Blog Article / Vollrath Corporate / Mural Story

Vollrath's Wisconsin Origins


January 8, 2024


Vollrath Author

Vollrath's Wisconsin Origins

In 1874, Jacob J. Vollrath established the company in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The initial focus was manufacturing cast iron products, including pots, kettles, and stoves. Jacob's vision was clear: he wanted to build a company that epitomized quality, reliability, and innovation. This vision was significantly shaped and supported by the industrial vitality of Wisconsin, a state rapidly advancing in manufacturing and commerce.

The Role of Wisconsin's Industrial Landscape

With Sheboygan as a focal point, Wisconsin was not just a location for Vollrath but a springboard for growth. In the late 19th century, Wisconsin became an industrial powerhouse bolstered by its geographical advantages of being centrally located in the US, making it a hub for transportation and trade, access to waterways, and abundant natural resources. This industrial renaissance in Wisconsin provided Vollrath with the necessary elements for growth: raw materials, a skilled workforce, and a supportive community.

The Impact of Local Resources and Skilled Labor

The availability of local resources in Wisconsin, including iron and later stainless steel, was crucial for Vollrath's expansion and diversification. Additionally, Wisconsin's workforce, known for its strong work ethic and skill, played a vital role in the company's trajectory. The values and dedication of the local community were seamlessly integrated into Vollrath's corporate culture, emphasizing quality and craftsmanship.

Innovation and Diversification

Vollrath's first Wisconsin location was also a hub for innovation. Surrounded by a vibrant industrial environment, the company was inspired to broaden its product range and adapt to market changes. This journey from cast iron to stainless steel products underscored Vollrath's ability to evolve, a trait deeply rooted in Wisconsin's dynamic industrial spirit.

Community Engagement and Corporate Responsibility

The relationship between Vollrath and Wisconsin, especially Sheboygan, was mutually beneficial. As Vollrath flourished, it became a significant contributor to the state's economy and one of the largest employers in the region. Beyond providing jobs, Vollrath actively participated in local initiatives, reinforcing its commitment to Wisconsin's development and prosperity. A commitment we still have today.

The Enduring Legacy

Vollrath's story is a shining example of how a company's geographical roots can profoundly influence its growth and character. The Wisconsin connection is evident in Vollrath's ongoing dedication to quality, innovation, and community engagement. The state's influence is not just confined to the past but continues to be a driving force in shaping Vollrath's present and future.

Vollrath's founding story is intrinsically linked to Wisconsin. The state provided more than just a physical setting; it offered an environment conducive to growth and innovation. Vollrath's journey from a humble cast iron manufacturer to a global leader in the food service industry is a testament to the powerful impact of a company's geographical roots on its development, culture, and enduring legacy.

As our global footprint expands, so does our presence in Wisconsin.

The Vollrath Company, LLC angle-up play