By T. Scott Boatright
Frosty Factory has been a force for Lincoln Parish since 1983, when Dolph Williams turned a dream of creating and serving frozen drinks while working at Wilmart, the old liquor store on Hwy. 146 owned by his parents — L.L. “Red” and Hazel Williams.
Nearly 40 years later Dolph Williams has created and grown Frosty Factory out of the old Wilmart to a new site on Farmerville Street that it relocated to in 1992.
And on Tuesday morning, Frosty Factory held a groundbreaking ceremony to expand the company’s current infrastructure.
“We’re doubling the size of the building,” Dolph Williams, Frosty Factory founder/CEO. “Right now we have 36,000 (square feet) and we’re going to more than double it to about 75,000 (square feet). We’re pouring a little more than three acres of concrete. Hopefully within a year we’ll be finished and hire more employees and produce more machines.”
That growth for the company has already stopped even before ground was truly broken for the project.
“We’ve already hired seven more people over the past couple of months,” said Heath Williams, Dolph Williams’ son and president of the company. “We’re just trying to deal with what we can in the space we have right now. We definitely need the additional space.”
By 1982 Dolph Williams’ company, Frosty Factory of America, was producing machines that quickly became a true Louisiana craze — the frozen daiquiri.
It was Dolph Williams’ experimental frozen concoctions that became colorful and flavorful drinks like “Monkeyshine,” “Jungle Juice” and “151 Colada.” Along the way, the company grew from producing drink machines on a state level to a national level and eventually, to a worldwide level. Frosty Factory’s machines range in size, with the largest being able to produce 35 to 40 gallons of drink per hour at sites like the Superdome in New Orleans and Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Heath Williams said the company’s site expansion will greatly enhance and increase its production.
“The past year we’ve built around 2,500 machines,” he said. “We hope to be able to double that up to 5,000 more per year after the expansion is complete.”
Doubling up seemed to be the theme of the day during the groundbreaking ceremonies.
“Double is our number right now,” Dolph Williams said. “Doubling employees and space and machines, and right now we’re double where we were four years ago.”
Ruston Mayon Ronny Walker thanked the Williams for growing and keeping Frosty Factory right here in Lincoln Parish.
“Thank y’all so much for what you do here,” Walker said. “This is unbelievable. Dolph and I have talked a lot about starting this 40 years ago. It’s unbelievable where it came from and where you are today and now the tremendous business that has you shipping all over the world. We thank you and all your employees — without them I know it would be impossible to have all the success you’ve had. Thank you all and we are looking forward to the future expansion.”
Heath Williams echoed Walker’s thanks to Frosty Factory employees.
“I’d like to personally thank all of our employees,” he said. “They’re the ones that make this possible. We’re just glad to be here doing what we do and I thank our employees most of all. Dad started it with a groundbreaking back in 1992. I was 15 years old. I barely remember it, but now we’re doing it again.”