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  • Randall Benton /

    Company Vice President Marcus Wilson, left, and his brother, project manager Travis Wilson, inspect a small custom-made refrigeration unit at the Refrigeration Solutions Inc. facility in Sacramento on Thursday.

  • Randall Benton /

    Project manager Travis Wilson walks through the warehouse at Refrigeration Solutions Inc. The company provides equipment and services for both small and large customers.

  • Randall Benton /

    Vice President Marcus Wilson stands in office space at Refrigeration Solutions Inc., part of its new 40,000-square-foot facility in Natomas.

Big chiller: Local refrigeration firm branches into new space

Published: Thursday, May. 29, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Call it the Big Chiller. For a company that started with a single truck and a cramped office just a few years ago, Refrigeration Solutions Inc. is powering up its business by chilling down its clients.

Today, RSI is celebrating the opening its new 40,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in the Natomas area, just off Interstate 80 in Sacramento.

Like a side-by-side fridge, the leased facility is home to two companies. RSI, a provider of commercial refrigeration service and installation services, was started in 2006. It spun off Advanced Refrigeration Systems Inc., its manufacturing arm, in 2010. Now, both family-owned firms operate under one roof at 4119 S. Market Court.

Previously, the companies operated out of a 10,000-square-foot facility in West Sacramento.

“We were starting to feel really cramped in our old space, and all of this extra room will let us grow our team and continue to improve our services and products for our customers,” said Sam Wilson, who serves as president of both companies, which employ about 50.

Wilson, with 35 years of diverse experience in the refrigeration industry, is the patriarch of the family and the two firms. His sons, Marcus and Travis, serve as vice president and project manager, respectively.

Marcus Wilson says his father’s knowledge, connections and background have fostered growth and made the two companies a major presence in California’s commercial/industrial refrigeration services and equipment sector. After some slow periods during the recent recession, Marcus Wilson said business has surged over the past several years, with annual sales growth of 30 percent.

“We’ve had loyal customers and have been adding more. Over time, we’ve just gotten bigger,” he said.

One of RSI’s early major clients was the Woodland-based Nugget Market grocery chain, which has RSI systems in about 10 stores. Other clients include well-known retailers, including Wal-Mart, Costco, Food 4 Less, Domino’s Pizza, IGA and Odwalla. Operators of cold storage facilities and meat packing plants also are major customers.

Marcus Wilson said about half of its customers are located in the greater Sacramento area, with about 40 percent in the Bay Area and 10 percent in Southern California.

RSI specializes in installing refrigerated systems, display cases and equipment such as condensers. Customer service for clients is always available.

Its manufacturing arm, Advanced Refrigeration Systems, designs, engineers and manufactures energy-efficient refrigeration systems using the latest technology. Units can be managed by computer and programmed to meet individual requirements for temperature control. Clients can purchase a custom-built, three-compressor refrigeration unit that’s about the size of a phone booth, but the typical system is 20 feet long, with four compressors, such as found in a typical grocery store. Larger systems can be built to order at varying prices.

The Wilsons also accommodate customers who want their refrigeration systems built outside their main building for space and maintenance reasons, with cooling/defrosting functions piped into the appropriate interior areas.

By quadrupling in size, the company’s new Natomas facility has features that Marcus Wilson says will make its day-to-day operations much easier.

That includes a loading dock, where large refrigeration systems can be loaded directly onto a truck, as opposed to being lifted by a crane. The sprawling production floor enables various manufacturing tasks to be grouped into specific pods.

Inside its corporate offices, wall-size whiteboards, covered with notations and instructions, are found throughout the building. Long tables enable technicians to spread out oversized blueprints to map out installation of complex systems. There’s also a spacious break room and a game center, complete with foosball table.

For more information, see and, or call (916) 281-2000.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

Read more articles by Mark Glover

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