Frosty Factory: Starting at the beginning

This is Part One of a two-part series. Check back tomorrow for Part Two.

By Kelsey Horath

Frosty Factory has been manufacturing frozen drink machines in Ruston since 1983, but these machines reach far beyond the walls of this town. However, to fully understand the success of this company, one must first know where it all began.

“When asked where it all started, I go back to the days of Wilmart,” said Dolph Williams, founder and CEO of Frosty Factory. 

Williams and his parents opened Wilmart in 1977, where they sold different liquors and alcoholic beverages. One of the most popular was a frozen drink created by his mother.

“My mother bought hundreds of these small bottles of products on sale for just a little of nothing and when they came in, they did not sell that well,” said Williams. “After they wouldn’t sell, she came up with this idea to make frozen drinks out of the little bottles, so she got a blender, bucket of ice and some cups.”

Not long after, the hundreds of small bottles had disappeared and the frozen drinks were a hit. His mother created a recipe that allowed her to go on to make the frozen drinks as it continued to gain popularity amongst the surrounding community. 

“People kept hearing about these drinks that you could buy at this liquor store out in the country, and it continued to get bigger and bigger,” said Williams. “But my mother’s blenders kept burning up from all the drinks she had to make, and she would make me go buy new ones throughout the week.”

After one too many runs to Walmart for a new blender, Williams bought multiple small drink machines that use to hold the kids’ beverage known as “Tootie Fruity Drinks” found in old convenience stores. However, the multiple machines purchased by Williams were no match for the growing demand of the drink. 

“My mom looked at me one day and said, ‘We got to have a big machine to do this,’ and that is what got me to thinking that I could design this machine,” said Williams. “I took a brown paper bag I had from Piggle Wiggly’s, cut it open and started writing down my ideas.”

Just a few short weeks later, Williams began building the machine and had his first 20 sold before he even finished the constructing and designing process. After realizing the need for these frozen drink machines in other establishments outside of Wilmart and the success they could have, Williams produced the first Frosty Factory on Farmerville Highway, where they are still producing today.  

“The more machines we built; the better business got. Now we are worldwide,” said Williams.

But the story is just beginning for Frosty Factory that started because of an old liquor store in the country and a mama who needed a “big machine.”

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