Friday Fun Fact: Kohler Co.

If you’ve never heard of Kohler Co., it’s time to crawl out from under that rock.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in the village of Kohler, Wis. (in Sheboygan), the family-owned Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies—a global leader in kitchen and bath products. The Kohler kitchen and bath “family” consists of not only the Kohler brand, but Sterling, Englefield, Jacob Delafon, Mira Showers, and Sanijura. There are manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, France, Spain, India, Thailand, Egypt, Morocco, China, and New Zealand (and that’s just one aspect of the Kohler brand, they also have furniture and tile brands, engines and generators, and golf resort destinations). Can you say ambitious?!?

Many Minnesotans love Kohler, and the folks at Kohler love Minnesota right back. They love us so much they chose our state to launch their very first signature store. Located on France Avenue in Edina, the signature store is solely owned and operated by plumbing distributor First Supply. Kohler has a reputation for quality and style, evident in the store’s showroom. Unlike some showrooms that do very little to inspire or spark the imagination, this showroom offers some serious eye candy. Showerheads and faucets and bathtubs, oh my! If you’ve never been there, it’s definitely worth a trip to check it out.

What I like most about Kohler, though, is that they give back to the community. Did you know they have provided more than 43,000 kitchen and bath products for Habit for Humanity homes? They donate more than 8,000 products for the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? They help improve education, preservation, and charitable efforts through their Charitable Contributions program? And one last fun Friday fact for you: Did you know the reason many Wisconsinites call a drinking fountain a “bubbler” is because the first Kohler drinking fountain—developed in 1889—was known as “The Bubbler?” You can find original working examples of the Bubbler at Wisconsin’s state capitol, in Madison.

There. You’re welcome. Now you’re well prepared to use those little Kohler tidbits to impress your friends across the river … just don’t ask me to explain the origin of “Duck, Duck, Goose” vs. “Duck, Duck, Grey Duck.”

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