The Swanson Companies trace their founding to 1945 when Charles and Ann Swanson began a vending company serving business and industry in Madison, Wisconsin.
During the 1950's, the company built its first kitchen to provide its customers with hot and cold food throughout southern Wisconsin.
The 1960's led to expansion into operation of full employee cafeterias in businesses and schools. During that decade, the company grew into Illinois, Iowa and Arkansas and a second generation of family members, Chuck Swanson, Jr. and Mike Swanson, joined the company.
The 1970's saw the company now providing vending and dining services to over 500 clients in eleven states. At the same time operating five of their own regional kitchens serving the same great food that has become the company's trademark.
In the 1980's Swanson opened a new division providing services to Correctional Facilities. In 1983, the company renewed a foodservice contract with the sheriff in Dane County, Wisconsin and in doing so, opened the first out-sourced inmate commissary service in the country.
By the end of the decade, a third generation had joined the company, Chuck Swanson III and Kelly Swanson, and went on to write the first correctional industry's Inmate Trust Fund management software. Over a dozen correctional facilities across the country now enjoyed Swanson's commissary service and software.
From a dozen commissary and software clients to 550 in the next ten years meant opening 26 service centers across the country. Now, well established in forty-three states, the company serves over 110,000 inmates each week, while protecting their money in the industry's "number one" resident banking software.
Today the company's 900 employees (including five family members!) continue to provide additional services to all different types of institutions such as: fiduciary management, laundry, mail room and property room management. Only three years following its release, COBRA Banker®, a full general ledger banking software for institutionalized residents, is utilized by more than 400 clients world-wide.
Despite all the innovation and growth into new and exciting products and services, the Swanson Family prides itself in its heritage and the fact that many of our more than 1200 clients have been served by Swanson for over 40 consecutive years. That's what makes us proud!