Vollrath Celebrates 140 years


vollrathThe Vollrath Company, premier manufacturer of smallwares and equipment, announces the 140th anniversary of the company’s founding on the tail of an aggressive growth strategy that nearly doubled the number of employees and included six acquisitions since 2009.

In 1874, Jacob J. Vollrath built the Sheboygan Cast Steel Company in Sheboygan, Wis. which produced railroad frogs, small cast parts for the furniture industry, cooking ranges, and agricultural implements. Jacob’s eldest son Andrew Vollrath returned from a trip to Germany in 1876 where he studied the art of porcelain enameling. As a result, the company began to manufacture a small amount of enameled cast iron utensils that Jacob sold himself. The company was incorporated as the Jacob J. Vollrath Manufacturing Company in 1884. In 1910 construction of a new facility began which still remains as the current site of the corporate office and stainless steel manufacturing plant.

Today, the company designs and manufactures an expansive line of Vollrath and Stoelting branded high-end small wares, equipment, and frozen treat machines for foodservice businesses, marketing to 19 industries in the US, Europe, Mexico and China. Vollrath and Stoelting products are used by foodservice operators every day in a majority of foodservice facilities including a long list of the world’s most popular chain restaurants.

Eighty percent of the company’s foodservice products are made in the US.

Vollrath’s Custom and Specialty Products division offers contract manufacturing services from seven Wisconsin manufacturing facilities to serve contract/custom manufacturing requirements for a wide variety of industries. Services include engineering assistance and made-to-order products per customer’s unique specifications. In addition, the division also offers industrial cleaning equipment under the Stoelting brand for internationally recognized manufacturers of commercial and consumer products.

Paul Bartelt, who was appointed president and CEO in 2009, has led the company into record-breaking revenues during challenging economic times while growing the company to nearly twice the size through new product development and acquisition strategies. One of the company’s most recent acquisitions is the Kiel-based Polar Ware/Stoelting Company, which manufactures soft serve treat machines and retail baking products in addition to designing industrial cleaning equipment.

“We are proud of our rich heritage and the exceptional people who have outperformed over the last 140 years to position us where we are today as one of the leading foodservice manufacturers,” said Paul Bartelt. “It’s this commitment, and the commitment from the Kohler family and our customers, that positions us to continually grow the business, create jobs, and provide products and services designed to drive profitability for our customers.”

The company currently employs more than 1,200 people, nearly double the number of employees in 2008.

Posted by Rachel Allan


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