Waukesha Business Roundup

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Oct. 16, 2015

E.H. Wolf & Sons grows its footprint

Stretched along White Rock Avenue, the former Hopson Oil facility bears the name of another area business with a long history in the county - E.H. Wolf & Sons, Inc.

 Signage for E.H. Wolf & Sons was placed on the former Hopson Oil Co. station at 1225 White Rock Ave. about a month ago.
Katherine Michalets/Freeman Staff

E.H. Wolf & Sons bought Hopson Oil in 2013 after it filed for bankruptcy, but only about a month ago erected new signage on the White Rock Avenue building. Like Hopson Oil, E.H. Wolf & Sons started in 1941. The Slinger-based business handles oils and lubricants, which it sells to clients in the commercial, farm, residential and construction markets, said company President Craig Wolf.

The gas station at 1225 White Rock Ave. sells Sunoco unleaded and leaded racing fuel, as well as unleaded gas and premium diesel fuel for off-road and on-road use. There is no store, so buyers must pay at the pump, Wolf said. The attached garage is leased by an individual who runs the service business separate from the gas station and the E.H. Wolf & Sons offices near the railroad tracks.

Wolf said he decided to buy Hopson Oil because it would expand the company’s footprint.

“It was a good fit to buy it out of bankruptcy and a good investment for us,” said Wolf, a third-generation member of the family business.



Emblems of Excellence

A clothing patch can identify a person as a member of the Chicago Fire Department, a senior technician at Mazda or a fan of the Mustangs team. Schweizer Emblem Company has been making patches for municipal workers, organizations and associations since 1922.

 Marketing Manager Emily Sampson, left, holds a bullion patch with her mother, Nancy Madsen, president and owner of Schweizer Emblem Company in Waukesha. 
Katherine Michalets/Freeman Staff

Owned by Nancy Madsen, Schweizer Emblem Company recently moved into offices in downtown Waukesha above the 225 So. restaurant. Madsen’s daughter, Emily Sampson, is the marketing manager for the business. The women are proud to work for the business, which Madsen’s father bought from an older family member.

“I am very proud to carry that on especially because I had worked with my dad for so long,” Madsen said.

Up until Schweizer Emblem Company moved its offices, Madsen and Sampson were driving from Brookfield and Wauwatosa respectively to Chicago where their business had been located. Manufacturing of the patches, crests and insignia was sent to China in the 1980s.

Schweizer Emblem Company works with a graphic designer on a contractual basis, but often the clients come with a design already created. Some of the company’s larger clients include the Chicago Fire Department and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

“You see it, but you don’t think about who made it,” Sampson said of emblems.

An average order size for patches is 250, although they sometimes run as large as 6,000. Production time is generally about three weeks, but orders can be rushed.

Going forward, Madsen and Sampson are intent on helping the company to grow, but want to remain a small business.



IT for small businesses

Sharing the same space as Schweizer Emblem Company is In-House Computer Service, owned by Emily Sampson’s husband, Billy, and business partner Mark Nikolic.

 Billy Sampson, left, and Mark Nikolic, owners of In-House Computer Service, in their business's new offices at 225 South St., Waukesha.
Katherine Michalets/Freeman Staff

Started in 2004, In-House Computer Service offers the full spectrum of information technology services for small businesses - from a home business with a couple of workers to a company with about 75 employees.

Previously, In-House Computer Service was more focused on the metro Milwaukee market, but since moving to downtown Waukesha it is broadening its clientele.

Nikolic said the demand for In-House Computer Service’s work is always increasing.

“With the new technology, there are always new demands,” he said.

The space on the second floor of the 225 South St. building has room to grow for In-House Computer Service, which is what Sampson and Nikolic plan to do in the coming months.

As clients’ needs change, In-House Computer Service wants to offer the services they need, such as social media support, marketing tools and website development and enhancement.


Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com