Caddy Corporation (Caddy) has been in business since 1945, when Henry Rothschild established the business as a small custom stainless steel fabricator. For nearly 70 years, the company has grown and diversified. Caddy has become a leading manufacturer of high-quality food service equipment and commercial cooking ventilation systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada and overseas.
In the 1970s, Caddy changed ownership, operating under parent company Rockaway Corporation. In 1988, the company changed hands again, operating then under Sun Wave USA. In 1997, the business returned to its roots as an independent, family-owned company when Howard Cohen purchased the business.
Howard led the company as president until he retired in 2002. His son, Craig Cohen, stepped up as his successor and still leads Caddy today. Craig works alongside a strong management team, including Harry Schmidt, president; Phil Bailis, vice president of sales; Brad Wallace, director of sales; and Dan Ayars, engineering manager.
Together, Craig, Harry, Phil, Brad and Dan oversee a team of 40 employees working from a central location in Bridgeport, New Jersey. On the smaller side for a manufacturing business with such a broad geographic reach, the company embraces vertical integration.
Caddy’s size and strong niche allow for flexibility in manufacturing. The company is renowned for working closely with customers to provide custom-tailored, competitively priced solutions for a range of commercial and industrial kitchens.
For kitchen ventilation solutions, Caddy offers more than the classic rectangular hood so common in large kitchens. “One of our faster growing markets is for architecturally interesting hoods,” says Phil. “We design and manufacture hoods in themes and shapes that go along with a food service operation to match the rest of the interior. We are also making headway with energy efficiency systems with innovative controls for on demand exhaust. When you cook more, the fans in these hoods ramp up, while prepping and not cooking, the hood fan goes to minimum speed. The system is completely automated with a control pad interface that is wall-mounted and remote-accessible.”
Another major hood component for the Caddy crew is the company’s utility distribution system (UDS) design. The entire utility compartment is under the hood, separate from the wall of a kitchen.
“Instead of building in plumbing, steam and electricity in the wall with access points, this can be freestanding,” Phil elaborates. “Everything inside is quick to disconnect, so if you change equipment out, it is much faster. The upfront cost is higher, but these UDS reduce install costs and other costs down the road. The system just gets wired to the main breaker coming into the building, with all sub breakers at the point equipment contact. The end result is a much cleaner look and more sanitary.”
Conveyor systems and accessories
The company’s kitchen equipment division boasts a range of conveyor systems fit for health care, universities, B&I and hotels. Major product lines include tray makeup conveyors, such as the Caddy XL system designed to improve efficiency, open up space in facilities and maintain cleaner kitchens.
The company’s soiled dish and tray conveyors help move dirty dishes back to the kitchen for cleaning. The easy-to-clean and durable systems include water wash system and UV cleaning that allows users to keep belts clean with no added labor.
The company also provides a range of support equipment for both sides of a kitchen operation. These accessory items include hot and cold food tables, mixing stands, utility carts, drying racks and other amenities that help operations stay organized. All major products are custom-fabricated to help clients pull together cohesive kitchen systems and stations.
In order to educate industry professionals and showcase a strong and growing product line, Caddy upgraded facilities to include a new training center in 2013. “Right now we are looking to expand that,” Phil notes. “We will have a full, interactive professional kitchen adjacent to our existing test facility in the next year or so. This allows us to showcase a few different hood styles, which are picking up with a range of end-users. We are getting involved with several culinary schools and we have products to help them improve their facilities. We offer display cooking hoods with cameras and lighting for teaching.”
Caddy also offers training as part of sponsorship for Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI). The organization makes up a large portion of revenue and many of the professionals involved specify Caddy products in their design drawings.
“Our program provides continuing education points for them, of which they need a certain amount each year,” Phil elaborates. “We have both web-based and in-house programs for them. We also use our facilities to train more than 20 representative groups throughout the country.”
Moving forward, education and outreach continue to play a major role in the business. The Caddy team is constantly working to bring new and innovative products into the market.
Along the way, teaching consumers about these growing products allows Caddy to showcase existing and new lines. The company is consistently reinvesting in technology to improve research, design and programs. Caddy Corporation will continue to serve as both a manufacturer of kitchen equipment and a resource for industry professionals in the years to come.