Cooler Innovation rents coolers and freezers to retailers, bringing refrigerated innovation to the center of the store. We buy them, install them, and maintain them. We are the only company that does that. We know more about free-standing retail coolersthan anyone, because we’ve installed over 16,000 of them.

Who We Do It For
Cooler Innovation

For Consumers. They’re demanding more fresh, better-for-you and grab-n-go products. New ones are hitting the shelves every day. But which shelves? Where do consumers go to find them? Cooler Innovation has the answer.

For Brands. Refrigerated and frozen products need to be seen, especially when they’re new. Today, they have no choice – available refrigeration space dictates where they are shelved. With Cooler Innovation, those products will be in the aisles where they belong. So consumers can “fish where the fish are.”

For Retailers. Consumers are shopping differently – online and at specialty stores. One way to bring them back is to feature the exciting new, fresh, refrigerated brands they’re asking for. Cooler Innovation puts those brands in the spotlight…and draws customers to the center of the store.

Why Renting Makes Sense
Cooler Innovation

For Merchandisers. Renting provides flexibility – sizing options, placement options, signage options. And cooler technology is constantly evolving and improving. Cooler Innovation keeps retailers on the cutting edge of refrigerated merchandising.

For Managers. Unlike buying or leasing refrigeration, renting is not a capital expense. It doesn’t hit the balance sheet. And there are no regular cooler maintenance costs. Cooler Innovation does that. We also install them and remove them at the end of the term…for free.

Cooler Innovation

About Cooler Innovation

Cooler Innovation LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Factory LLC, an innovation and scale-up company that invests in high potential food and beverage companies. Cooler Innovation rents a wide variety of refrigeration units – coolers and freezers – to retailers and brands across North America.

Our Team

Rich Thompson

Rich Thompson, Founder

Serial Entrepreneur, Operations Specialist

Rich created over $3 billion in enterprise value as Founder and CEO of American Italian Pasta Company, Meow Mix Company and Freshpet. He built the operations from scratch, including marketing and sales organizations, manufacturing, supply chain, and distribution and innovation infrastructure, and he supervised the design and construction of 7 factories. With CPG start-ups, one home run can be a lifetime achievement. Rich has hit three of them.

Tim Pollak

Tim Pollak, Partner

Global Manager, Marketing Specialist

Tim was a Board member and marketing consultant at American Italian Pasta, Meow Mix and Freshpet. He has 4 decades of CPG and brand building experience, was Vice Chairman at two of the world’s largest global ad agencies, Y&R and Dentsu, and co-founded a data analytics company. Tim has served on the Boards of 8 manufacturing, marketing and education companies, spent 5 years as a CEO, and has done business in over 50 countries.

Keith Caldwell

Keith Caldwell, Partner

Finance Specialist

Prior to joining Cooler Innovation, Keith worked for 8 years with Fortress Investment Group, where he was a Portfolio Manager responsible for the day- to-day operations of a real estate portfolio in the U.S. and Europe. In his time with the firm he was responsible for over $3.0B in invested capital and over $8.0B in total asset value. Previously, he was a real estate broker for Grubb & Ellis in Southern California, where he focused on the sale and leasing of retail properties. Keith earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Our Story

About ten years ago, Rich Thompson and a team of pet food entrepreneurs saw two trend lines intersecting: the explosive growth of fresh, healthy eating and the humanization of pets. So they set out to make fresh pet food – with all natural ingredients and no preservatives – especially for the palates of dogs and cats.

After several years’ work, Freshpet was born. Pets loved it. The team had hit a home run! But then they confronted a harsh reality. Freshpet has no preservatives, so it has to be refrigerated, just like the meat and veggies you bring home from the market. And there was no refrigeration in the pet aisle.

So Rich and his team visited every major cooler manufacturer across the globe. They studied every design, stress-tested equipment for reliability, commissioned new interior lighting systems, and tested multiple exterior displays. Then they began persuading retailers to let Freshpet install coolers in the pet aisle – in-line and on end caps.

The rest is history. There are now over 18,000 Freshpet Fridges across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The company has achieved 8 years of year-on-year double-digit growth, while the category has been mired in low single digits. Most stores with a Freshpet Fridge have seen increased traffic and overall sales in the pet aisle. And Freshpet has become a thriving public company.

Freshpet was made possible by cooler innovation – which led Rich to found Cooler Innovation LLC. Now, F&B entrepreneurs with products that need refrigeration, or just taste better cold, have the opportunity to replicate Freshpet’s success.

Contact Us

Donna Pereira