This episode is a practical guide for buying walk-in freezers. We both know that you can't scale a DTC meat business without them.
However, the cost of buying a brand new walk-in unit can be tough to justify for a young business without a lot of startup capital. Of course, you also don't want to get stuck with a lemon that drains your bank account slowly via endless repairs, and a high utility bill.
That's why today, Blaine and I decided to hit record and share our favorite used freezer solutions that are still effective, and up to 10 times cheaper than buying new.
While it may require a few late nights scrolling through craigslist/eBay to find, and a coat of paint to make it look pretty... Once you know what you're looking for you should have no problem expanding your cold-storage square footage for up to ten times less than buying new.
If you're not on the hunt for a cold-storage upgrade just yet, this will be one of those episodes to bookmark and refer back to when the time comes!
Option #1 - Reefer Box
There's a constant supply of reefer trucks that reach the end of their life and are decommissioned every year. However, the reefer box on these trucks often has more service left to give and can work as a very affordable walk-in. All you need to do is detach it, give it a home, and possibly hire an electrition to wire up.
Option #2 - Freezer Containers
These are also often referred to as seed containers when used for that use case. But these are basically your regular 20-40' shipping container, outfitted as a freezer. What's great is that these are mobile and weather-resistant, so they will not take up valuable warehouse space.
Option #3 - Panel Box
This is the most typical type of walk-in freezer you'll find all over the foodservice world. There's a lot of them on the market and might be the best solution if you need to make an expansion in a hurry.
If you've had success with another used/affordable cold-storage solution that we didn't mention, be sure to share it with the community in the comments below!