Currently, the North Star Ice team
is made up of 20 employees working in the London, Ontario facility where they can produce 135 tons of ice per day and service a 75 mile radius of the city of London with a fieet of 16 vehicles.
At age 88+, Ross is at the office every day, guiding the operations. His keen knowledge of the ice industry keeps North Star Ice at the top of its game. Just the other day, Ross noted that in 2018, the Smibert family will have been in business in the London area for 200 years. Another reason to celebrate! Over the years, Ross has searched for a catchy slogan for North Star Ice. The industry has used "Have an ice day!" and "It's the clink that makes the drink!" He came up with his own slogan which the company uses today, "Clear and solid, like a diamond!" - fitting for a Turbo C Line product.
North Star Ice is proud to belong to the Canadian Association of Ice Industries (CAII) and the International Packaged Ice Industry (IPIA).
At this time, John Smibert is honoured to be president of the CAII and chairman of the IPIA. He strongly feels the packaged ice industry has been good to his family and that time spent working with other industry members to advance the projects of these associations can only strengthen them and in so doing, strengthen the packaged ice industry. He encourages all non-member ice companies to join a regional association and the IPIA to help support the industry and to work together with other industry members to ensure the packaged ice industry's future.
North Star Ice Is A Proud Member Of:
The IPIA's mission is for our members to provide the retailer and consumer with a safe, high-quality, consumable food product.
IPIA members recognize that ICE IS A FOOD and meet mandatory safe packaged ice accreditation standards.
Established in 2003 as the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors, FBO has evolved into the organization of choice for members of the processing community - a community that contributes over $40 billion annually and is the number one employer in Ontario.
Ice Is Food
Look for the Label: What Consumers Need to Know About Packaged Ice
The only way to completely protect your family against this risk of contaminated ice is to make sure you are buying packaged ice manufactured by a member of the IPIA.
Consumers can look for the IPIA logo when purchasing packaged ice in member branded packaging and a growing number of retail private label packaging.
The IPIA label is the only way consumers can be assured the ice they are buying is safe to consume.
The University of Georgia study compared ice produced and packaged by outside vending machines and on-premises retail establishments to ice produced by manufacturing companies that conform to quality manufacturing standards set by the IPIA. The results clearly show that consumers need to be conscious of the ice they are buying for themselves and their families.
North Star Ice History
Smibert family pioneers through changes and remains strong in the ice industry
Ross used a formula during this period of growth: for every Koldraft ice machine he owned, he could add five new customers to the accounts. Up to this point, North Star Ice had used only laundry delivery vans with thermal blankets to make deliveries. In 1970, North Star Ice bought a Leer money wagon for a one ton pickup truck, to be used strictly for ice delivery. The first straight truck with a ten foot refrigerated body, dedicated to ice delivery was purchased in 1973. The business had graduated to the big leagues!
North Star Ice - London, Ontario
He turned 88 the day I interviewed Ross Smibert (1945), South grad and business owner.
I knew we had to profile this remarkable alumnus because, when adding "start up" year to our directory listings of entrepreneurial alumni, I noticed Ross began North Star Ice over 60 years ago! in 1945, newly graduated, Ross and South buddy, Bill Aitken ('46), constructed the building. " We dug by hand, I made forms, we poured foundation." First operating it for dry cleaning, Ross added packaged ice as a spin-off in 1954.
Allied Ice later became North Star logo making the bags we pour into coolers to keep re-refreshments frosty. Still coming in most days, with not one but three desks he works from, Ross demonstrates a leadership that certainly inspires his company's five employees. Son, John works alongside Ross. Being about the same age as North Star Ice, John's own retirement may be in a few years, but if Dad's legacy has influence, that's two to three decades too soon. I want to work until I'm 100. They won't retire me, they'll bury me instead."
4 Stuart St, London, ON N5Y 1S1