Company Heritage

In 1926, Westye F. Bakke, his wife Mary and their two children, Bud and Elaine, moved to Madison, Wisconsin to start a new life. It was there, in the basement of his home, that Bakke built his first freestanding freezer, an invention that kick-started a series of pioneering creations and triggered the birth of the Sub-Zero Freezer Company.

1st Sep 1943
The Big Idea

Humble Beginnings

Using salvaged scrap metal, Westye F. Bakke builds the first freestanding freezer prototype in his Wisconsin basement.

“As a young man with an idea for a new kind of business, you could do a lot worse than having Frank Lloyd Wright give you your first big break.”
1st Sep 1945
A new kind of freezer

Making It Official

Bakke registers the Sub-Zero Freezer Company as an official corporation. Sub-Zero freezers become the very first appliances to meet the strict new standards set for safe freezing – hence the name.

“All of our design and engineering are aimed at meaningful innovations that contribute to the life of the home”
Jim Bakke—President & CEO
1st Sep 1955
Two in One

Two in One

Sub-Zero introduce dual refrigeration, ensuring fridge and freezer foods are safely preserved in separate, sealed systems.

1st Sep 1958
The Total Kitchen

The Total Kitchen

Responding to the concept of the ‘total kitchen’, Sub-Zero pioneer built-in refrigeration, customising appliances to match the décor and cabinetry of the individual kitchen.

1st Sep 1964
Refrigerated Furniture

Refrigerated Furniture

Sub-Zero remain at the forefront of design throughout the 1960s, building refrigerators into bar counters, credenzas and even living room tables.

1st Sep 1967
Best Sellers

Best Sellers

Built-in refrigerators become Sub-Zero’s best-selling model, comprising approximately 70% of all sales.

1st Sep 1975
The Sky’s the Limit

The Sky’s the Limit

Westye’s son Bud Bakke works with Bob Kelly to improve all Sub-Zero models, sourcing better interior lighting and installing the pull-out freezer drawer we take for granted today.

1st Sep 1981

The Next Generation

Third-generation family member, Jim Bakke continues the company legacy throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, adding electric controls and wine coolers to the Sub-Zero portfolio.

1st Sep 1999
A New Kind of Cool

A New Kind of Cool

Sub-Zero launches the 400 series, a new type of wine cooler with two separate temperature zones, giving the wine enthusiast ultimate flexibility.

1st Sep 2000
Welcoming Wolf

Welcoming Wolf

The new millennium marks an exciting new chapter for Sub-Zero. The company acquires Wolf Gourmet, a leader in commercial cooking appliances since 1933.

1st Sep 2008
NASA Technology

NASA Technology

Sub-Zero fridges are designed with an antimicrobial air purification system used by no other than NASA.

1st Sep 2015

70 Years Strong

Sub-Zero & Wolf celebrate 70 years in style, throwing a party for employees and guests at the elegant Dartmouth House in Mayfair.

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251 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2EP
Call us on 0207 858 3480