Manufacturers Spotlight

Groen – a Brief History


The Groen story begins with Fred Groen, an immigrant and journeyman coppersmith who, in the 1890s, began a business fabricating tanks and repairing brewery and distillery equipment.  In 1907, he incorporated the company that still bears his name in Elk Grove, Ill., which then was focused on the production of high-quality copper kettles and pressure vessels designed for industrial processors.

From its inception in 1907, Groen became known for product innovation and quality.  For instance, during World War II, copper became a scarce commodity.  So, the company developed the first stainless steel-jacketed kettle, which revolutionized the industry.  Groen made kettles for use on ships during World War II.  In the 1960s, at the same time the company joined the Dover Corporation family of companies, Groen manufactured and introduced the first tilting braising pan in the U.S., and followed that with the industry’s first combination oven designed and built in the U.S.  In addition to manufacturing world class and industry leading kettles and braising pans, Groen also manufactures a complete line of steamers to fit every customer application from connectionless, generator and boiler based models to the most versatile steamer in the industry, the boilerless connected SmartSteam.

Groen remains the market leader in commercial steam cooking equipment and has won “Best in Class” awards from FE&S magazine’s annual survey to 1000’s of operators, consultants, dealers and broadliners.

In the meantime, Groen made its shift from the Midwest to Mississippi, establishing its headquarters near Jackson in 1984 and 33 years later manufactured its 100,000th kettle from this facility.  Its presence has grown since then, including the completion of a 5,000-square-foot training facility in the 1990s and just recently relocated its manufacturing facility in Vicksburg MS.  This relocation brought three different operating companies under one roof and 425 new jobs to the local community.

Corporate headquarters will remain in Conyers, Georgia, where the company emphasizes industry collaboration, customer engagement, and training in its world-class culinary training center.

Groen is part of Unified Brands, who supports an extensive line of high-quality commercial restaurant equipment: Groen, Randell, Avtec, A la Cart, and PowerSoak.