A Central Wisconsin business is leaving its footprint all over the country.
In this special report of “Made in Wisconsin” Newsline 9 takes a tour of the Weinbrenner Shoe Company factory in Merrill.
It's a company that specializes in footwear for police officers, fire fighters, swat teams, the military, and anyone who needs sturdy shoes for big jobs, made primarily under the Thorogood label.
The first plant opened in Milwaukee.
“They utilized the river for its electricity purposes, so we've always been as a company very lean, mean, and always pushing for new technology even back then," said Patrick Miner, the company's president.
In the mid 1930s, the company relocated to Marshfield and Merrill and it hasn't moved since.
Company leaders say part of their success comes from being in Central Wisconsin.
“We are so proud to be in a city such as Merrill and in Marshfield because these people have a blue collar work ethic mentality that is very important, and they are dedicated to making sure that our footwear is in fact up to our own standards, not just what our customers expect, but what we expect the shoes to be made like,” Miner said.
Employees are committed to their work and the company itself.
Many of them have been with Weinbrenner for decades adding to the quality of the products at every step.
All of the leather in the shoes comes from American cattle.
“The cows are treated better. They're taken care of better, and therefore the leather is better,” said Paul Lloyd, the vice president of operations.
The Weinbrenner Shoe Company has seen constant growth over the past few years.
Company leaders say it's in large part due to customers demanding American made products.