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Meet our Partners: Gerhards - The Kitchen & Bath Store


Gerhards - The Kitchen & Bath Store -  will be at Thursdays on First & 3rd (TOF) showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Visit their booth during the evening performances near the Peace Plaza Ave Stage.


"GerhardsGerhards- The Kitchen and Bath store has been family owned and operated since 1940. It all started in 1897 when three tradesmen, Reinie Wesson, Henry Poehling and Ed Roesler pooled their resources together to create La Crosse Plumbing Supply Company. Over the years the La Crosse Plumbing Supply Company grew, opening several new locations throughout the Midwest. In 1997 La Crosse Plumbing Supply Company became First Supply Group. 

"In 1940, Henry Poehling’s son Gary, who had worked both as a truck driver and warehouseman, took over the business. Gary “Gerhard” Poehling was an innovative and visionary leader. During his first year running the business, Gary opened what was likely the first kitchen and bath store in the country for contractors and homeowners to view kitchen and bath product displays. In 1987, a decision was made to give the showrooms their own, separate identity. To honor Gary's innovative concept, the kitchen and bath stores were renamed "Gerhards".

"Today the fifth generation of the Poehling family continues Gary's legacy by operating 27 First Supply locations, 13 Gerhards showrooms, and a Kohler Signature Store in Edina, MN. These showrooms provide an effective and essential sales tool for contractors by providing building and remodeling customers the opportunity to personally see and select the products they want for their home.

"Gary's ability to provide quality products and deliver unparalleled customer service made him legendary in the industry. In 2015, Gerhards celebrates 75 years of serving trade professionals and consumers by providing inspirational design, quality products, relevant resources and exceptional service." 

"Meet our Partners" is a five part blog series highlighting the Rochester Downtown Alliance's partnerships with the community businesses and organization that help make Thursdays on First & 3rd Possible.