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Vienna® Beef Celebration Marks 125 Years as Chicago's Favorite Hot Dog
Iconic Hot Dog Brand Welcomes Governor, Community for a Chicago-Style Party
By: Vienna® Beef
The Vienna® Beef was first introduced at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition. The company's founders, Austrian-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichl and Samuel Ladany, opened the first Vienna Sausage store the following year on the near West Side. Over the decades, the brand became ubiquitous at hot dog stands, ball parks, and backyard barbecues nationwide. As Vienna® VP of Marketing Tom McGlade noted during the party, "There are more hot dog stands serving Vienna® Beef in Chicago than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King combined."
In his comments to guests at the celebration, Governor Rauner spoke of his personal enthusiasm for the brand, having grown up enjoying Vienna® Beef as a kid in Chicago and later Deerfield. He also reflected on how the legacy of the company epitomizes the American Dream.
"This company represents everything great about the state of Illinois, and great about the United States of America," noted Rauner. "Immigrants came to this country 125 years ago and started this company making hot dogs for the World's Fair in 1893 and they turned this into one of the great companies anywhere in the world. They've been headquartered right here in Chicago for 125 years, and we want to keep them in Chicago and the great state of Illinois for another 125 years."
Jim Bodman, Vienna® Beef Chairman and CEO, linked the company's longevity to three main factors: uncompromisingly excellent products, dedicated employees and vendors, and the authenticity of maintaining their Chicago roots. "We are a Chicago company, we are an Illinois company," he stated. "We have been offered incentives to move [out of state], but we have stayed here, and we're not going anyplace."
Vienna® Beef's connection to the city was front and center during the anniversary celebration. Mascots from major Chicago sports teams posed for photos with guests, while a DJ played Chicago-themed tunes. Vienna® Beef's VP Tom Pierce read a proclamation from Mayor Rahm Emanuel naming August 1 as Vienna® Beef Day. Guests took a break from the summer sun to tour the Vienna® Beef History Museum, an exhibit of memorabilia collected in conjunction with the anniversary.
The Vienna® Beef 125th anniversary continues August 10-12 with the company's sponsorship of the Chicago History Museum's Annual Hot Dog Fest. Now in its sixth year, this outdoor festival features live music, games, and hot dogs and sausages prepared in various regional and ethnic styles. In addition, the History Museum will remain open for free tours from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. weekdays through September 2018 at the company's Factory Store & Café, 2501 N. Damen Avenue in Chicago.
For more information about Vienna® Beef, visit ViennaBeef.com or search #125YearsOfVB on Twitter.
About Vienna® Beef
Founded in 1893, Vienna Beef manufactures and distributes hot dogs and sausages following its time-honored original recipes, with premium domestic beef hickory-smoked for authentic flavor. The company also produces pickles and condiments, soups and chilis, and other premium top-quality foods, distributed throughout the United States. Vienna Beef products are available at hot dog stands and restaurants, retail stores, online, and at both of the company's factory stores located in Chicago. Learn more at ViennaBeef.com.
Creative Marketing Associates