Monthly Archives: October 2014

Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 4 – Trivia

Figi's Gifts in Good Taste - 70th Anniversary 2014

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Welcome back to our blog series on the Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste Founder’s Week – 70th Anniversary!  In this, our fourth installment, we have some fun Figi’s trivia and photos for you, so let’s jump right in, shall we?

Question 1: 70 years ago, Ann & John Figi started their “Cheese of the Month Club” (eventually becoming Figi’s, Inc.) in a small Marshfield, WI apartment. They mailed 1,500 postcards (see image below) to doctors, lawyers, dentists and others they believed would be interested in mail order cheese gifts.  How many orders did John and Ann’s initial mailing of 1,500 postcards produce? a) 43 b) 558 c) 226 d) 110

Figi's Cheese of the Month Club

Cheese of the Month Club Ads

Did you know: Ration stamps issued by the US Government had to accompany Figi’s orders/payments during WWII?

WWII Ration Stamp

WWII Ration Stamp

Question 2: The world’s largest cheddar cheese made a stop at Figi’s during our 20th Anniversary celebration in 1964, before going on to be displayed at the World’s Fair in New York.  About how many pounds did these mammoth Wisconsin cheese weigh? a) 1,000 pounds b) 10,000 pounds, c) 25,000 pounds d) 35,ooo pounds. Find out here:

Question 3: John Figi opened a retail store in 1947, where was this store located? a) Marshfield, WI b) Madison, WI c) Green Bay, WI d) Milwaukee, WI

Did you know: Figi’s Cheese was taken on Mount Everest expedition? Read about it here.

Figi's Cheese Gifts on Mount Everest

Question 4: In which year did Figi’s start offering our Signature Kave Kure® Cheese Spread? a) 1944 b) 1959 c) 1982 d) 2010

Question 5: Which is Figi’s most popular gift – year, after year, after year? a) English Butter Toffee b) Grandma’s Fruitcake c) Holiday Feast Cheese and Meat Gift Basket d) Kave Kure Cheese Spreads

Best Selling Figi's Food Gifts

Best Selling Figi’s Gifts

 

Question 6: Which well-known illustrator created the depiction of cheese being taken to the post office in a red wagon (shown below is the original as it still hangs in our corporate office – it holds a clue to the answer)? a) Charles M. Schulz b) Norman Rockwell c) Robert Charles Howe d) John James Audubon

Cheese Gifts Delivered

The Legend of the Figi’s Red Wagon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are our Figi’s Trivia Answers; how did you fare?

Question 1: the answer is “a” 43 orders – humble beginnings…and we’re glad Ann and John didn’t give up! That’s how it all began. The young entrepreneur and wife, Ann sorted orders, cut 200 one-pound wheels and 70 one-pound blocks of cheese on the kitchen table, sealing it in cellophane heated on the stove, and penciling in the addresses. Dinner was usually perched atop the finest Colby, Cheddar, and Swiss cheeses packed high in the family refrigerator!

Question 2: the answer is “d” about 35,000 pounds – that’s a lotta Wisconsin cheese!

Questions 3: the answer is “a” Marshfield, WI…where our single retail store still resides.

Question 4: the answer is “b” 1959.  Check out these fun facts from 1959!

Question 5:  the answer is “c” Holiday Feast Cheese and Meat Gift Basket – our most popular gift! Full of Wisconsin cheese, sausage, fruitcake, candy gifts and more!

Question 6: the answer is “c” Robert Charles Howe.  He was an American visual artist born in 1954 in the style of Norman Rockwell. Several of his works have been sold at auction, including ‘Back to School Supplies, Saturday Evening Post cover,’ in 2012 for $7,500. Mr. Howe died in 2002.  It is said John Figi took his initial Cheese of the Month Club orders to the post office in a red wagon, as depicted in Mr. Howe’s illustration.

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

Figi's Gifts in Good Taste Logo

 

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Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 3 – Employee Party

Figi's Gifts in Good Taste - 70th Anniversary 2014

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Welcome back to our blog series on the Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste 70th Anniversary! Founder’s Week is off to a great start! We already have two customers who have one $50 Figi’s eGift Certificates and employees that have won prizes, too!  If you missed our post on what Founder’s Week is, including how John and Ann Figi started our company at their kitchen table, you can read all about it here.

