Our Story




The first time Neil met Audrey, he was not only smitten, he realized their shared values ran so deep, the next day he told his friends “I just met the girl I’m going to marry.”

One year later, he did.

Among those shared values
was the belief that life is best
when we unplug, take it slowly, and be present.

Almost ten years later, Quari Handcrafted Ice was born – on a sunny afternoon with friends on Lake Michigan. That day, Audrey looked down to find the cloudy cubes in her drink had melted far too quickly. And she thought, wouldn’t it be great if ice cubes actually helped us slow down and savor our drinks… and the moment… more? And that triggered a memory in Neil from the three years he’d lived in Japan – and its artisan tradition of crafting everything with a blend of precision and beauty – including ice.

Together, Audrey and Neil went back to Japan to study these principles and committed themselves to bringing beautifully crafted, pure, crystal clear, slow-melt ice to others. And in a nod to the culture that inspired it, they called their creation Quari, which evokes “ice” in Japanese.


How Quari Ice helps you create
hope and a better life for others.


By choosing Quari Handcrafted Ice you’re having a direct effect on the lives of people who, because of life circumstances, have barely had the chance at a steady job, much less a fulfilling career. You’re giving each of them an opportunity, a fresh start, a future – and a chance to fully enjoy their lives, too.

Here, in our home base of Chicago, we are proud to partner with Cara, Clean Slate, and GRIP Outreach’s Future Steps – organizations with decades of experience transforming lives and making the investments of time and resources that allow those who need it most to reach their potential, and become a powerful force for good in their families and communities.

A little about the people behind Quari.

Neil Sullivan

Co-founder & CEO

Neil Sullivan is the soul of this business. An Arkansan by birth, he moved to Japan after college and learned to speak, read and write the language. While there, Neil developed an appreciation for the precision and harmony that are hallmarks of the Japanese culture. His mission with Quari Handcrafted Ice is to bring that same ethic to the ice industry, while helping level the playing field for people in need of a new start.

Neil proudly resides in Chicago, which he proclaims is the best city in the world. The loves of his life are his wife Audrey, co-founder of the company, Davis, his son, and their two silly Boston Terriers, Champy the IV and Castellina.

Audrey Sullivan

Co-founder and Chairman of the Board

Audrey Sullivan is the brains behind the idea that became Quari. Raised in Cleveland, where her parents owned and operated a restaurant for 15 years, hospitality is in her blood. There are few things Audrey loves more than bringing people together, but her real gift is a warmth that makes them feel part of the family.

Audrey’s passion for people extends to her career, where she is a proud part of Glint, a cutting edge technology firm that helps companies drive impact through employee engagement. She leverages her expertise to ensure Quari’s culture is one where people can thrive and reach their utmost potential.

Joel Barnes

Director of Operations

Joel brings over 20 years of food service industry experience to his role as Director of Operations for Elevation. His vast knowledge of Chicago’s leading bars, restaurants and nightclubs has honed his commitment to service, quality and efficiency. Joel’s natural affinity for serving and leading others has made him a fixture amongst his teams, as he shares his passion for team building and training. His daughter is Hannah, who is his pride and joy.

Becky Graham

Chief Marketing Officer

Becky is a Marketing & Innovation Executive with over 15 years of consumer packaged goods experience at Kraft Foods, Johnson & Johnson and Cadbury. She is honored to lead the launch of Quari, after having previously led 100+ Innovation launches totaling over half a billion in incremental revenue. In recognition of her innovation expertise, Becky was ranked #14 on Beverage World’s Top 50 Beverage Disruptors. A native New Yorker, Becky now lives in Chicago with her husband, Mark, and their two children.

Bruce Hinojosa

VP of Technology

Bruce proudly serves as Quari’s Inventor and Ice Technologist, based on his nearly 20-year career in the industry. He distinguishes himself in the ice community by having personally built more ice-making machines than anyone else in the world. Bruce’s devotion to innovation fuels Quari’s ice-making technology, and is only surpassed by his love for his four beautiful kids and wife, Jacquie.