1981 Conceptual drawings created of first Viking range
1983 Viking name chosen and logo designed
1984 Viking Range Corporation incorporated
1986 First prototype Viking range produced; received American Gas Association (A.G.A.) approval
1987 Full production of Vikings by California contract manufacturer; range hoods added to product line; Viking corporate office moved to 111 Front Street
1988 Production transferred to Tennessee contract manufacturer
1989 Production of first Viking manufactured rangetop in Greenwood, Mississippi facility
1990 All production moved in-house to Greenwood facility
1992 Production moved to new plant at current location; Little Rock investment banking firm, Stephens Inc., makes major equity investment in company. Viking dishwasher introduced.
1993 30"W./24"D. ranges added to product line
1994 VGRC convection ranges introduced
1995 60"W. ranges and rangetops added to product line.
1996 Dual fuel ranges, drop-in cooktops and refrigeration added to product line; plant expansion increases size of manufacturing facility by 50%
1997 First international CE approval for export sales received; outdoor gas grills and electric ranges & rangetops added to product line
1998 Built-in electric 30"W. single/double thermal-convection ovens added; Viking-produced hoods & warming drawers introduced; Graphite Gray added to designer finishes; gas wok added; Ventilation Products facility opened; Viking Training Center opened
1999 First professional style 30"W. gas self-clean range introduced; VGIC gas convection ranges introduced; built-in 42"W rangetops introduced; built-in 27"W. electric single/ double thermal convection ovens, warming drawers and microwave chambers introduced; built-in 36"W. bottom mount refrigerator/freezer introduced; Viking Culinary Arts Centers opened in Memphis and Nashville
2000 Amana 84"W. built-in refrigeration line acquired; Gateway Distributors, Inc., in Washington State acquired; LakeView Appliance Distributing in Illinois, NorthStar Appliance Distributing in Michigan and SunWest Appliance Distributing, LLC, in Arizona opened; The Ramey Agency acquired; Refrigeration Products facility opened; Designer Series Line introduced; indoor/outdoor beverage dispenser introduced; Biscuit, Stone Gray, Lemonade, Mint Julep, Cobalt Blue and Eggplant added to designer finishes; four HomeChef locations in northern California acquired; initial group of new Designer Series products - cooktops, ventilation hoods, refrigerators, dishwashers and built-in ovens - put into production; T-Series outdoor grill line introduced
2001 Viking Europe, SAS for European distribution of Viking products created; Lokion Interactive Technologies, a web development company in Memphis, TN, opened; 36"W. gas self-clean range introduced to industry; historic Irving Hotel and adjoining properties in downtown Greenwood acquired; Distribution Center on Hwy. 82 west of Greenwood, adjacent to Viking Ventilation Products, opened; 15"W. wine cellars, refrigerated beverage centers and ice machines introduced; cookware and cutlery products introduced to the housewares market; Designer downdraft systems introduced; additional downtown buildings acquired on Main Street and Howard Street; Viking Human Resources Dept. moves into newly renovated Howard Street building; Viking energy compliant refrigeration introduced
2002 Northern Pacific Appliance Distributing, LLC, in British Columbia, Canada opened; Viking Training Center moves into the former Myrick Ford building; Cooking Products Facility expanded by 80,000 sq. ft.; Designer built-in electric TimePiece™ oven introduced; 15"W. and 24"W. Designer Series undercounter/freestanding refrigeration units and wine cellars introduced; 15"W. Designer Series undercounter ice machine introduced; four different hood styles added to the Designer Series; outdoor built-in storage drawers introduced; Distribution Center expanded by 41,200 sq.ft.; Professional dual fuel 30"W. sealed burner range introduced; Irving Hotel renamed The Alluvian Hotel; Viking Training Center receives continuing education unit (CEU) accreditation for its training seminars from National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and other associations; Design Center expanded to 4,800 sq. ft.; Professional 24"W. range introduced; custom ventilator systems introduced; Designer trash compactor introduced; Viking remodels Ashcraft Building, 101 Howard Street; Viking Culinary Arts Centers opened in Dallas, Philadelphia and Atlanta; built-in 30"W. full height wine cellar introduced; microwave ovens and trim kits introduced; Professional Series 48"W. gas self-clean range introduced
