Small Town Boy…..big city dreams
|Ray Kubly had first-hand knowledge of the area’s dairy and cheese industries. He was a native of Green County, growing up on his parents’ dairy farm. Ray was a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when he and two fellow students drew up a set of business plans for a mail order cheese business as a class project. After graduation in 1926, Ray founded The Swiss Colony, operating a class project business out of his home in Monroe. Often remembered as a man who liked to dream big, he started out small, shipping just 50 orders of Swiss cheese his first year of business.|
One little store…..opened the door
Ray Kubly’s little mail order company, The Swiss Colony, grew slowly but steadily. A variety of sausages and meats joined the expanding line of cheese products. In 1949 the company opened its first retail store, in downtown Monroe, to sell cheese products and Swiss knick-knacks. Delectable Dobosh Tortes joined the lineup in 1954, and by 1959 they were being produced in The Swiss Colony’s very own bakery. Hundreds of bakery items were added, with our world-famous Petits Fours becoming one of the most successful. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Ray built on the success of his first retail store, opening another in Madison in 1962 and a third in Chicago a year later. The Swiss Colony Stores division thrived for two decades; 225 stores dotted the countryside. But the true success of the stores was in the publicity they generated. By 1980, the American public could readily connect The Swiss Colony name with fine foods.
Cheese please….and a side of digital cameras
In 1982, with 56 years of mail order experience under our belts, The Swiss Colony took an historic step and created its first offering of non-food products. Simply called The Gift Collection, it later evolved into our Seventh Avenue catalog. For fifteen years or more, Seventh Avenue, along with Ginny’s, Midnight Velvet, Country Door, Tender Filet, Ashro, and Montgomery Wards have complemented our flagship Swiss Colony title. Several of our newer ventures offer specialized lines of clothing or room décor. Today, customers can purchase just about anything from Colony Brands, Inc. line of catalogs; jewelry, furniture, cookware, small appliances, bedding, electronics, and decorative items.
New Name....same standards of excellence
Effective June 1, 2010, the corporate name of The Swiss Colony, Inc. was changed to Colony Brands, Inc. to better reflect its position as a parent company for our extensive portfolio of food and non-food catalogs, internet and subsidiaries.