In the late 1940’s an innovative business entrepreneur by the name of Sam Stein had started a food processing business in Sandusky, Ohio called Grill Meats, Inc.. Sam started out in the food business as a coffee salesman calling on local restaurants. He noticed that these operators were hand making hamburger patties from ground beef. He saw this as an opportunity and started his business selling pre-portioned hamburgers to the restaurant trade. His business grew and he continued to expand his product offerings.
In the early 1950’s Sam saw a need to automate the process of batter and breading products. Since there were no machines available on the market, Sam started a search and found a graduate engineer named Richard Johnson at Syracuse University who had co-developed a conveyorized machine to batter and bread fish portions at a local eatery called Jean’s Beans in Syracuse. Sam hired Richard to build and machine for Grill Meats, Inc.. If successful, Sam told Richard he would start a company building these machines for the food processing industry. Dick was successful, and in 1953, Sam Stein Associates, Inc. was formed to make conveyorized batter and breading equipment for the food processing industry.
Since that time the Stein name has been synonymous with innovative, high quality food production equipment. The list of innovative industry firsts is long and includes a wide variety of coating equipment, batter mixers, tempura applicators and mixers, conveyorized fryers, hot oil filters, impingement convection ovens, spiral convection ovens to name just a few. Today, the Stein brand lives on as a key part of the JBT product offering.