2003 Blender introduced to housewares market; custom front warming drawers introduced; Designer continuous grate gas cooktop introduced; Professional 24" W. wall hood introduced; Viking Culinary Arts Centers opened in Garden City, NY, St. Louis, MO, and Cleveland, OH; built-in 42" W. side by side refrigerator/freezers introduced; Viking Travel and Events department moves into newly renovated Ashcraft building on Howard Street; Viking trademark acquired in Canada; Professional dual fuel 36" W. sealed burner range introduced; Professional gas 30" W. sealed burner range and rangetop introduced; The Alluvian Hotel in downtown Greenwood opened; Professional built-in electric 36" W. single/double ovens introduced; Giardina’s restaurant in downtown Greenwood opened; Professional gas 36" W. sealed burner range and rangetop introduced; Professional chimney wall hoods introduced; custom ventilator system for island hoods introduced; built-in 48" W. side by side refrigerator/freezers with ice and water dispensers introduced; Professional gas 24" W. companion ranges introduced; undercounter/freestanding 15" W. and 24" W. wine cellars redesigned; Viking Kitchen Center opened in Destin, FL; stand mixer introduced to the housewares market; Professional gas 24" W. rangetops introduced; Professional gas 48" W. rangetop with 24" W. wok introduced; Viking Cooking School opened inside Viking Training Center in Greenwood; TruSear™ infrared burner option for outdoor grills introduced; C4™ outdoor cooker introduced; outdoor 24" W. and 41" W. refreshment centers introduced; outdoor ventilation introduced; recirculating conversion kits for ventilation introduced; Professional dual fuel 48" W. sealed burner range introduced; built-in 42" W. side by side refrigerator/freezers with ice and water dispensers introduced
2004 Viking partnership with Butterfield & Robinson announced; convection microwave oven and built-in trim kits introduced; Viking dealer model showroom opened in Main Street building; outdoor stainless steel cabinetry introduced; tall tank dishwasher introduced; Professional chimney-style island hood introduced; Viking and Culinary Institute of America’s World’s of Flavor travel program announced; Professional 48”W. sealed burner range and rangetop introduced; Professional NSF-certified 27”D. ranges introduced53”W. Outdoor Range™ grill cart with gas oven introduced; custom front trash compactor introduced; outdoor undercounter/freestanding 15”W. ice machine introduced; Viking partnership with Silversea Cruises announced; Professional wall custom ventilator system introduced; food processor introduced to Housewares market; outdoor built-in electric 30”W. smoker oven introduced.
2005 Professional 24” wide 10” high wall hood introduced; built-in 30” and 36” wide all refrigerator and all freezer introduced; outdoor gas 30” wide Premium grill and cart introduced; outdoor built-in gas 15” wide Tru-Sear™ infrared burner introduced; Professional electric induction 30” and 36” wide cooktops introduced; Professional island custom ventilator systems introduced; redesigned outdoor built-in 24” wide refreshment centers introduced; Professional gas self-clean 36” wide sealed burner range introduced; heavy duty food waste disposers re-introduced; 30” wide convection microwave hoods introduced.
This is Viking Range Corporation. The benchmark for gourmets. Before Viking, home chefs had no real options. And after Viking, there are no other options. From the introduction of our flagship ranges to the Viking Culinary Travel program, Viking has become synonymous with the epicurean lifestyle.
Viking Range has become much more than a range. It is a way of life – for our customers as well as our employees. We introduced professional cooking to the home in 1987, and gourmets the world over rejoiced. So we added a rangetop. Then a dishwasher. A refrigerator. Even an outdoor range. And along the way, we created our own culture of creativity and innovation. Now we’re applying Viking perfection to new categories like cookware, cutlery, and small appliances. And we won’t stop innovating, but will continue to introduce new and exciting products for every corner of the Viking kitchen.
The Evolution of the Viking Kitchen
Necessity is the mother of invention. Fred Carl, a fourth-generation building contractor, hit upon the idea of the Viking range in the 1980’s when he discovered the range he wanted for his own new home didn’t exist.
Fred and his wife, Margaret, desired a range with heavy-duty commercial performance and design. But real commercial ranges were impractical, unwieldy, and unsafe for a domestic kitchen. So Fred took to the drawing board.
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. And he decided it was time for just such a product to be brought to market. The first Viking ranges shipped in January, 1987. Incredible consumer response quickly overwhelmed Fred’s 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 1990’s, Viking would operate three manufacturing facilities in Greenwood, and the Viking kitchen would grow to include built-in cooking, ventilation, refrigeration, cleanup, and outdoor products – and an entirely new appearance for professional performance with the Designer line.
