For AO Coolers owners Brian and Stefanie Hatch, 2015 is a big year. Not only is the Corona, Calif., company celebrating 25 years of providing high-quality soft-sided coolers, AO Coolers is expecting business to continue to expand beyond its roots in the boating industry.
AO Coolers was showcasing a full lineup of its products at last month’s Los Angeles Boat Show.
“Since taking over AO Coolers 12 years ago, we’re growing leaps and bounds every year,” said Brian Hatch, who purchased the company from founders Jim and Sharon Hufman in 2003. “We’ve got a strong customer base in the boat business, especially on the West Coast. Our coolers are perfect for boating because they don’t sweat or leak and you can set them on a boat or a vehicle without having to worry about scratches.
“Lately we’ve done some things to improve our product—we have a stronger vinyl liner—and we now provide freezer packs that last longer than anything else on the market and work with or without ice in our coolers,” he continued. “We’ve even branched out into other industries and have filled large cooler orders for a variety of construction companies, food companies and more. We also have a new distribution group we’re working with in the Southeast and we’re expanding internationally as well. It’s great to be able to celebrate 25 years as a business, but we’re looking forward to the next 25 years.”
Hatch said the company is continually experimenting with different designs and is always willing to fill custom embroidery or color orders on any of its coolers, which include the canvas, vinyl, hunter and carbon-fiber series classic coolers as well as coolers on wheels, motorcycle saddlebags and more.
“When you think about it, everyone has a cooler,” he said. “Our market is huge. It’s not just about boating.”