In 1923, Emil and Henry Stanz founded Stanz Cheese Company in South Bend, Indiana with just a few thousand dollars invested. Prior to starting their own distribution business, Emil had been a warehouseman and cheese maker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and worked for Morris & Company out of Chicago, Illinois. After gaining invaluable experience with Morris & Company on the procurement side, Emil began selling cheese products in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana for another smaller firm.
Emil saw the development of roads in Indiana and believed that truck delivery was probably going to be a growth area. He talked with his brother Henry about the possibilities who had similar experience in the cheese business and they decided to develop their own company.
They established the speculative inventory holding and selling, a model that is still used today, to help differentiate themselves from those that were utilizing train distribution only. The concept married the delivery man position with the sales position that we know as separate today.
Shortly after the war, in 1945, Stanz made the strategic move to focus on Institutional Food Service rather than Retail. This move was a key cross road in our historical journey. Stanz also was, and still is, blessed with loyal and talented people and customers that have made the difference in our success.
Over the years, Stanz continued to add more product categories, service more varied types of customers, and even weathered tough economic and business partner strategic challenges. Taking exceptional care of the customer, staying flexible and resilient, and being willing to change processes and direction where necessary, and to listen and respond to the needs of our customers, were strengths instilled by Henry and Emil Stanz that are still followed with the same passion today.
Today we occupy a 152,000 square foot multi-temperature state of the art facility on our nearly 13 acre campus right next to the Michiana Regional Airport. We are proud to carry on the traditions that were begun with a small investment, an idea, and a commitment to the customer. While the industry has changed and we have changed along with it, we have never forgotten our roots and still have that passion to service the customer.