Skip to main content

Sub-Zero and Wolf Open Westye F. Bakke Training Center

Madison, WI (3/31/2005)

Facility honors company founder and continues company’s commitment to industry leadership

Sub-Zero Freezer Company, the leading manufacturer of residential refrigeration and wine storage units, and Wolf Appliance Company, a leading manufacturer of premium cooking appliances, are hosting a grand opening event today for members of the media to introduce them to the companies’ state-of-the-art Westye F. Bakke Training Center. The unique epicenter of culinary excellence and cutting-edge technology is the culmination of 60 years of company heritage and an investment in the trade and the future of the companies.

Named after the founder of Sub-Zero, the training center demonstrates Sub-Zero and Wolf's continued product excellence, and underscores how far Sub-Zero has come throughout its history. "My grandfather worked hard to build a quality product and company in Sub-Zero," said Jim Bakke, president and chief executive officer for Sub-Zero Freezer Company, Inc. and Wolf Appliance Company. "I think he would be extremely proud of the strides we have made to expand his vision of differentiating our products through quality, design innovation and technology, and the opening of this facility is the greatest honor we could pay him."

"The Bakke Center is an opportunity to experience our brands come to life, combining the best in food preservation and the best in cooking equipment," said Michele Bedard, director of marketing for Sub-Zero and Wolf. "Everyone can touch, feel, taste and smell what’s cooked on Wolf products, and experience the ease of use of our products."

In true Sub-Zero and Wolf style, the facility was built with the utmost consideration given to design, as well as form and function. As visitors enter the center, they are greeted by a stunning installation of Dale Chihuly glass chandeliers. Additionally, Sub-Zero and Wolf commissioned nationally renowned designers Jamie Drake, Bill Draper and Mick de Giulio to lend their design expertise to two demonstration kitchens, a pub and an intimate dining room, as well as a large formal dining room that can accommodate 140 people at a seated dinner. Each designer created rooms representing distinctly different styles that beautifully incorporate Sub-Zero and Wolf products. From the serene East Meets West kitchen to the global fusion of styles in the La Grand kitchen to the fire and ice elements in the formal dining room and lounge, every space inspires. The facility also houses a state-of-the-art auditorium and interactive learning center for 140 people.

Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances are sold through a two-tier distribution channel, and the center caters its training to educate the sales channel as well as designers and architects in the industry. Training is conducted year-round and includes factory tours, product training and comprehensive cooking demonstrations with the companies’ corporate chef, Eric Rupert. Training is scalable from basic product knowledge to an advanced program.

The 30,000-square-foot facility is built on a 62-acre campus that accommodates the manufacturing and production lines of Wolf appliances and Sub-Zero wine storage and serves as the company's distribution center. This enables trainees to realize through the factory tours the exceptional handcraftsmanship and quality assurance measures that go into every Sub-Zero and Wolf appliance.