Colony Brands, originally called Swiss Colony, was founded in 1926 in Monroe, Wisconsin. Ray Kubly thought that the large Swiss population there would be interested in buying cheese imported from their country.The company’s first year saw only 50 orders, but soon grew quickly. Later it added other food items to the mail order catalog, including sausage, baked goods, and candy. In 1982, the company began offering non-food items such as bedding, home furnishings, electronics, games, and jewelry.
Today, Colony Brands operates catalog and retail stores under several names including Montgomery Wards, Ginny’s, One Step Ahead, Through the Country Door, Swiss Colony, Midnight Velvet, and the Wisconsin Cheeseman.
In December 2020, the company acquired Care Supply for an undisclosed sum.
The company employs more than 6,000 people, about 50 percent of these during the busy winter holiday season. The company officially changed its name to Colony Brands, Inc., in 2010.