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Handcrafted in America since 1945

True Manufacturing is recognized as the leading manufacturer of commercial refrigerators and freezers in the world for the foodservice and soft drink industries. The path to that leadership position began in 1945, when Bob Trulaske and his father, Frank, and later his brother, Art, developed a refrigeration company in their house on Lenox Avenue in St. Louis. From their garage, they built the first 40 cu. ft. upright freezer on the market. Soon after, they began manufacturing Wrapped Rail Roll-Top Bottle Coolers for beer and beverages in a multi-story warehouse on Pine Street in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.

This is a True story.

One of the Trulaske’s very first refrigerators was used to keep beverages cool in a neighborhood bar, where an exhausted traveling 7UP salesman stopped for a drink. He noticed the refrigerator behind the bar and, after finding out that it required no unwieldy, expensive blocks of ice, told the bar owner he had to know who built it for him.

In 1948, the 7UP company purchased its first order of True Roll Top Bottle Coolers, and the True legacy was born. That legacy has grown over the course of 65 years and now includes—in the True Professional Series—commercial refrigeration refined for the home.

1940s through 1970s

Modern coolers for a modern age

“Watch for the ‘True’ logo. When you buy this logo ‘True,’ you’ve bought a cooler that will perform to your expectations and last essentially as long as you want to use it.”


Bob Trulaske, along with his father, Frank, and later his brother, Art, collaborate to develop a refrigeration company in their Lenox Avenue home. Within the year they begin manufacturing wrapped rail roll-top bottle coolers for beer and beverages in a multi-story warehouse on Pine Street in downtown St. Louis.


7UP Company approves True Roll Top Bottle Coolers, beginning a successful, longstanding partnership with True.


True sells its first coolers to the Caribbean and Central American markets, establishing the beginning of True’s international sales efforts.


True introduces its first upright GDM model, GDM-40-30, utilizing state-of-the-art fan motor technology and revolutionary triple pane glass design. True is approved by the Pepsi-Cola Company.


Today’s True logo first appears.


True is approved by the Coca-Cola Company.


True begins its foodservice industry sales at the 1972 NRA. Later, True builds new headquarters on Cannonball Lane in O’Fallon, MO.


True develops Direct Draws and Back Bars for the foodservice industry.

1980s to the Present

Refrigeration for the next generation

As industry demands increase, so does True’s production, with the addition of 100,000 sq. ft. of factory space every 2½ years from 1984-2000. The largest addition was in 1998, when 638,000 sq. ft. of office/warehouse space is purchased. This is the start of True’s renovation of 200,000 sq. ft., which will become True’s new O’Fallon headquarters, T-10.


True introduces its first upright reach-in, the T Series, and expands its Glass Door Merchandiser line to include Glass End Merchandisers.

Bob Trulaske’s son, Steven L. Trulaske, Sr., joins the company.


True offers Undercounter/Worktop freezers, Drawered Undercounters, and Glass Door Back Bars. True then introduces All Stainless Steel Reach-Ins, the TS Series.


Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence

True develops its first reach-in Heated Cabinets to complement its industry standard refrigeration line. True continues its Missouri production growth with the addition of a 100,000 sq. ft. Pacific, MO, facility, which expands to 400,000 sq. ft.


True introduces the T Series Dual Temperature Models and launches the newly designed 24” deep Back Bar product line. As the foodservice industry demand for countertop cooking equipment grows, True begins production of its refrigerated Chef Base Units: the TRCB Series.

The international sales market continues to grow, leading True to open a 100,000 sq. ft. facility in England.


Leadership for the New Millennium

In 2000, True introduces the Dual Temperature GDM model and Radius Front GDM models. In 2001, with extensive input from the consultant community, True launches its first offering of the new Specification Series product line, designed specifically for the institutional foodservice marketplace: the All Stainless TR Series.

True becomes an original ENERGY STAR partner and continues its leadership in manufacturing energy efficient equipment by not simply meeting, but exceeding, the ENERGY STAR standards.


