Fresh Beverages looks to develop new proprietary slush mixes while ensuring its CAB and SaniServ machines run smoothly.
By Janice Hoppe-Spiers
Tom Soffer founded Fresh Beverages seven years ago when he identified a need in the hospitality and restaurant industries for a good-tasting slush drink made in a quality machine. Over the years, due to customer requests, Fresh Beverages expanded into machine development as well.
“We are unique because we sell you the Fresh Freeze beverage mix along with the machine and also support our customers by performing any necessary maintenance on our CAB and SaniServ machines,” he says. “We are a one-stop-shop with an unwavering commitment to customer service and support, making sure we accommodate each customer’s individual needs.”
The Passaic, N.J.-based company develops its Fresh Freeze mixes in-house, which include a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. Fresh Beverages is a private label manufacturer for customers ranging from large restaurant and bar chains to cruise lines. “My two sons are heavily involved in the business – one is a chemical engineer and develops the perfect mix ratios and recipes and the other is a mechanical engineer and focuses on the design and development of the machines,” Soffer says. “This keeps us ahead of any issues that may develop for each customer.”
For their customers in the restaurant, entertainment and hospitality industries requiring lower capacity machines, Fresh Beverages partnered with CAB, a slush machine manufacturer in Italy, becoming the American branch and exclusive distributor for CAB USA.
“Of the frozen beverage machines, these are the smaller ones that are plug and play, allowing for added mobility and flexibility” Soffer explains. “What separates us from our competitors is that due to our unique design patents, our machines are the fastest freezing machines of their size on the market.” Their unique design also allows the machines to freeze in warm climates. “We have machines all over the world” Soffer says, “including the Middle East.”
In keeping with their philosophy of supporting their customers, the company removed the motherboard in its CAB USA machines, replacing it with switches to making it easily repairable by the owner, thereby reducing the cost of labor and parts. “Our customers need to operate as efficiently as possible and we pride ourselves on our machines, which are simple to use yet are extremely efficient, easy to clean and freeze faster than the competition,” co-owner Yitz Rubin says. “If you ever have a problem the service can be done wherever the machine is located.”
Fresh Beverages also offers Mooresville, Ind.-based SaniServ machines to customers who need to make larger quantities of frozen beverages, yogurt or ice cream mixes. “We grow with them,” Rubin says. “We maintain our relationships with our customers by being there with them from start to finish.”
The simple yet clean designs of the CAB and SaniServ machines allow Fresh Beverages’ customers to customize their look. “They can brand the machines however they want,” Soffer says. “We don’t put lights in our covers in case it drops or breaks, limiting potential damage and repair costs. We have redesigned the machines to make it simpler and easier for the customer.”
Quenching the Thirst
Fresh Beverages’ customers range in size from convenience stores to bars and gentlemen's clubs on the East Coast and hotel/casinos in Las Vegas. “One hotel in Las Vegas has 20 to 30 machines in a row while we have three-gallon CAB machines in gas stations throughout Texas,” Soffer notes.
Fresh Freeze alcoholic mixes are most popular among its bar, club and hotel/casino clients. Fresh Beverages prides itself on developing a new product every year to meet the changing demands of their consumers. “Years ago, if someone’s ‘drink’ was a mojito, that was what they ordered every time,” Soffer says. “Today, a customer comes in and wants a mojito one night and a strawberry daiquiri the next. People want a broader experience.”
Wine freeze mixes such as “frosé” (frozen rosé mixed with other ingredients) have become popular, as well as a mix of Red Bull and vodka in the CAB or SaniServ machines. This year, burgundy was a hot color so Fresh Beverages pushed its pomegranate mix. “Every year we come up with a ‘flavor of the year’ based on current trends in fashion and popular culture,” Soffer says. “For example, if the color next year will be light green we will make mixes with lime. You can already see bright colors on cars and clothing. Our customers are diverse and pay attention to these things.”
Fresh Beverages is an authorized distributor of slush, coffee, soda and ice cream machines. For each type of machine it carries, the company stocks the highest-quality flavor mixes. “Our drinks range from standard syrups to 100 percent fruit, with many options in between” Soffer says. “The 100 percent fruit slush is geared toward colleges and schools that prefer a healthy option. Nutrition is a big deal in schools and we supply that market with healthy and delicious fruit smoothies. In general, people want better-tasting, higher-quality drinks.”
In addition to schools and colleges, Fresh Beverages has launched its 100 percent fruit smoothies in the healthcare industry. “Even our standard slush has higher fruit content and quality than the competition,” Rubin adds. “It tastes so good that we have people who try it and never drink any other brand of smoothie again.”
Fresh Beverages’ is headquartered in the Northeast but focuses on selling its machines and products throughout the United States. The company is continually looking to expand its product reach and create new relationships with independent distributors. “To be successful, our distributors follow our business model because we have seen success and believe in how we do business,” Rubin says. “They need to have the mindset of the customer comes first.”
Moving forward, Fresh Beverages continues to innovate and expand its product reach. For example, they have recently become the exclusive distributor of a cup-chilling machine made in Germany. “We are in the process of completing the certification at which point our product will be a first of its kind in the U.S. market,” Soffer says. “We are in negotiations with a large hotel chain that will kick off as soon as the certification comes through. The machine will be new for bars and a piece of art.”