With a history stretching as far back as 1866, the origins of the Ceylon Cold Stores are rooted in the Colombo Ice Company. Founded by a German Engineer, Arthur Von Possner the Colombo Ice Company began production of ice on a commercial scale gradually gaining a reputation that the district would soon be officially referred to as the Kompaniveediya.
Since its inception, the Colombo Ice Company has been instrumental in upscaling Sri Lanka’s infantile beverage and frozen confectionery industry introducing new products, packaging, production and storage methods throughout the last one and half centuries.
Having evolved with changing times and consumer patterns, including the end of British Colonial rule, a bitterly fought world war, the industry nationalisation policy of local governments, and an open economy, Ceylon Cold Stores has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an ice and mineral water manufacturing company, meeting the challenges launched by global food and beverage giants within the food and beverage market in Sri Lanka.
Ceylon Cold Stores was founded and managed by the illustrious Arthur Von Possner, as the Colombo Ice Company, which imported and operated the country’s first ice-making machine. Commencing operations in the ice business at the time, Colombo Ice Company began with an initial capital of ₤ 1,600, a considerable amount at the time with a staff of 22 people and 2 steam engines for productions.
The Colombo Ice Company acquires the medical hall of J Maitland, home to a variety of mediated wines,
Introduced Aerated Water with the distinctive “Elephant” trademark on the bottles, which evolved into ‘Elephant House’ brand name and remains a popular household name for the brand.
Tom Walker, owner of a competing aerated water company purchased Colombo Ice Company and merged the two companies under the name of New Colombo Ice Company Limited. He was the first managing director of the New Colombo Ice Company Limited.
Introduction of crown corks or crown caps to the local Aerated Water business in place of old rubber ringed bottles.
The Company commenced building a cold storage facility for various types of frozen products.
New Colombo Ice Company Limited acquired the Ceylon Creameries Limited and commence the production and distribution of reconstituted fresh milk and ice cream
New Colombo Ice Company Limited purchased the Ceylon Ice and Cold Storage Company and pioneered the import of frozen goods to Ceylon. In addition, a cafe for cold beverages and ice cream was established at the Fountain House.
A carbonic acid gas plant was installed in 1935 to make Carbon dioxide and dry ice. Ice Cream in bulk form was produced in four-gallon buckets.
New Colombo Ice Company changed its name to Ceylon Cold Stores Limited.
Opening of a new creamery and a new mineral water factory with increased production.
Revamping of the cold storage facility and installation of a modern bottling line. Re-introduction of Ice Palam or popsicles to the Sri Lankan frozen confectionery market.
In January, the Colombo Cold Stores (CCS) was listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange
The Company came under the umbrella of John Keells Holdings Limited with the acquisition of the Whittalls Group in 1991.
The Company significantly enhanced its production capacity by installing a modern bottling plant at the soft drink plant in Ranala, Kaduwela.
The Elephant House Brand was relaunched on 25th July followed by the introduction of cola brand KIK in December.
CCS introduced a new bottle shape for Elephant House beverages.
CCS head office was relocated from Justice Akbar Mawatha to Vauxhall Street in Colombo 02
Ceylon Cold Stores celebrates its 150th Anniversary
Incorporation of The Colombo Ice Company (Pvt) Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC. The Colombo Ice Company (Pvt) Ltd laid the foundation stone for a new factory at the Export Processing Zone in Seethawaka.
Completed installation of machinery in The Colombo Ice Company (Pvt) Ltd, a state of art ice cream manufacturing facility.