Wenzel’s Farm first received the MACCI “Firm of the Year” in 1968 and was honored again at this year’s celebration.
“It is a great honor to the company and a testament to all of the growth that we have seen since that time in sales, employment and innovation,” said President Mark Vieth.
Wenzel’s Farm was founded in 1949 by Harry J Wenzel and his sons Harry C and William.
Russ was the 3rd generation Wenzel and ran the company until his death in 2010. Judy Wenzel, Nancy Wenzel and Violet Wenzel created a Board of Directors in 2010 and helped the company through the transition until new owners could be found. The Company was purchased in 2014 by Castleray, LLC.
Still operating on the original farmland and plant from 1949, the business continues to grow. The plant has had many additions throughout the years including most recently a new packaging department and warehouse in 2003, new office space and loading dock in 2010, and another new warehouse in 2017.
“Sausage stuffing technology has changed over the years as well as packaging. Everything is computerized now. The smokehouses are computerized as well and can be programmed by a personal computer,” said Vieth, adding that employee growth has also been significant.
“Employment has grown over the last 2 years by 50%. Employment was pretty steady before that time,” he said. The company currently employs 50 people.
The company continues to grow, acquiring new products and adapting to industry trends.
Wenzel’s Farm purchased Nick’s Sticks, a natural brand featuring Grass Fed Beef and Free Range Turkey, in 2017. The plant became certified gluten free in 2017 and all products became gluten free in 2018. The company exhibited at its first national trade show in 2015.
Today, Wenzel’s Products (including Nick’s Sticks brand) can be found in 7,000 retailers across the country, and Wenzel’s Farm products are sold in all 50 states and Canada. Snack sticks comprise 84% of Wenzel’s sales, with Beef, Teriyaki, and Honey Ham being the three top sellers.
With a growing international reach, Wenzel’s Farm is proud to be based in Marshfield.
“Wisconsin has a great heritage of making sausage with many national and local meat processors,” said Vieth. “Marshfield is a community with good manufacturing industry and is a town with good schools and family living. Almost all of our employees are from Marshfield and the surrounding areas. The Chamber has always been supportive and has been a resource where needed. The City has allowed us to expand our current footprint.”
Vieth credits the company’s adaptability as a significant contributor to success, as well as perseverance during economically tough times.
“We have a commitment to quality in our products and service that is not compromised,” he said. “The ability to focus on our strengths and react to the changing needs of our customer base and the ability of long term employees and new employees to look at ways to continuously improve has been important to our success.”
Wenzel’s Farm gives back to the community through various volunteer efforts and donations, and looks forward to many more years of growth and innovation based in the Marshfield community.
“We want to continue to grow our footprint across the country by getting into more locations. We want to continue to focus on product development and process development,” said Vieth.
“I want to credit all of those that went before us that paved the way to make us successful now, starting with the Wenzel Family,” he added. “Without their commitment to quality, and to preparing us during the transition to find us the right ownership, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”