Over the last 70 years, we have developed more than 14,000 products for the foodservice industry. Each of our products are created to provide food safety and efficiency inside and outside of the kitchen. Of our thousands of products, there are some that have especially resonated with our customers because they have made a lasting impact on their business. Decades later, these five products have withstood the test of time:
We hit it out of the park with our very first product. In 1951, we created the Camtray as a solution for hospital operators who were unhappy with their meal delivery trays. Metal trays were too loud; operators wanted a high-quality tray that was quiet. Today, we are the largest tray supplier in the world. Schools, restaurants, bars, hospitals, hotels and more rely on our large variety of trays to provide food and drinks safely. We continue to expand our tray offerings to meet the needs of the foodservice industry. When healthcare facilities made it a focus to provide better meal options for their patients, it only made sense for us to create a tray to match their efforts. We designed our Décor Series Camtrays to look and feel like reclaimed wood, while actually being made of a durable fiberglass material. The next time you use a tray in a foodservice setting, turn it over and don’t be surprised when you see the Cambro name.
The CamSquare is one of our most recognizable products. From professional chefs to home bakers, the CamSquare is a must-have. The graduations printed on the front of the CamSquare are one of the most iconic things about it. Notably measured in liters and quarts, the CamSquare stands out from the crowd. Its simple square design makes it space-efficient and molded in handles on larger sizes make them easy to carry. Our CamSquares are so beloved by chefs, some have gotten it tattooed on their bodies.
“We got on the fact that a Cambro tattoo would be hilarious because you can never find an empty one because they’re so sought after. That way you’d always have one,” said Chef Chris Rivest.
Within the last decade, the CamSquare gained new popularity for a different purpose: sous vide. The cooking method requires vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. CamSquares are a preferred option because of their shape, insulation and affordability.
The Camtainer came on the scene in the 1970’s and has served countless beverages since. Used to hold both hot and cold beverages, it’s not uncommon to hear about our Camtainer maintaining temperatures long after the guaranteed four-hour mark. Rust, crack and chip resistant, the durability of the Camtainer is unmatched. It’s no wonder the Camtainer is a beverage service staple for restaurants, coffee shops and caterers everywhere.
“We’re in New York City, the winters are brutal and we’re outside in the freezing cold on the sidewalk. I’ve been outside serving on outreach with it being 7°F and we have these [Cambro] drink containers that are holding hot chocolate and they’re keeping the heat, which is amazing. In the summertime, we have the opposite. We have 100°F days serving iced lemonade and iced tea out of the same [Camtainer] that we use during the winter,” said Josiah Haken, Vice President of Outreach Operations at NYC Relief.
After the Camtainer’s initial success, years later we found another opportunity for it. With the addition of a Handwash Accessory, the Camtainer transformed into a hygienic, easy-to-transport handwash station. During the coronavirus pandemic, Chick-fil-A deployed our Handwash Stations outside their restaurants to promote hygiene.
Some of our employees have been with us longer than we’ve offered Camshelving. One of the youngest products on this list, Camshelving has made a huge impact in its first 20 years. The Cheesecake Factory was one of the first restaurants to try Camshelving. A test location in Marina Del Rey, Calif., still uses their original Camshelving units, and they still have nothing but good things to say about it.
“We’re very excited to have Cambro shelving for 20 years and continuous years to move forward,” said Kix Nystrom, VP Kitchen Operations at The Cheesecake Factory. “Overall, Camshelving has been a huge success in our company.”
We saw a need for food safe shelving that wouldn’t need to be replaced every couple of years because of wear or rust. As a result, all three Camshelving models have a lifetime guarantee against rust and corrosion. Another big opportunity was capacity. Camshelving units have the ability to share a single post, eliminating wasted space in between units. Plus, Camshelving creates open corners, allowing chefs to store more product and easily access it.
An entire industry has been built around our insulated transport products. Catering businesses choose our UPC300 because of its durability, temperature maintenance abilities and portability. The UPC300 is one of our smallest insulated transport products, but it is mighty. With the capacity for three full-size GN 1/1 pans, the UPC300 fits perfectly inside anything from sedans to catering vans. Burgeoning catering businesses start with one UPC300 and continue adding units as they become more successful.
Within the last few years, the UPC300 has captured the attention of the barbecue community. Meat is put inside the UPC300 to rest after it’s done cooking. When you allow meat to have a resting period, the juices and moisture that are brought to the surface during cooking are able to reabsorb back into the meat. The result is perfectly tender, juicy meat that’s ready to be cut and served.
As a foodservice industry leader, Cambro products are used and beloved in professional kitchens across the world. In fact, more than one of the products on this list are simply called “Cambros” depending on the sector that uses them. One of the reasons these products are most-loved is because they are just as useful today as the day they were created. We take great pride in creating products that are trusted for generations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.