. The Trulaske's American dream started in a garage in St. Louis, MO, in 1945. Their mission was complex but focused: take fast-growing residential refrigerator technology and harness it, making it robust enough to handle fast pulldown for pub patrons demanding colder, more refreshing drinks. An entrepreneur at-heart, Bob Trulaske, together with his father, Frank, and brother Art, both machinists/tool & die men, began meticulously developing, engineering, and manufacturing the first roll-top bottle boxes, which would become so iconic in drug stores, pubs, and neighborhood establishments throughout the US in the 1950s, but the Trulaskes' big break came a few years prior, when a traveling 7UP salesman spotted one of the boxes in a St. Louis establishment. Seeing the potential for his own products, he inquired about the cooler's origin, which was the three men—the Trulaskes—who would go on to become True Manufacturing. True owned no sophisticated labs in the early years, so in the late 40s, Bob decided on an innovative R&D method: send prototypes to Puerto Rico in July, where True machines would be tested by the harsh heat, humidity, and salinity, the unholy trinity of wreaking havoc on any refrigeration system. The Trulaskes already had a large-scale vision: Bob knew that if True units could stand up to that environment, they could work anywhere in the world. THIS IS A TRUE STORY True pioneered commercial refrigeration. Now they have refined it for the home.

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