Antunes is celebrating its 60th anniversary! While many things have changed since our founder Augie J. Antunes first started as a manufacturers’ representative, one thing remains the same: our commitment to the ideal we exist to make our customers successful. This thought drove Augie during the formative years of the company, and it continues to inspire us to this day.
The beginning of Antunes can be traced back to 1955, when Augie was introduced to Jack Smith at a meeting of the American Society of Metals. Augie agreed to join Jack, and the two began working together as manufacturers' representatives in the industrial combustion market.
In 1964, a newly passed regulation required all industrial ovens to sense air flow or gas pressure and turn off when minimum levels were not met. No such product existed, which left many of the companies Augie represented desperate for a solution. Augie immediately recognized the opportunity and began developing a specialized switch to help companies succeed in meeting the new safety requirement. These new switches, which were the very first product manufactured by Antunes, became an overnight success. With only slight modifications, these air flow and gas pressure switches are still being manufactured.
In the mid-1960's, Augie branched out into the foodservice industry. Augie already represented a company’s industrial line of products, and when that company lost its foodservice representative, Augie stepped in. Soon after, he had an idea for a circular hot dog grill. Though all the manufacturers he represented were interested in the concept, they did not want to pay Augie royalties on the product. So he manufactured it himself. Because the hot dogs circled like horses in a roundup, the hot dog grill was named Roundup.
In 1974, Augie dropped the last manufacturing line the company represented to concentrate fully on the company's expanding manufacturing business. Shortly thereafter, Antunes began building equipment for some of the largest chains in the quick-service industry while expanding its product line to include toasters, steamers, display cabinets, and other countertop foodservice equipment.
In the late 1970's, with the foodservice line of equipment growing, the company was buying numerous electronic controls from outside vendors. Rather than continuing with this process, Augie created an electronics division within Antunes to develop controls for our restaurant equipment as well as for other manufacturers. It still operates today and provides the electrical controls for all the equipment we build.
In 1999, Antunes had grown to the point where business took place in five separate buildings. The company moved into a new corporate headquarters in Carol Stream, Illinois and moved all of its operations into one building for the first time in more than 20 years.
In 2000, Antunes once again broadened its product lines to include water filtration. It began with a potential customer looking for an electronic control. A business relationship developed, and we eventually partnered with the company to not only develop the control, but also to manufacture, sell, and distribute a revolutionary technology in water filtration – multi-bore ultra filtration systems.
With a worldwide demand for its various products, Antunes opened a facility in Suzhou, China in August of 2003. The facility manufactures equipment for the Asian market. The Suzhou facility has been critical to establishing Antunes in the Asian market, and its continued growth created a need for a larger facility, which the operation moved into in 2011.
Today Antunes is a leading custom solutions provider of countertop cooking equipment and water filtration systems for the global market. Driven by a commitment to offer innovative products, premium quality and personal service rooted in lasting partnerships, Antunes delivers on its unifying promise: to drive success for every customer.