Viking continues to branch out and improve upon more product categories, introducing cutlery, cookware, and small appliances. But these aren’t mere vanity items. They offer the same exceptional performance and craftsmanship people expect from the Viking brand. And that’s what they’ll always get from Viking. Cooking isn’t a necessity, it’s a passion – for us and our customers. They won’t settle for anything less than the best in the kitchen, and neither will we.
Viking Range Corporation is located in the city where it originated, Greenwood, MS. Our corporate headquarters now occupies an entire block of Greenwood’s beautifully restored historic Cotton Row. Viking’s growth has led the revitalization the city’s downtown, with the Viking offices spread between 12 buildings, all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several of the buildings have also received state and national historic preservation awards for their meticulous renovations.
And we currently operate three manufacturing plants and a distribution center, with over 1,000 employees on the local payroll. That’s quite a stretch from the days of Fred and his small staff assembling a range in a converted warehouse. Today’s facilities utilize state-of-the-art machinery, diagnostic checkpoints, and progressive production techniques to keep things running smoothly – on the line and in the kitchen. Our cooking products plant now encompasses 230,000 square feet. The 153,000-square-foot refrigeration plant sits next door to the cooking products facility. Our 95,000-square-foot ventilation plant is located a little further down the road, conveniently adjacent to our 80,000-square-foot distribution center. Our dedication to innovation ensures these facilities will continue to expand.
Viking major appliances are sold through a network of domestic and international major appliance distributors, who in turn sell to high-end dealers, kitchen specialist and builders. Culinary products are sold through upscale gourmet shops as well as Viking Culinary Arts Centers.
In addition to the U.S., Viking products have been sold in over 80 countries internationally.
Our People and Our Community
Viking is a community within a community. And even though Viking products ship around the world, the company has always stayed true to its roots in Greenwood, Mississippi. The Viking range was dreamed up in Greenwood. And the people of Greenwood believed in it. Their encouragement and elbow grease have helped push Viking to where it is today. These are Viking people, and they are our greatest asset.
In this town of 20,000, located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, people actually know their neighbors – next door and three streets over. They’re accustomed to pulling together to get things done. And you’ll encounter that same friendly attitude throughout Viking. Goals are shared and ideas encouraged on all levels. Problems are solved and successes celebrated. Together.
The finest kitchen in the world doesn’t amount to much unless it’s filled with your family and friends. Viking applies this same philosophy to our offices and factory floors.
Wellness opportunities are offered and education is encouraged. Viking has partnered with local colleges to make it easier for our employees to earn degrees. We have also established training programs to teach specialized manufacturing skills. And supplemental training is readily available for employees eager to advance their position.
Viking is also a firm believer in community improvement. So we’re always happy to sponsor an event or donate Viking products to a charity auction. But we also strongly encourage our people to get involved. Money helps, but nothing happens without time and heart. The Drop Out Prevention Program, American Heart Association Heart Walk, local United Way, March of Dimes, and American Cancer Society Relay for Life count among our worthy local endeavors.
In the end, Greenwood is more than where we work or where we live. It’s who we are.
Viking introduced professional cooking to the home when our first range shipped in 1987. Now that same exceptional performance extends into every corner of the kitchen – even the backyard. Refrigerators. Wine Cellars. Dishwashers. Grills. Cookware. Cutlery. Small appliances. It’s enough to turn any cook into a chef.
When people think of Viking, the bold, commercial look of the Professional Series range is the image that most likely pops into their heads. Ultra-premium features like high-performance burners, convection baking, and infrared broiling easily handle everything from crème brûlée to rack of lamb. The legendary Viking range is available in gas and electric models, as well as an array of sizes and finishes to fit any kitchen.
And for those who want professional performance without the professional look, there is the Designer Series. Clean lines and contours meld gracefully into cabinets with style, offering a striking new look for Viking. Fully equipped with outstanding features and power, this complete line of built-in products doesn’t sacrifice any of the world-renowned Viking performance for fashion’s sake. Haute couture meets haute cuisine.
Viking doesn’t see the kitchen as a collection of products, but a complete cooking environment. Cooking isn’t a chore – it’s an art form. Everything must work together in form and function. Both the Professional and Designer lines deliver the ultimate in performance with a cohesive look for the kitchen. Each line offers a full range of products, so you don’t have to resort to mixing and matching brands and styles. Viking offers the truly consistent ultra-premium kitchen. The complete Viking kitchen is complete perfection.
Although Viking is best known for our flagship ranges, we have brought the same level of culinary excellence to every product in the kitchen. Built-in products marry performance with convenience. And our ventilation systems offer the perfect complement to our cooking products. Our assortment of refrigeration products ensure the practicing gourmet always has ample cold storage for fresh ingredients and refreshments. Cleanup products quietly tackle the post-party chores. And our outdoor kitchen raises the art of barbecuing to fantastic new heights.
