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Eau Claire, WI 715-835-3101

Eagan, MN 651-686-2320

sales@huebsch-services.com

Our History of Laundry Service

1891: The Early Years
Young John and Joseph Huebsch, the sons of German immigrants, saw an opportunity in the boom town atmosphere of a Wisconsin logging town, and in 1891 they founded a commercial laundry service company in Eau Claire.

1890’s: Growing Success
The diligence of the Huebsch brothers in serving the booming lumbering community yielded considerable success. The number of employees had grown to over 100, and the laundry service company had a network of agents, trains, and horse-drawn wagons serving people within a 50-mile radius of Eau Claire, including the communities of Menomonie, Rice Lake, Wilson, Black River Falls, Osseo, Fairchild, Alma, Cochrane, and Buffalo City. Customers include logging camps that used baskets to deliver their laundry to pick-up points in the small communities sprinkled through the woodlands.

1902: Always on Top of Innovation
The business was incorporated as Huebsch Laundry Company in 1902. John Huebsch, the oldest of the eight Huebsch brothers, acted as the head of the family. As the Huebsch enterprise grew, the younger brothers assumed positions of responsibility. The Eau Claire operation was the heart of the company which rapidly grew. The Huebsch name grew and the company’s reach included Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, San Francisco/Oakland, CA and Milwaukee, WI.

In the meantime, Joseph Huebsch was applying his mechanical talents to developing laundry service equipment. The Huebsch Manufacturing Company was formed in Milwaukee to manufacture presses and specialty equipment.  The company revolutionized the laundry service business with its front loading steam dryer.  Today Huebsch brand of washers and dryers is part of the Alliance group and are sold throughout the world.

1908: Corporate Headquarters
The growth of the Huebsch laundry service enterprise spurred the brothers to remodel the former Gotzian shoe factory at 101 North Dewey Street. The company maintained its corporate headquarters in this building until 2002.

1930: The Great Depression
By 1930, the company was largely divided up between the brothers—each taking over his own facility. (Only the original Huebsch Laundry Company exists today.) Fred Vaudreuil, son-in-law of founder John Huebsch, joined the company’s management team.

1940: World War II
Huebsch routes included linen rentals, laundry service, and dry-cleaning services. WWII brought hard times to everyone, and with America's entry into the war, gas rationing became a fact of life. During this time, the government ordered Huebsch to curtail all of its rural routes.

1949: the 3rd generation joins the business
John (Jack) Vaudreuil, grandson of founder John Huebsch, joined the company upon graduation from UW-Madison. He was joined by his brother Robert a few years later. The company was beginning to transform itself from a retail laundry service and dry cleaning company to a commercial and industrial rental laundry service.

1960: Linen and Uniform Rental
The Vaudreuils initiated the first of a series of innovations. The advent of home washers and wash-and-wear fabrics decimated the retail laundry service and dry cleaning business in the 1960s. By 1975, Huebsch withdrew from this market completely.

1978: CSCNetwork
Huebsch was one of five co-founders of the CSCNetwork—today the leading North American marketing and buying group for 170+ independents with combined sales of over $1.2 billion.

1980: Next Generation
James Vaudreuil, current President and CEO, joined Huebsch in 1980. In 1985, the laundry service company entered the Twin Cities market.

1990: Expansion

In 1990, the laundry service company developed the uniform rental industry’s first integrated bar code tracking system.

1991: Centennial Celebration
The company celebrated 100 years of laundry service in 1991. Two years later, our 20,000 square foot production and distribution facility in Eagan, Minnesota was built.

1997: Gubernatorial Award
Huebsch received the Governor of Wisconsin’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Award.

2001: 110 Years of Excellence
Huebsch Services celebrated 110 years of service in 2001. The laundry service company developed the mat rental industry's first integrated mat tracking system utilizing RF ID technology.

2002: Moving Forward
In 2002, after almost 100 years in its location in downtown Eau Claire, the company combined two laundries into a new 55,000-square-foot production and distribution facility on White Avenue in Eau Claire. This unique plant, another industry first, features customer-focused production based on lean manufacturing techniques and cellular organization structure. 

2004: Innovation and Recognition
Huebsch was recognized as the Small Business of the Year by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, and received the coveted Paragon Award from the area Economic Development Agency for its contributions to the local economy.

2011: Celebrating 120 Years
The company launched its e-commerce store, HuebschDirect.com, for customers to place orders and manage their account online.

2013: Clean Green Certification
Huebsch obtained the certification to show the company's dedication to long-term environmental sustainability, and commitment to the continual improvement of its products and processes to better the environment.

2014: Hall of Fame

The Huebsch family was inducted into the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame for its laundry service.

2016: Quasquicentennial celebration

Huebsch is looking forward to celebrating 125 years of continuous family ownership and management. Click to read the news article " Our Turn in the Sun" from TRSA.

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