New today and for today only! 70 cent shipping on select Figi’s gifts found here; don’t miss this special Founder’s Week promotion!

Figi's 70 Cent Shipping

Also, be sure to check out our limited-time Founder’s Week Sale – loaded with our very best selling customer favorite gifts. Get Holiday Feast, Fancy Holiday Cookies, Creamy Country Fudge and more here at 20% off – this week only!

Founder's Week 20% Off Sale

Here are a few photos from yesterday’s Founder’s Week events at Figi’s:

Figi's 70th Anniversary Cake

One of Figi’s 70th Anniversary cakes

Managers Serving Cake

Figi’s managers serving cake

President's Address

Figi’s President Jim K. addressing employees

#FigiStrong Bracelets

#FigiStrong bracelets given to employees

 

Figi's Employee Trivia Contest 1

Figi’s employees hunt for trivia contest answers

Figi's Employee Trivia Contest 2

A $300 gift card is up for grabs

We will be sharing more news and photos with you very soon. Be sure to visit our special Anniversary page at figis.com for more Figi’s history, photos, a video and more.

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

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Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 2 – Founder’s Week

Figi's Gifts in Good Taste - 70th Anniversary 2014

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Welcome back to our blog series on the Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste 70th Anniversary! If you missed our previous 70th Anniversary post, it can be found here .  As we mentioned in our first post, Figi’s is celebrating its 70th Anniversary with special week-long event we’re calling ‘Founder’s Week,’ running October 19th through the 25th.  Founder’s Week will consist of special events, giveaways and promotions for our wonderful employees and customers. Without you, Figi’s would not have made it to 70 years – thank you, everyone!

Needless to say, there’s a lot going on at the Figi’s offices! For several weeks now, the Founder’s Week planning committee and eCommerce team has been brainstorming various ideas for celebrating our company’s 70th Anniversary.  All of the planning and hard work has concluded and we’re ready to kick off the fun!

The Founder’s Week planning committee has secured special anniversary banners, cakes, assorted raffle prizes and created a trivia contest based on special company history boards developed for Founder’s Week.  Mike F. works in Figi’s eCommerce and had this to share: “Our trivia contest will be a fun and easy way for employees to learn about our rich company history. These boards do a wonderful job of chronicling Figi’s through the years, using original news articles, photographs, marketing materials and more. Lisa K. (Figi’s Marketing) did a great job putting these boards together!”

Figi's Company History Board

A Figi’s Company History Board Developed for Founder’s Week

The eCommerce team has developed special email promotions and giveaways for customers.  I’m not supposed to reveal the email promotions, but I can say we’ll have a site-wide sale, special product markdowns for a limited time only and a few lucky customers are going to win $50 Figi’s eCertificates! If you haven’t signed up to receive emails from Figi’s, you can do so here.  You don’t want to miss out on our daily promotions October 19th – 25th!

Founder's Week email

Here are some of the Founder’s Week events for Figi’s employees: trivia contest (employees completing a trivia forms receives an extra entry for the $300 Walmart gift card grand prize drawing), assorted gift cards from local businesses given away daily, cheese & sausage platters for each department, cake celebration and presentation by our President, our VP of Marketing / Merchandising and others, sea salt caramel treat day for all departments and more!

Chris R., eCommerce Manager at Figi’s, shared the following about Founder’s Week: “In a nutshell, Founder’s Week to me is about remembering where we came from and building on the foundation of the past to create an even better future for the company, our associates, our customers and our community. We are honoring those whose dedication in the early days of Figi’s paved the way for us to be here today.”

70th Banner 1Figi's History Displays 1

Cheese and sausage trays

We will be sharing photos of the fun employee events and winners with you very soon. Be sure to visit our special Anniversary page at figis.com for more Figi’s history, photos, a video and more.

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

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Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 1

70th Anniversary Logo - Figi's name

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Wow! 70 years of delivering millions of Gifts in Good Taste across America! We wanted to say ‘thank you!’ to all of our customers over the years and hope you’ll entrust your holiday gift giving to us for another 70 years. To show our appreciation, and to celebrate our first 70 years in business, Figi’s will be running several special promotions the week of October 19th, during what we call ‘Founder’s Week,’ so you’ll want to check our website and Figi’s emails to see our exciting Founder’s Week specials – created especially for you! If you are not receiving emails from Figi’s, you should sign up here; you don’t want to miss Founder’s Week’s email promotions!

