Products that Made Us: The Camtainer

After making its debut in the 1970s, the Camtainer® has remained largely unchanged. Made from durable rotationally molded plastic, the entire unit is rust, crack, and chip resistant. Previously, coffee was primarily made and held in metal containers. Not only is metal heavy, but it’s also susceptible to heat loss. When the Camtainer proved its ability to maintain the temperatures of both hot and cold beverages, it cemented itself as a foodservice necessity.

You know how some people name their child James but everyone just ends up calling him “Jimmy”? Well, we technically named it a Camtainer, but most foodservice folks simply call it a “Cambro.” Although it can be used to hold a variety of beverages, it’s a favorite amongst cafés and catering companies to hold coffee. For example, this is how Dunkin’ Donuts refers to it on their catering menu:

and this ad from Café Bene in Peru:

Our customers love their Camtainers, but don’t just take it from us. Here’s what they had to say:

“Making it rain on them Joes with our Signature Cold Brew. Couldn’t do it without our trusty @cambromfg.” – Drive Thru Joe Coffee

“The 5-gallon Camtainers are a staple in our business. We use the red ones for primarily transporting coffee to different locations almost daily to our first responders, evacuation shelters, farmer’s markets and to other various locations. We also use the black ones for handwashing stations on various remote locations. Life savers indeed!!” – Red Whale Coffee

“We brew the coffee here in-house and then take [the Camtainers] with us,” said Beheydt. “We’ve had coffee in there for over 16 hours, coming out still hot. Not just warm, but hot.” – Seneca Sunrise Coffee

“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,” said Haken. “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.” – City Relief

Years later, we realized the Camtainer could become the perfect, compact handwashing station. With the addition of a Handwash accessory, easy serve dispenser lever and bucket, you have an affordable handwashing station that can be set up virtually anywhere.

“We’ve been offering the use of our Cambro handwashing stations to our homeless clients here in West Palm Beach. They truly appreciate the chance to get clean hands before they eat with us.” Chef Robert Colman Jr. with The Lord’s Place.  

After the Camtainer, we created the shapely Ultra Camtainer and the stylish Camserver® for a contemporary take on beverage service.


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