When Larry Klein was questioned why he decided to bring his California-based cold storage business to Corpus Christi, he said it was for the people.
"I'm here for the people," Klein said to a crowd. "From the moment I got to Corpus, I've been called 'sugar,' 'honey,' 'darling' and 'sir.' That does not happen in LA."
The business, which local leaders unveiled with a ribbon-cutting on Friday, is set to manufacture refrigerator and freezer trailers from a site near the Corpus Christi International Airport.
Klein started his rental business in January 2020. Two months later, Keep It Cold was shut down, and it remained that way for two years.
Fortunately, he received a call from Corpus Christi to provide storage units to hold COVID-19 vaccines when the city was a vaccination hub during the pandemic.
"Some of the very first trailers we had were from Larry," Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said. "That's why it meant so much to be here today and welcome him with open arms."
The new dealership will uphold Keep It Cold's cold storage solutions, manufacturing, rentals and sales for hospitals, first responders and area businesses including industrial, seasonal, temporary and long-term storage demands and transportation needs.
Klein said he predicts the manufacturing dealership will provide about 20 jobs this year. He said that number will "easily grow within three to four years."
Canales said Klein is part of the "success story" of the nation's employment growth, citing U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing the addition of 428,000 jobs in April and an unchanged unemployment rate at 3.6% Friday.
She added that Klein's small business will soon take over the Lone Star State.
"Texas is open for business, but South Texas is open for everybody," Canales said. "Keep It Cold means jobs, it means recovery for our businesses and it means opportunity."
For more information on how to rent a storage unit, visit keepitcold.com or call 1-888-926-9461.
John Oliva covers entertainment and community news in South Texas. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @johnpoliva. Consider supporting local journalism with a subscription to the Caller-Times.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Keep It Cold business comes to Corpus Christi