Image provided by downtowneauclaire.org.
Most visitors are surprised to know that Eau Claire is the ninth largest city in the state and even more surprised to learn that it’s one of the fastest growing at the same time it’s one of the safest cities in the nation.
No wonder we call it home, and where we have our headquarters.
Eau Claire focuses on economic development by offering businesses a positive business climate, including a trained workforce, dedicated community leaders, and a superb quality of life. In equal measures, of course, because that’s how we roll. We’re just as proud that our business is here that our hometown was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in 2007 and among the first Tree Cities, having been recognized as such since 1980.
Welcome to Eau Claire, where the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers meet, giving the city and surrounding countryside a distinctive beauty. Located 90 miles/145 kilometers east of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, it has a population of 65,000 people (all friendly, by the way).
The city (it means "clear waters") hasn’t lost one bit of its edgy charm, small-town sophistication, or worldly point of view, just because it’s reshaping the economy. It’s still a great place for a fun lifestyle (ok, you have to like winter sports), but snowboarding, skating, outdoor activities like hiking and boating are all part of how we share in Eau Claire.
Today, retail, health care and education are the primary employment sectors in Eau Claire aside from our humble contributions.
The city's economy was reshaped by the opening of a number of plants engaged in the construction of computer hardware, such as Hutchinson Technology's largest plant, and is home to IDEXX Computer Systems, a division of IDEXX Laboratories.
Eau Claire is home to several national and regional companies including Menards, Cascades Tissue Group, National Presto Industries, Inc., Midwest Manufacturing, Erbert & Gerbert's, Silver Spring Foods, and Open-Silicon.
The County has acres of industrial parks that trade and are conveniently located near major roadways. There are more than 400 acres of industrial park available for development in the Gateway and Skypark industrial parks. Many manufacturing industries are located in the several industrial parks in the area. The types of manufacturing include: industrial and commercial machinery, printing, food, rubber, plastics, paper, stone, clay, glass, concrete and electrical equipment.
And who else can brag that it’s the “horseradish capital of the world?”
Eau Claire is home to two public colleges (University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley Technical College) and two private colleges (Immanuel Lutheran College and a campus of Globe University/Minnesota School of Business).
For the 20th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report magazine has named the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire among the best public regional universities in the Midwest.
The 2015 edition of "America's Best Colleges" ranked UW-Eau Claire No. 6 among the top regional public universities in the Midwest, and 33rd among all private and public institutions in the Midwest. Every year since 1995, U.S. News has ranked UW-Eau Claire among the top public institutions in the Midwest and in the top third of public and private Midwestern regional universities.
“We love how vibrant the Eau Claire community is, humming with a youthful, high-tech culture.”- Mark Walsh, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Whether you're looking for natural beauty or shopping, Eau Claire has scenic rivers, lakes, parks and bike trails offering countless outdoor activities. Fantastic restaurants, vibrant cultural festivals and live music abound. Local shopping centers and medical facilities also attract locals and visitors alike. You can visit the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp, take in an art exhibit or theater production, catch a baseball game, listen to outdoor concerts at Phoenix or Owen Park, or just take a leisurely bike ride along the Chippewa River Trail.
BIG BUSINESS IN EAU CLAIRE
A family-owned company started in 1960, Menards® is headquartered in Eau Claire, and has more than 280 home improvement stores located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Today, Menards® is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader; it's no wonder our famous slogan – SAVE BIG MONEY® – is so widely known and easy to remember.
SMALL BUSINESS IN EAU CLAIRE
This might sound small, but it’s not.
It’s not huge, either, but it’s newsworthy.
Erbert and Gerbert's
Erbert and Gerbert's is a restaurant franchise started here in 1987, with the first store opening in 1988. Often located near college campuses, the company has more than 50 locations throughout the Midwest and Southwest.
But its home is here.
Kevin and Beth Schippers opened the first restaurant on Water Street and sandwiches are named after characters in stories Kevin's father used to tell him. In 2003, Schippers was awarded Wisconsin’s 2003 Emerging Small Business Person from the Small Business Administration. Because of Kevin's desire to pursue the ministry, in 2003 Schippers sold the franchising company to investors led by primary owner Eric Wolfe. Kevin Schippers continues to own the original Eau Claire location.
Erbert & Gerbert's prepare their sandwiches by cutting the bread and taking out the soft white dough part and leaving the guts on top of the sandwich.
For more information on Eau Claire, visit here.