Robert J. Trulaske Sr. receives a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Missouri on December 20. Previous recipients of this prestigious honor include Harry Truman, Samuel Clemens, J.C. Penney, and Sam Walton.


True celebrates the life of Robert J. Trulaske Sr., hero, patriot, incredible leader.


60 Years of Excellence

True earns the prestigious honor of being voted Overall Best in Class in the United States. This is a milestone in the history of the company.

True celebrates 60 years of providing the world’s finest commercial refrigeration. True’s family-owned manufacturing company has become a world leader through its comprehensive research and development, corporate expansion, and capital investment approach.


Continuing its growth, True offers 798 models this year, and the Bowling Green site expands 100,000 sq. ft., totaling 200,000 sq. ft.

For the sixth year in a row, True Manufacturing is recognized among equipment and supply manufacturers as “Best in Class” in its ability to provide outstanding product service to the foodservice industry.


True Professional Series officially launches first generation product line in the California market.


New 24 Series product line introduced. True Professional Series announces new 15″ Undercounter Refrigerators and Wine Cabinets.


True introduces the TruLumina LED lighting system in 14 designer colors.

“True Manufacturing is a commercial fridge heavyweight. If you ever stepped into a restaurant’s kitchen or bought a soda from a convenience store, there’s a good chance you’ve unwittingly encountered a True fridge. But what are the chances of getting one of them for your own kitchen?”

Prepared for tomorrow

True’s pledge: To reduce our carbon footprint to minimize the environmental impact of our products and our operations.

Over 70 years of commercial refrigeration focus have enabled us to become experts in the design and development of our systems. While energy efficiency has always been part of our design process, we continue to utilize new technologies to improve our systems to be the most efficient in the industry, without sacrificing the performance that ultimately provides food safety for our customers throughout the world.

Since our founding, True has been committed to being leaders in cold, but that commitment spans the entire footprint of our company, from raw materials to finished product.

Our Facilities and People

Energy Conservation

  • Replaced rooftop air conditioners with more efficient Economizer units. The units use fresh air virtually free for cooling during the fall, winter, and early spring
  • Solar water heating
  • Reduced office lighting load by 30%

Recycling Program

  • Paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, clear plastic, mixed metals
  • Cumulative savings of 5,339 tons of material out of landfills since January 2008—the equivalent of removing the annual CO2 emission of 994 homes.

Sustainable Alternatives

  • Installed automated water faucets and hand dryers to regulate water usage and reduce paper towel waste
  • Cafeteria switched from Styrofoam plates and bowls to environmentally friendly paper products

Our Products

True is committed to producing high quality products that are manufactured in the USA. True manufactures each cabinet using an industry-leading combination of high-quality metals and components designed to optimize cabinet performance.

  • Fan motors: True uses a balanced system with commercial-grade componenets, which produces a large volume of air at a slow rate passing across the evaporator, which allows for faster recovery and uniformity of temperature through the refrigeration unit.
  • Consumption: By matching and balancing oversized compressors, evaporators, and condenser coils, True engineers environmentally friendly refrigeration systems with shorter run times, lower energy consumption, and the industry’s coldest holding temperatures.
  • Evaporator coils: True’s evaporator coils have 20-40% more surface area than the industry standard, resulting in faster pull-down of product temperatures and quicker recovery times.

True is meeting and exceeding CEC and DOE energy standards—without sacrificing quality—through the following methods:

  • Utilizing green materials and components such as recycled composite materials and Ecomate, a foamed-in-place, high-density, CFC-free polyurethane insulation with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Z Zero and an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of Zero. Developing refrigeration equipment operating on Natural Refrigerants (near “0” GWP).
  • True equipment meets RoHS (“Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances”) compliance in electrical and electronic equipment. We reduced the use of major hazardous substances—such as lead, mercury, and cadmium—by 99% in the production of True products.


View Our Sustainability Brochure

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