Wisconsin Plating Works is celebrating its 90th year as a family operated, regional commercial and industrial metal finisher. Owners Robert and Jeffrey Toeppe credit much of the company’s longevity to ongoing family involvement, which currently includes Robert’s wife, Kathy, and their daughter, Nicki, the fourth generation of Toeppe family management.
In 1919 Michael Gebhardt Toeppe, grandfather to the current owners, left his foreman role at Simmons Manufacturing Company in Kenosha to begin Wisconsin Plating Works. Ten years of polishing and buffing brass beds equipped him with the skills needed to finish metal parts, leading eventually to the business’ focus – metal plating.
Michael took on partner Otto Kopitzke in 1935, and the two set up shop. Michael Toeppe’s son, Robert Joseph, became a partner in 1950 and later moved the business to its current location, 931 Carroll St., where the sole proprietorship operated until his death in 1974.
Robert’s sons and current owners, Robert and Jeffrey, assumed control, expanding in 2005 with the purchase of Racine Plating, a 78-year-old family-operated company. The purchase added large quantity runs to Wisconsin Plating’s smaller, specialty order focus.