The Viking Story
More Viking Stories
Viking Range was founded by Fred Carl, Jr. in the 1980s. In the midst of building his own home, he discovered the range he wanted did not exist. So Carl took to the drawing board and after countless late nights, he finally arrived at a hybrid that corralled the cooking power and features of a professional range into a design feasible for home use.
Carl persuaded a small commercial company in southern California to produce the first Viking range for him. After two years of trial, error and extensive testing, the first Viking ranges received American Gas Association certification in late 1986 and shipped in January 1987. Incredible consumer response quickly overwhelmed the contract manufacturer.
Viking soon opened its own manufacturing plant in Greenwood, Mississippi, and realized there was room for professional performance in every corner of the kitchen. By the end of the decade, Viking was operating three manufacturing facilities in Greenwood, and the Viking kitchen grew to include built-in cooking, ventilation, refrigeration, kitchen cleanup, and outdoor products. Since 2000, additional facilities have been added as the company and its product line grew. A dishwasher plant, a distribution center, and a tool and die center brought the total square footage of Viking manufacturing and distribution facilities to more than 500,000 square feet.
Viking has continued its aggressive new product development initiatives and has expanded its product offerings to encompass the entire kitchen, both indoors and outdoors. In addition to its flagship freestanding ranges, the current Viking product line includes ventilation, built-in range tops and cooktops, built-in ovens, warming drawers, dishwashers, trash compactors, refrigerators, freezers, wine cellars, and an entire line of outdoor products including grills, warming drawers, refrigeration and stainless steel cabinetry.
In 2001, Viking began renovations on the historic Hotel Irving in downtown Greenwood. Renamed The Alluvian and designed as an upscale boutique hotel offering unparalleled amenities, the hotel opened to widespread acclaim in May 2003. In addition, The Alluvian Spa; Giardina's Restaurant, a Mississippi Delta dining landmark since 1936; and the Viking Cooking School and Retail Store provide an entertaining and memorable experience, resulting in the renowned Viking facilities becoming a unique and popular tourist destination.
On December 31, 2012, The Middleby Corporation, a global leader in the commercial foodservice equipment industry, acquired Viking. Middleby has more than 50 companies in its portfolio and has a proven track record of acquiring and growing companies through bringing innovative, patented products to the market. Many synergies and growth opportunities exist between Viking and other Middleby brands and the acquisition of Viking strategically positioned Middleby to expand into the residential market with a strong, leading brand. Middleby has an established presence outside of the U.S., which will help Viking expand to new markets in the future.