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Work is underway at Arctic Food Equipment to add storage and counter space for a new parts department.
Photo courtesy Arctic Food Equipment
Work is underway at Arctic Food Equipment to add storage and counter space for a new parts department.

Arctic Food Equipment pens acquisition

Posted online

Longtime family-owned business Arctic Food Equipment expanded its portfolio of services with the acquisition of another Springfield-based company.

Arctic Food Equipment closed on a deal April 17 to acquire the assets of Ozarks Food Equipment Sales & Service, which includes its parts department and client list. As a result, Ozarks Food Equipment owners David and Jan Paulsell have retired. Its facility at 630 N. Prince Lane is for sale, said Jason Paulsell, son of the longtime owners. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, Paulsell, who worked as Ozarks Food’s service and parts manager, has joined Arctic’s 31-person staff as its first-ever parts manager, said Arctic Food Equipment Manager Nathan McCartney.

“It kind of happened really quickly,” McCartney said of the acquisition that came together in a few weeks. “It was really Jason who pitched the idea.”

Paulsell said his parents were looking to exit the company, which was started nearly 50 years ago by his grandfather, Robert Kelsey, as a Hobart Sales & Service franchise. His parents became owners in 1992 after Kelsey retired. In 2014, the company broke off from Hobart and became Ozarks Food Equipment.

“My parents had kind of reached a point where they were going to retire,” Paulsell said, adding he and his brother, Steve, weren’t interested in taking over ownership.

Arctic Food Equipment, started in 1994 by owner Mark McCartney, sells and services HVAC and commercial restaurant equipment, such as exhaust hoods and walk-in refrigeration units. Nathan McCartney came to work for his dad’s company in 2018, with plans to take over the family business within the next few years, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Paulsell said the 49-year-old Ozarks Food Equipment also offered sales and service to commercial kitchen equipment, but its clientele was primarily grocery stores and school districts. Its territory ran north to Sedalia, south to Mountain Home, Arkansas, west to Joplin and east to West Plains.

“From Ozarks Food Equipment’s standpoint, we didn’t really look at them as competition,” Paulsell said, noting Arctic Food Equipment was a client, occasionally buying parts.

In-house work is currently underway at Arctic Food Equipment to add storage and counter space for the new parts department. Nathan McCartney estimates the project cost will be around $2,000 and should wrap up by no later than next week.

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