The Chill Zone

The Chill Zone: Shelby Bunkheila

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The Chill Zone lets us share the team members at Thermo-Kool who help make us the company that we are. And help our customers receive such excellent service. This month we sat down with our Customer Service Supervisor, Shelby Bunkheila. With Thermo-Kool for five years, Shelby knows a thing or two about customization and the world of refrigeration. Let's learn a little more about him, what's on his bucket list, and how his lucky number seems to be "2."

How did you land in the foodservice industry? 

I was introduced to Thermo-Kool through a former co-worker. They had a production supervisor position available that they thought I might be right for. I interviewed with the President, VP, and Plant Manager. That was almost five years ago. Just recently I've been asked to step into the Customer Service Supervisor position, which I was all too happy to accept. We've got a great service team, and I'm grateful to now be a member of that. I have no doubt that we'll do great things together.

If you could describe Thermo-Kool in one word, what would it be? 

Customization. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s one thing to hear about it and another to see it in action. When I worked out in the factory, my team and I got to create the part of our product that is so unique within our industry. Our customers are always astounded to find out the angles and corners we can design our boxes around.

Where do you think the industry is headed?

Foodservice will always be a big industry. It’s entertainment and socialization, and it gives people a break from cooking, whether they go to a sit-down restaurant or just pick something up. Even with the presence of meal kits, people want an experience.

In your opinion, what's the best use for a blast chiller?

It’s hot in Mississippi, and we might be guilty of turning Gatorade into Gatorade pops with our test chillers during the summer. You know, just to make sure they’re all still running properly.

TK Shelby Bunkheila collage

What's your favorite food and beverage?

Steak and wine. 

Do you have a favorite restaurant?

Sully’s in Petal, Mississippi. They have great . . . well, steak and wine.

What's your go-to order if you're out to eat?

Bacon cheeseburger with fries.

Do you cook at home? If so, what's your favorite tool or appliance?

I enjoy grilling. I like cooking the traditional steak, chicken, and pork chop, but I’m no stranger to tossing some vegetables on as well. Grilled asparagus is great.

Are you binge-watching any TV shows right now?

I’m currently watching Reacher on Amazon Prime. I’m somewhere around season 1, episode 4. I’d recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

What's the coolest place on Earth you've ever been? 

There’s a cavern in Virginia called the Luray Caverns. It’s a massive underground cave system that takes about an hour to tour. There’s a cathedral room and a garden maze; there’s a lot to do and see.

What's your favorite cold weather sport?

Football. Go, Steelers!

Is there anything on your bucket list?

I want to go golfing in Scotland.

Anything else we should know about you that you'd like to share?

I’m a hunter, a fisherman, a golfer, and a wine connoisseur. My greatest joys in life seem to always come in two’s: My two dogs Chico (Chihuahua) and Bear (Yorkie); my two younger brothers Salem and Shawn; my two children Barron and Alexis; and my two granddaughters Aria and Ava.

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