The 600 or more refrigerated trailers belonging to the successful business are parked on the site of a former race track that existed on the property in the late 1880’s. Woodstock’s connection came later.
Richard Friesen, vice president of the company, relayed a lot of information about the business and the trailers that are leased and driven all along the east coast and even into parts of Texas and Illinois. “Our trailers can really go anywhere,” Friesen said.
The Thermo King refrigerated trailers ranging in sizes from 28’ to 53’ are used to safely carry products that have to remain fresh, cold or frozen to the supermarkets. In the two zoned storage area of the trucks, the front bulkhead can be used for frozen foods and if needed, the rest of the area can hold foods that do not need refrigeration, such as canned and packaged food.
Employee John Wisham, the ‘company historian,” relayed the information about the racetrack being located on the grounds a long time ago, with people coming by ferry and trolley to the track.
John also said the present building was built by the DuPont Company and when the Ragen Truck Company was down the road, it suffered a loss of water pressure in 1976.
After investigating the nearby structures they found that the sprinkler system broke causing the decreased pressure and created 4 foot of ice in the building that was to become part of JILCO.
As for the Woodstock connection, Friesen recalled the scene when the “Music Lovers” of the first Woodstock “Love In” danced on the roofs of the company’s trailers parked on the site. When the festival was held in Rochester, New York, the “Music Lovers” placed wood pallets under the trailers and set them on fire.
The JILCO trailers can be found during special events such as at the Sony Music concerts and other venues, holding ice and cold refreshments as a replenishing supply and for delivering fresh flowers from greenhouses to all large florists and to supermarket and other outlets.
Pharmaceuticals needing refrigeration and photographic films can be safely stored in the trailers. The trailers can be connected to customer’s electricity and be stored on site to hold frozen and cold products.
After moving produce from one area to another, the trailers can be re-loaded with different produce and other items that have to come back to the area.
Trailers are rented to store documents that were damaged by fire and water to prevent them from becoming mildewed. The trailers also provide a sterile environment when used to store and quarantine food that is intended to be fed to laboratory animals.
“Bird’s Eye was responsible for bringing frozen vegetables to the household tables a long time ago. Ice and blowers were used to keep the foods frozen during those early days and that era led up to the refrigerated trucks we use today,” said Friesen.
The company has 35 employees at the Charles Street location and has been in Gloucester since 1985. Steve Pavone, president of JILCO said he is very happy to be in Gloucester and to be part of the City Urban Enterprise Zone.
The address: 750 Charles Street, Gloucester City, NJ 08030
Article/PHOTOS by Sara Martino
FUNDED BY THE GLOUCESTER CITY URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE