A tour of the ages during Kohl Wholesale's 140 years
Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:20:14 GMT —
It's sat on the Quincy riverfront for more than a century.
"I started with Kohl in high school. I used to come down and work in the warehouse and load trucks. So, that's been almost 35 years ago," Matt Ehrhart, Kohl general manager said.
Ehrhart's memories of the last few decades are only a chapter in the history of Kohl Wholesale.
"We certainly have memories of working with my dad," Ehrhart said.
Kohl's history dates back to 1873, when it was originally named N. Kohl Grocer Company after Nikolaus Kohl. It has since welcomed five generations of his family into the food business. Just this summer, a sixth generation stepped into the warehouse as interns.
"I'm in charge of receiving freight," Bob Kiefer.
Teaching the younger generations the skills needed to do the job right are long-time employees, like Kiefer, a 24 year veteran. He's seen the company triple in size since his first days on the job.
"On day one, you may end up with one to three trucks a day in here. When we're really busy, it may be 10 to 13 trucks a day," Kiefer said.
"We're constantly challenged to make sure we can keep up with space," Darla Rischar, the director of human resources said.
To meet the need, Kohl Wholesale recently opened up a new cooling storage facility down the road inside the caves along Gardner Expressway.
"It's a great facility and it's given us many opportunities," Ehrhart said.
Food there is stored anywhere from refrigeration temperatures to below freezing.
"We feel blessed because we are in the food business. Being in the food service business, people are still going to eat and luckily, they're still going out to eat," Rischar said.
With close to 330 employees on site, Rischar says it's always challenging, but in it's 140 years, she says Kohl Wholesale has never laid off an employee.
In celebration of its 140th anniversary in Quincy, the company has invited all of its employees, past and present, to an anniversary party this Saturday at Wavering Park.