Grebe’s was founded in 1946 by Arthur and Esther Grebe. The main focus of the business was selling and repairing Case farm machinery. Two employees along with the owners ran the business. The philosophy was to operate with integrity, family values, quality products and fair prices.
In 1948, the Case farm machinery franchise was sold in favor of becoming a hardware business. Grebe’s became the first hardware store on Wausau’s West Side. A second retail addition was also constructed in that year. In response to the business growth, two warehouses were built: one on site and the other in the town of Maine, which has been enlarged twice.
From 1957–1963 five residential homes in the block surrounding the store were purchased and moved for future expansion. From 1972-1994 additions and remodeling took place to expand the retail space. The business continued to grow and expand as generations of customers shopped at Grebe's because they offered quality products, knowledgeable sales staff and dependable in-home service. The business philosophy was to treat customers just as the Grebe family expected to be treated.
In 1995, Grebe’s purchased the Buch family's power equipment business, which was founded in 1948. The transaction provided an opportunity to grow a segment of the retail market that fit our vision. In 2005, we sold the hardware inventory to provide more opportunity for our Appliance, Power Equipment, Chef Center and Grill departments to grow to a level that made us the leaders in North Central Wisconsin as a family-owned three-generation business.
Today, Grebe’s employs 35 people. In 2007, City Pages ran a survey on retail stores. Their readers rated Grebe’s as the #1 place to shop! It was an honor to receive the award, and we intend to maintain that same level of customer satisfaction for years to come.