Viking not only provides everything you need to cook on, but everything you need to cook with. Our cutlery and cookware are meticulously crafted to meet the standards of the world’s finest chefs. And Viking small appliances manage to fit professional performance onto the countertop. When we say the complete Viking kitchen, we mean it. Completely.
The Viking Production System
A range and refrigerator seem like a perfect fit in the kitchen. But beneath the stainless exterior, they don’t really have much in common. So to keep up with the ever-expanding product line, Viking’s production system has had to evolve quite rapidly – mechanically and philosophically.
Adaptability and efficiency don’t usually walk hand-in-hand in the traditional manufacturing world. Once the dies are cast and the machines programmed, it takes major re-tooling and re-investment to switch gears. It was clear from the beginning that Viking wasn’t a traditional company. Quite the contrary, it thrived on change and innovation. The manufacturing process had to remain nimble enough to respond to the never-ending brainstorms.
After experimenting with several Japanese manufacturing techniques, Viking found a like-minded company across the Pacific Ocean – Toyota. When it was a small upstart in the giant automotive industry, Toyota leveled the playing field with its incredibly efficient “just-in-time” method of production and inventory control. The world-renowned Toyota Production System concerns itself just as much with the mentality as the mechanics of production. They sum it up with the word “kaizen”, which translates into “continuous improvement.”
Toyota was gracious enough to share its TPS concepts with Viking. After several years of study and preparation, Viking launched its own Toyota-inspired Viking Production System. Production is set up so that if there is a problem, everyone on the line is instantly aware. And the problem is instantly solved on the plant floor. An essential facet of TPS is that problem-solving involves everyone. The plant managers work on the floor and stay in tune with what’s happening on the line. Every worker is challenged as a crucial member of the team. And everyone works toward the same goals of efficiency and safety. Production is streamlined on a daily basis – as opposed to wasting time and money for months while maintaining the status quo.
Viking Design Center
It takes more than just a great chef to make a kitchen work. You need a great designer. The staff of Viking Design, the company’s in-house design studio, is the architect of the Viking product line. Their sketches and specs ensure design consistency across the board. Every Viking product looks like a Viking – and works like a Viking.
Each new product is born from months of research, development, and modeling at the hands of the design team. Prototypes are tirelessly tested for human interface and ease of use. Then once a product is deemed worthy of the Viking logo, the graphic designers create the product graphics, packaging, and support materials.
The Viking Design Center is responsible for the layout of all Viking offices and public spaces. Viking has a style all its own, and it applies to anything bearing the Viking name. The complete Viking kitchen includes everything from the box to the knobs to the facilities they came from.
As the Viking name has grown, so has Viking Range Corporation. The scope of Viking innovation reaches every corner and drawer of the kitchen – even the backyard. And the brand has come to embody the concept of the gourmet lifestyle. Today Viking Range Corporation is a worldwide innovator and industry pacesetter. And it still does it all from 111 Front Street, Greenwood, Mississippi.
Viking Hospitality Group
What has come to be known as the Viking lifestyle encompasses much more than the kitchen. So the Viking Hospitality Group was created to promote and savor the finer things – and just plain good things – in life. Comprised of The Alluvian Hotel, The Alluvian Spa, Giardina’s Restaurant, and The Viking Cooking School, the group delivers exquisitely genuine Southern hospitality.
The Alluvian Hotel is a surprisingly cosmopolitan luxury boutique hotel. So surprising, it was named to the 2004 Condé Nast Traveler “Hot List.” Once inside the historic structure, the only hints of geography are the work of southern artists and a spectacular southern breakfast. The Alluvian Spa pampers guests even further with saunas, scrubs, and massages.
The adjoining >Giardina’s Restaurant treats visitors to the tastes of fine southern dining. A legendary institution, Giardina’s offers a well-tested menu dating from 1936. In addition to the steaks and seafood enjoyed by generations in the Delta, Giardina’s kitchen continues to innovate southern cuisine with the chef’s nightly off-the-menu creations.
The Viking Hospitality Group satisfies all this luxurious inspiration with the Viking Cooking School. Weekly classes cover everything from knife skills to party menus to children’s cooking classes. And special weekend classes featuring renowned guest chefs transform downtown Greenwood into a culinary mecca. A full curriculum combines down home Southern culture with epicurean expertise for a one-of-a-kind Delta experience.