2011 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The City of St. Francis Economic Development Committee will be hosting the 43rd Annual Business Appreciation Night at the Pulaski Inn, 3900 East Pulaski Avenue in Cudahy, Wisconsin on Wednesday September 28, 2011. Ticket prices are $25 per person and can be purchased at St. Francis City Hall.
The recipient of the 2011 Award is Wixon Industries. Wixon Spice Company was founding in Chicago in 1907 by Charles Franklin Wixon. Wixon prepared spices by night and delivered them by day in a horse-drawn wagon down the heart of the business district in Chicago. These spices soon became the flavor of sausage in Chicago and thus, the beginning of Wixon, Inc. After Wixon’s death in 1925, the company was sold to its salespeople and in 1964 merged with Milwaukee Spice Mills forming Wixon Milwaukee Spice Corporation which was headquartered at the current location in St. Francis.
Wixon Milwaukee Spice Corporation continued to thrive throughout the decades, reaching $3 million in sales in 1980. In 1980, Fontarome Chemical of France purchased Wixon. In 1990 sales reached a record $31 million. The 21st century saw the addition of the Bud Morgan Research Center, named to honor Wixon’s longtime president Bud Morgan. The Research Center allows food technologists to identify, match and formulate an ever-growing spectrum of products, including the innovative flavor technologies Mag-nifique and Wix-Fresh. In 2004 Peter Gottsacker along with Peter Caputa and Chuck Ehemann bought Wixon. In 2006 Wixon was awarded a “superior” rating for its food safety and quality systems from AIB International – the highest rating achievable by the AIB’s independent and comprehensive auditing system. By this time, sales reached a record $50 million.
Wixon celebrated 100 years of business in 2007 and was honored by the Wisconsin Technology Council and Small Business Times with the Innovative Quotient Award for the Mag-nifique line of flavor technologies.
A new brand promise, “Service Driven Culinary Science” reflected the company’s passion for food and providing innovative solutions for its customers by combining food science and technology with the creativity of culinary arts. This included hiring a corporate chef, building a $2.5 million state-of-the-art 4200 square foot Innovation Center for Culinary and Meat Processing, housing the Culinary Center, Meat Pilot Plant, comprehensive food preparation areas and conference rooms.
In 2010 Wixon announced an expansion of services with its new Foodservice Group and Protein Group Division. These areas include Wixon’s team of seasoned flavor chemists, meat scientists, technologies and chefs who examine the latest in culinary and industry trends.
Wixon’s commitment to quality is unwavering from spice purchasing to Quality Assurance and Quality Control. Wixon also believes that providing for the community is also important. They are key partners in Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, Rogers Memorial Hospital, the St. Francis 4th of July program and St. Francis’ National Night Out program to name just a few.
Please join the City of St. Francis and the Association of Commerce in honoring Wixon Industries for their outstanding dedication to business, customers and the citizens of St. Francis.
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