How it all began 70 years ago…

It’s 1944: a young entrepreneur and federal cheese inspector named John Figi, wanted to make Wisconsin’s finest cheese available through the mail using a “Cheese of the Month” concept. Using a phone directory, John and his wife, Ann selected 1,500 addresses of people they though would be interested in their club.  John and Ann mailed postcards to the 1,500 addresses, introducing the club and soliciting orders; while only 43 orders came in, it was a great beginning!

Figi's Cheese of the Month Club

Cheese of the Month Club Ads

John and Ann personally sorted the orders, cut 200 one-pound wheels and 70 one-pound blocks of cheese on their kitchen table, sealed the cheese cuts in max they heated on their stove, and packaged the orders.  The finest Colby, Cheddar, and Swiss cheeses were packed high in the family refrigerator.

At that time, John didn’t have a way to get his customers’ orders to the post office.  But that wasn’t about to stop John; he borrowed a red coaster wagon from a friend and used the wagon to deliver all 43 packages to the post office.  The rest, as they say…is history. “Cheese of The Month” changed to “The Wisconsin Cheese Club” in 1947; the company changed it’s name to “Figi’s, Inc.” in 1961.

Cheese Gifts Delivered

The Legend of the Figi’s Red Wagon

Next week’s blogs will showcase our Founder’s Week promotions and company-wide celebration of our milestone anniversary.  Be sure to visit our 70th Anniversary page at figis.com where you’ll find company history and photos, a special video and two commemorative collectibles.

We thought it would be fun to jump in the time machine and travel back to our 20th Anniversary…a time when Figi’s shared the spotlight with the world’s largest cheese and the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.

Figi’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

John Figi Figi's 20th Anniversary

John Figi

Live Music Figi's 20th Anniversary

Live Music

Cheese Tasting at Figi's 20th Anniversary

Cheese Tasting

 

 

 

 

 

On a Saturday evening in 1964, 800 guests attended Figi’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in Marshfield, Wisconsin; our headquarters remains in Marshfield to this day. The grand affair consisted of a tour of the Figi’s facilities, cheese and wine tasting, and the opportunity to view, get this…a 34,951-pound cheddar cheese created for the Wisconsin Exhibit at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. That’s over 17 tons of cheddar! This mammoth cheddar, known as the ‘Golden Giant,’ was made for the Wisconsin Cheese Foundation for the express purposes of promoting Wisconsin cheese around the world. At what better place to promote Wisconsin cheese to the world than the World’s Fair in New York City!

World’s Largest Cheese a.k.a The ‘Golden Giant’

The ‘Golden Giant’ was on display during Figi’s 20th Anniversary gala before embarking for New York City.  This huge cheese was manufactured by Steve’s Cheese near Denmark, Wisconsin (not far from Green Bay). The cheese making process took 43 ½ hours of continuous work by a crew of 25. The crew included four Wisconsin cheese makers who had won the famed ‘World’s Champion Cheddar Cheesemaking’ award. Approximately 170,000 quarts of milk was used to make this mammoth cheese; it was the largest single piece of cheese ever made! The Golden Giant’s dimensions were 6 ½ feet wide, 5 ½ feet tall and 14 ½ feet long. While most mammoth cheese are made cylindrical, the Golden Giant was made rectangular so it could be transported by refrigerated trucks and train cars.

In April of 1964, the Golden Giant was loaded into a special glass sided trailer and transported by diesel tractor to the New York World’s Fair – Wisconsin exhibition area. Interesting trivia: the semi trailer and a replica of the Golden Giant cheese are still on display in Neillsville, WI – just a few miles from the Figi’s corporate office.

Touring with the ‘Cheesemobile’

It is estimated that the Golden Giant was seen by 12 million people during the two years of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair. After appearing at the Fair, the Cheesemobile toured the United States, stopping at major cities, various expositions, fairs and shopping centers, carrying the story of Wisconsin cheese to the nations. And to think: the Golden Giant debuted right here in little Marshfield, Wisconsin at a Figi’s 20th Anniversary Celebration!

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

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