Jennifer’s Travel Journal
A Trip to the ‘Bold Look of Kohler’
We visited Kohler, Wisconsin, home of the Kohler Company where they make everything for your home enjoyment from kitchen sinks to bath tubs to faucets. We visited the Kohler Design Center and took a tour of the Kohler Factories to see how bathtubs, sinks and faucets are made.
The village of Kohler is located outside of Sheboygan, Wisconsin and is about an hour from the Milwaukee Airport. The free tour starts weekdays at 8:30 am and lasts for 3 hours. Reservations are required, and you will visit the Pottery Factory where ceramic sinks and toilets are poured into molds and heated in huge kilns and the Brass Building where hundred of faucets are made each day. The next factory is the Foundry where 6 foot cast iron tubs are made by pouring red hot metal into molds and allowed to cool, then they are sprayed with colored enamel and dried. We saw about 50 tubs on the conveyor belts.
It was a fascinating tour to actually see how all these products are made and to see these hard working men at work, many working without shirts on in the hot factory. Another interesting site was seeing men ride around the factory on 3 wheel bicycles; a fast way to get around.
The factories are each about the size of a foot ball field and three stories tall. You must wear goggles and you are not allowed to take pictures. They also have a division for artists from all over the world that design creative pieces of art work. Our tour guide had worked at the factory for years and made the tour very interesting.
Kohler is the largest plumbing-ware manufacturer in the nation. You can also visit the Design Center 9am – 5 pm and see many displays of kitchens, bathrooms, and spas. They also have a floor that tells the history of the Kohler family. I have a deeper appreciation at what it takes to make some of our most essential home products. As a plumbing contractor, my husband was impressed with the size of the company with 4,000 employees in Wisconsin and 200,000 worldwide.
We stayed at the exclusive American Club, Carriage House, and enjoyed complimentary breakfast, massages, shopping, afternoon tea and an evening cocktail hour served with cheese and fruit before a delicious dinner. Destination Kohler is a AAA5Diamond Hotel. During the Cocktail hour we got to meet some of the other guests who included an oilman from Texas. Everyone was extremely friendly. Most visitors were there to golf. Whistling Straits is home to the US Senior Open in July 2007.
We ate at Cucina for dinner and enjoyed Minestrone, Salad, Veal Parmesan $25 and Beef Bolognese $15 and a great chocolate dessert and limoncello cheesecake. We also enjoyed dinner at the nostalgic Wisconsin Room where we enjoyed a spectacular soup sampler of 3 soups for $7: Carrot and Ginger, Crab and Shrimp Bisque, and Cold Cucumber soup. I was happy to be able to sample each one; what a great idea! For dinner I enjoyed fettuccine and shrimp with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms $26 and my husband enjoyed one of the best filet mignons and whipped potatoes $31. Very reasonable! We also sampled unique 12-year old cheddar cheese at the Market at Woodlake.
Following are some of the pictures from the Design Center. Maybe they will give you some ideas for your next project. Or better yet take a trip there to see it first hand.
Call (800) 344-2838 for reservations and more information. www.DestinationKohler.com