Thursday, October 3, 2013

Rapids Restaurant Equipment Expanding Retail to the Twin Cities

Rapids Restaurant Equipment - St. Paul, MN

Rapids Wholesale to Open Cash & Carry Store in The Twin Cities

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Oct. 2, 2013) -- Rapids Wholesale is proud to announce plans to open a new cash and carry retail store in St. Paul. The 19,000 square foot retail space will carry everything you need for your restaurant, bar, civic organization, church, school, home gourmet kitchen, employee dining facility and more . . . anywhere high quality foodservice, bar equipment and supplies is needed or desired. 

"We have listened to our customers and plan to have plenty of what you need, when you need it -- on hand and ready for immediate use in your facility!" - Joe Schmitt, Co-Owner

The new location will be located conveniently off of highway 280 and Como Ave (next to Appliance Smart). There will be a friendly and knowledgeable group of associates willing and able to assist you with all of your restaurant equipment, bar equipment and supply needs.

Harold Parten has been appointed to be the General Manager of the new facility. Parten comes to us from an extensive retail and wholesale distribution background including the Target Corporation. The store will operate with a staff of 4-6 sales associates and the St. Paul contract and design team will be relocating to the new facility as well. There will be several thousands of items in stock for sale at the new store location.
"I am excited to be a part of the Rapids family and look forward to meeting the talented chefs and foodservice people in the Twin Cities." - Harold Parten, General Manager

The New Rapids Restaurant Store Will Be Located Here

2475 Doswell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Two-in-One Technology Meets the Modern Commercial Kitchen │ Hobart Combi Ovens

Hobart Combi Oven at Rapids Wholesale
Hobart Combi Ovens at Rapids Wholesale

Technology constantly advances as we find ways to combine our gadgets. Those who stay on the cutting-edge carry their phones, high-resolution cameras, high-speed internet, music, and videos all in a single, pocket-size device. This works when it comes to entertainment — so why not apply the same concept to your kitchen? Combining technologies is a great way to save time and money while enhancing the quality of your products.  And adding a Hobart combi oven from Rapids Wholesale is a great place to start.

Commercial combi ovens combine the mechanics of a convection oven and a steamer, allowing users to benefit from both cooking methods in a single dish. Luke Green, a Rapids Contract and Design specialist familiar with Hobart combi ovens — he’s used one to cook mac-and-cheese, twice-baked potatoes, chicken on the bone and other yummy dishes from scratch in Rapids’ own test kitchen — sees French fries as a great example of steam/convention oven cooking.  Green described how you can forego a fryer and fatty oils by using steam to create a humid cooking environment. Then, in the last few minutes of cook-time, you switch the oven to convection mode. This crisps your fries on the outside, Green said. Using this technique, you can offer a healthy side dish without sacrificing taste, texture, and appearance.

“It’s how you go about cooking your product in a combi oven that sets them apart from a standard oven,” Green said. “To achieve the same results in a standard oven, you have extra steps and multiple pieces of equipment needed.” 

Check out this Rapids Exclusive video series with Hobart's "Combi Guy" David Sager, CFSP and Combi Oven Product Line Manager - Hobart Corporation

Rapids can set you up with either a full-size or half-size Hobart combi oven, with 6, 10, or 20 levels. In addition to setting the temperature on these ovens, you can also customize the level of moisture in all 5 models by adjusting the humidity at percentage points between 0% and 100%. On top of that, you can change the airflow in the cabinet by setting the speed of the combi oven’s fan. This comes in handy for delicate recipes, like meringue pies and pastries. Technology like this gives you greater control over a wide variety of recipes.

These models even let you program up to 100 recipes at time. And, as Green explained, Hobart’s combi oven design is the only one with a bar code scanner that works in conjunction with recipe-programming. After setting the recipe for a particular product, you just scan its barcode, and the oven will remember how to prepare the product. Hobart combi ovens are self-cleaning, as well, which will definitely save time in your kitchen!

Almost all food service establishments stand to benefit from using a combi oven. Green said catering businesses, educational institutions, and upscale restaurants might feel the need most. Any venue that calls for hassle-free, consistent bulk-cooking will likely see a big difference after installing a commercial combi oven.

Green said although adding a Hobart steam/convection oven won’t eliminate your need for other cooking equipment, Rapids can provide you with a quote to help meet your needs efficiently. Green and others on the Rapids contract team can assist you in determining which equipment to have on hand with your commercial combi oven, and which items you can skip. Contractors can also go over the possible energy-savings benefits of choosing a combi oven. To modernize your kitchen, get in touch with a Rapids contractor or sales rep, give us a call at 1-800-472-7431!

Written by Holly Hines

Friday, June 28, 2013

Perfect Product Fast, No Hoods or Microwaves Necessary: Ovention Matchbox Countertop Oven

Pepperoni pizza. Paninis. Chocolate chip cookies, chicken, cheesy bread, and chewy brownies. People love baked favorites like these. Now, imagine serving them at lightning-fast speeds, without using microwaves. With the Ovention Matchbox countertop oven, now you can! Here at the Marion location of Rapids Wholesale, we saw the evidence with our own eyes — on a bus, no less, where Ovention Sales Rep Aaron Ulmer and Midwest Professional Rep Chris Merritt offered product knowledge, and prepared us a fast, mobile feast.

As Merritt and Ulmer demonstrated, the Ovention Matchbox can be used as a portable convection oven, a conveyor pizza oven, or an outdoor oven for mobile carts — making it one of the best and most versatile countertop ovens. It stands at just below 21 inches tall and 62 inches wide, with a depth of 35 inches. And the technology built into this convenient, mini oven gives it some unique powers.

For starters, the Ovention Matchbox is safe for ventless operation. That’s right — no hood required. This is true thanks its catalytic filtration system, the same technology used to filter emissions from cars. The filtration limits the Matchbox’s output of smoke, grease, and other vapors. It can’t handle fatty raw proteins, like bacon, but it’s good to go for most anything else! 

This includes offering a high-variety, quick-service menu without sacrificing quality. The cabinet design of the Ovention Matchbox, another of its highly unique features, makes this possible. The Matchbox comes with two self-loading compartments that shuffle into and out of the heated chamber on their own. While your product is baking, this chamber stays shut. No energy or heat can escape, unlike a conveyor oven. The result? Lower energy bills, and a 3-minute bake-time for pizzas.

Check out this video of the Matchbox Oven in Action from Rapids' YouTube Channel!

More on the Ovention Matchbox Commercial Oven

Inside the Ovention Matchbox’s chamber, a variety of products can bake one after the next. You program your own recipes based on variables including temperature, timing, and upper and lower air velocity. Adjustable velocity is key, as this is what allows Ovention Matchbox to produce perfect crispy-crust pizza at one moment, then chewy deep dish the next.

And there’s almost no wait to change temperatures for different products. This sets the Matchbox in a class above most countertop pizza ovens and portable convection ovens.

The Ovention Matchbox is also ridiculously easy to operate. Once you preset up to 1,000 recipes, a touch screen on the front allows users queue up the perfect formula for each product at the touch of a button. It can also display the wait time for customers.

As Midwest Professional Rep Chris Merritt emphasized, the Ovention can work wonders in a multitude of venues. It’s an obvious choice for mobile carts and convenience stores. But it’s also great for businesses or institutions providing a limited late-night menu after shutting down the kitchen. 

If your business could benefit from the Ovention Matchbox’s many talents, or if you’re looking for more information on this countertop oven’s capabilities, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-472-7431 or jump on Rapids Online Chat! One of our sales reps will be happy to go over specs, shipping, pricing, and anything else you may need to know.

Written by Holly Hines