The Truth About True Residential

By Alan Wolf, YSN

St. Louis-based True Manufacturing made its name in commercial refrigeration, where the family-owned business is a market share leader.

Then, 13 Kitchen & Bath shows ago, True took on the Vikings and Sub-Zeros of the world by entering the luxury retail channel with a wine cabinet and a glass-door refrigerator. Since then, it has expanded into refrigerator and wine columns, undercounter units, side-by-sides, beverage dispensers, ice machines and outdoor models, all leveraging the company’s home-grown heritage and cooling expertise.

Today, as it introduces a new blue-gray Juniper hue to its “Build Your True” program of custom finishes and hardware, we present five True facts about this third-generation, made-in-America business.

1. True was founded in the basement of this Lenox Ave. home in St. Louis, Mo., in 1945.
2. The company’s founder, Bob Trulaske, was a World War II combat pilot and D-Day veteran, seen here in the cockpit of his beloved C-47, Sweet Eloise.
3. True got its big break in 1948, when a traveling 7UP salesman spied its roll-top refrigerator, which kept drinks cold without the customary block of ice. The soda company became True’s first major customer, followed soon thereafter by Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other soft drink brands.
4. With the outbreak of COVID and the need for refrigerators and freezers, True made its large-capacity commercial models available to the retail channel for the first time, and supported community relief efforts such as the James Beard Foundation Food & Beverage Industry Relief Fund, which helped keep small, independent restaurants afloat.
5. As it has since 1945, True continues to produce all its components and finished products in Missouri, where it operates four manufacturing facilities.