Tucked in the hills of beautiful Monroe, Wisconsin, The Swiss Colony began in the entrepreneurial spirit of a young Ray Kubly. A smart, enterprising student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ray wrote up an advertising campaign that detailed a business that sold cheese by mail.
After graduating, Ray took his class project and began to mold it into reality from the basement of his home in Monroe. In 1926, he mailed out handbills, which he himself designed and stamped, that advertised cuts of Wisconsin-made bulk cheeses. As orders came in, he cut the huge wheels of cheese into pieces, and wrapped and shipped them. In his first year of business, he sold all 50 packages of cheese that he had prepared.
Through the 1940s and 50s, interest in the company increased, and so did its size and profits. In 1954, Ray Kubly incorporated The Swiss Colony from the enterprise begun in his basement. Through all these years, Ray worked a regular day job outside The Swiss Colony until 1961, when he was finally able to focus full–time on his own company. Since then, The Swiss Colony and its affiliated businesses have grown by leaps and bounds, from cheese and food gifts to general merchandise encompassing several different brands.
In fact, effective June 1st, 2010 the corporate name of The Swiss Colony, Inc. was changed to Colony Brands, Inc. to better reflect its position as parent company for its extensive portfolio of food and non–food businesses. Today, the company is one of the largest direct marketers in the United States. Colony Brands, Inc. provides customers with furniture and home décor, apparel, entertaining products, gifts and collectibles and much more. The Swiss Colony, LLC subsidiary was formed to continue to sell cheese, pastries, sausage and other food and gift items through the Swiss Colony® catalogs and web site. It continues to be family–owned and guided by Ray's son, Pat Kubly, who is Chair of the Board, and Ray's grandson, Ryan Kubly, the director of strategic planning. Both Ray's family and Colony Brands, Inc. as a whole continue to dedicate themselves to their customers, employees and the direct marketing goals set by Ray's fine example.