As we continue to prepare for the Made in Montgomery County exhibit, which opens to the public on June 30, I came across a drawing of buildings and a parking lot. Unfortunately, the drawing does not have a title or an artist’s signature.
However, when I compared the drawing to a nearby photograph, I noticed some similarities in the shape of the buildings. It appears that this drawing depicts Rotelle, Inc.
Prior to the 20th century, people in Montgomery County had less flexibility with acquiring and storing food. Unless they grew their own food, people had to purchase food from different stores, depending on the type of food they needed. With limited options for food storage, items such as meat and dairy often had to be eaten shortly after purchase to minimize the risk of it spoiling.
As freezers were developed for home and commercial use in the early 20th century, the Rotelle brothers saw an opportunity to improve their fruit and vegetable business. The brothers bought a freezer and established the frozen food company, Rotelle, Inc. As the company grew, two locations were opened in Montgomery County: Springhouse and West Point. At one point, the Rotelle family’s freezer was believed to be the largest independently owned freezer in the United States.
Photo Credit: Richfood
By the time Richfood bought Rotelle, Inc. in 1994, Rotelle, Inc. was one of the largest frozen food distributors in the United States, with an annual revenue of roughly $340 million.
** I want to thank one of our volunteers, Kelly, for helping me research the history of this company.
 “Urban Funeral Home: Mariono “Pops” Rotelle.” https://www.urbanfuneralhome.com/obituary/180433/Mariono-Rotelle/
 “September Farm: Meet Our Family.” https://www.septemberfarmcheese.com/content/meet-our-family