The History of How Kohl Wholesale Began.

Kohl Wholesale, previously known as N. Kohl Grocer Co., was founded in 1873 by Nikolaus Kohl. Nikolaus Kohl was born in Germany in 1836 and immigrated to the United States in 1857. He came to Quincy, Illinois and began employment in the wholesale grocery business.

In 1873, being Industrious and energetic, he bought shares in the firm where he was employed and Austin & Kohl Wholesale Grocers was founded. In 1896. Austin retired. With his four sons, Nikolaus continued the business as N. Kohl Grocer Co., Importers, Wholesale Grocers and Coffee Roasters.

The family-owned business became one of the largest coffee roasters in the areas as well as one of the best stocked wholesale grocery establishments in the Midwest. Over time the company went through many changes to facilitate the needs of their customers.

Kohl Wholesale Heritage

1st Generation: Nikolaus Kohl "The Founding Father"

  • Born in Germany (1836 – 1921)nikolaus_kohl
  • Immigrated to Quincy, IL ( 1857, Age of 21)
  • James T. Baker (1860, Retail Grocer)
  • Manson & Austin (1867, 3rd Partner)
  • Austin & Kohl ( 1873, Manson Passes)
  • N. Kohl Grocer Company (Austin Retired in 1896)

2nd & 3rd Generations: Matthew J. Ehrhart "The Connection"

  • 2nd Generation:  Four Sons & Two DaughtersPicture2
  • Importers, Grocers, & Coffee Roasters
  • 60,000 Square Foot Warehouse in Quincy, IL
  • 3rd Generation:  Matthew J. Ehrhart / Edward Kohl’s Daughter, Agatha
  • 47 Years- Sales, General Manager, & President

4th Generation: Richard A. Ehrhart "The Ehrhart Discipline"

  • Richard A. Ehrhart (Matthew J. Ehrhart’s Son)dick ehrhart002
  • Buyer, Sales Rep, Driver, Warehouse, Sales Manager, GM, President
  • Notably Spent Decades Buying Shares from Distant Family Members
  • Mid 90’s Succession Plan for 5th Generation
  • Had Over 75 Years of Food Service Experience

5th Generation: Rick, Mark, & Matt Ehrhart "The Visionaries"

  • 5th Generation: Matt (President), Mark (Vice President),kohlfall2013-1214 and Rick (Treasurer)
  • 100+ Years Combined Experience
  • 1985 Name Changed to Kohl Wholesale to Better Reflect Broadline Business
  • Kohl Wholesale Continues to Operate as a Family Owned Distributor with over 140 Years of History & Heritage