Exit the AZ-303 on Indian School Road and you’ll see a row of buildings that expand across the Goodyear desert. What some may not realize is the 700,000 square foot facility is home of Sub-Zero’s manufacturing facility.
Sub-Zero is a major residential kitchen appliance company focused on refrigeration and wine preservation. The company produces other kitchen appliances, such as ovens and stoves under the name Wolf and will soon provide dishwashers under the brand name Cove next year.
Goodyear Manufacturing Manager Dan Marotz said the most popular item you will see is their integrated series, “They will look just like your cabinetry that’s in your kitchen.”
A third-generation, family-owned operation, Sub-Zero began in Madison, Wisconsin when Westye Bakke was looking for a better way to preserve insulin for his son, who had juvenile diabetes. Out of that came Sub-Zero Freezer Company, the first freezer system for preserving food at ultra-low temperatures, with an emphasis on quality.
When describing the ideal Sub-Zero employee, Todd Collins, lead manufacturing assembly supervisor, said, “Quality is a keyword. Quality, efficiency, someone who can work without a lot of direction and some education, and I think we find that here in Arizona.”
After years of success, Sub-Zero knew they needed another facility and landed on Arizona. The opened their first Phoenix facility in 1982. The location, around 35th Avenue and Van Buren, provided for the immediate needs of the company; however, they slowly realized as business was booming that they would need more room to expand.
The Goodyear facility is home to just over 500 employees, contributing to the manufacturing industry workforce in Arizona. “With the number of employees we have, I think that’s increased the manufacturing presence in Arizona as a whole,” shared Steve Burnett, production supervisor for fabrication who has been with the company for 25 years.
Marotz, part of the on-site selection group, remembers when they found the Goodyear facility it was the only building in the area. Sub-Zero acquired the building in 2010, had it up and running in June 2011, and has since made improvements to meet the demands of their success.
“We just added 300,000 square feet, which we added December 2016 that we’re still working to fill with new fabrication areas back there, so feels pretty new to me,” Burnett remarked.
More and more, Arizona has been seeing companies call Arizona their home, but what is it that attracts these companies? According to Sub-Zero, it’s the state’s business-oriented welcome.
“The state, from what we’ve seen, has been business-friendly and has supported the growth of Sub-Zero,” said Marotz. “The transportation with the Loop 303 – that’s been a big, big improvement and also a lot of our products still go to the west coast so this is a great location as far as logistics goes.”
Representatives from Sub-Zero said they are excited to see continued growth in the West Valley and that Sub-Zero is becoming a name Arizonans recognize as one of their own.