Jack Berry is the man behind Polar Ice Company which has been operating in Ipswich for almost 50 Years.
Jack Berry is the man behind Polar Ice Company which has been operating in Ipswich for almost 50 Years.

Iconic Ipswich company sells after 50 years

After running for almost 50 years, an iconic Ipswich company has shut up shop for good this week.

Jack Berry established the Polar ICE company in his late 20s.

He started out running a small operation under his house, making 25kg of ice a day and towing it to local shops.

He said a love of working with his hands is how he ended up down the road of making and selling bags of ice right across the country.

“I didn’t really like school too much, because I was more interested in the mechanics of everything,” he said.

“I was always interested in ice machines, because I’m a tradesman, I’m a refrigeration mechanic and I had a unique talent to repair ice machines.

“I acquired a machine and I got it working, the people I got it off didn’t want it, so then I started using it.”

From there his business took off.

“We just kept growing bigger and bigger. I bought another premises which was 57 Lobb street,” he said.

The Polar Ice Company which has been operating in Ipswich for almost 50 Years.
The Polar Ice Company which has been operating in Ipswich for almost 50 Years.

“I had my factory down there and then I bought this place next door and I just kept getting new customers and bigger customers. “

Mr Berry has seen many other businesses come and go as he continued to run his factory in Churchill.

He recalled some of the works he carried out following the 1974 floods helping repair fridges for local businesses who were inundated and supplying ice for those who needed it.

Now approaching his 80s, he had some advice on his secrets to success.

“You’ve got to like your job. If you like your job, you’ll do your best job,” he said.

“There’s nothing worse than spending hours and not liking your job.

“I’ve just loved doing what I’m doing. I’m going to find it very difficult on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I’m going to have to get used to it, because I’ve been doing this for close to 50 years now.

“This has been my life.”

Mr Berry said although health has been on his side, it came time to make a decision to hang up his hat.

While his work at Polar Ice will be no more, he said he still had some other companies and investments that will keep him busy