Vienna® Beef Company History Timeline

From the moment Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany gave Chicago its first taste of Vienna, we've been making hot dog history. Travel back to Chicago in 1893: it's the most exciting festival in the world. The Vienna Sausage Manufacturing Company is born. Enjoy!

 

1893

Over 27 million people flock to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago to witness the latest inventions, including the Vienna Beef hot dog, created by Austrian-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany.
1893

1894

Emil and Sam open their first store on Chicago's Near West Side at 417 S. Halsted Ave.

1894

1900

The city clamors for more! So Vienna begins marketing and selling its famous products to other stores and restaurants around Chicago.
1900

1908

Horse-drawn carriages deliver Vienna products across the Chicago area as demand gallops along.
1908

1913

Chicago is growing fast, and so is Vienna. The company expands its operations to meet the demand.
1913

1928

Vienna goes into high gear, retiring its horses for a state-of-the-art motorized fleet.
1928

1950

Vienna jobbers and distributors see the growing demand for higher quality products and begin to feature Wilno Kosher and Vienna Beef deli meats in Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, and Miami. Viennamania starts sweeping the nation.
1950

1957

Vienna Beef franks "dragged through the garden" can be found at hot dog stands throughout Chicagoland. The famous yellow Vienna Beef signs pop up in every neighborhood. Americans flock to the booming suburbs.

1957

1962

Americans start bringing Vienna into their own homes as Vienna expands into the supermarkets in Chicagoland. Southern Californians soon follow the trend as the Vienna brand moves West.
1962

1972

Vienna takes up residence on Chicago's North Side, at 2501 N. Damen Ave., its present headquarters.

1972

1982

Jim Eisenberg and Jim Bodman take the helm at Vienna Beef in 1982.

1982

1984

Business goes sour...in a good way! The company purchases the well-known Chicago Pickle Company as it adds condiments to its product mix.
1984

1985

Vienna spices up its product line with chili and begins making the soups that will eventually comprise the Bistro Soup Company.
1985

1992

Jim and Jim add David Berg to the Vienna family of products.

1992

1995

Vienna Beef Chili Company specializes in custom recipes to meet the growing menu trends across the nation.
1995

2003

Vienna builds a new Chicago Pickle Co. facility in Palmetto, Fla. It is strategically close to cucumber fields.Customers can now ship out of Chipico/Los Angeles, Vienna/Chicago or Chipico/Florida to satisfy their taste.

2003

2006

Vienna Beef opens the Hot Dog Hall of Fame.
2006

2008

Vienna's first showing at the NRA was in 1950. Conventioneers line up every year for that famous Original Chicago Style hot dog. The Chicago Sales Team pauses for a candid during a recent National Restaurant Association Convention. Look for the BIG umbrella.

2008

2009

Yet again making Vienna Beef Hot Dog History, Hot Dog University is opened to teach prospective hot dog stand owners the basics of the business.
2009

121 years and counting. Here’s to the future and all that it will be!