Ray's Market opened for business on January 7, 1971 in Unity, WI. Ray and Janet Gurtner started the business specializing in Old World sausages with recipes brought to America from Switzerland by Ray's Father. The market also carried a full line of groceries. In 1984, they focused on the sausage business. Ray and Janet's son, Alan, grew up stocking shelves and waiting on customers. He began making all of the sausage in 1996. Ray passed away in 2007 and Alan and his family took over ownership of the business at that time. Janet continued to work at the market until her retirement in 2019.
Ray's Market is currently located in Colby on Elderberry Road and is a specialty store which carries a large selection of specialty meats, cheese and wine. The current building in Colby was constructed in 2009 when a fire destroyed the original location in Unity. The new store continues to produce the same old world style sausages, but also includes many specialty items and has become a tourist stop. In addition to exceptional sausage, the new location added cheese, wine, European and Wisconsin products, candy and novelty items.
Even though there is a new location in Colby, the history shows through at Ray's Market. The products are still produced from the original recipes and the building showcases many historical photos showing our journey. Many of the products produced today have won awards at the Wisconsin State Fair and Wisconsin Association of Meat Producers show. We are most proud of our award winning smoked ham which took the Grand Champion and Best of Show. Ray's Market has experienced many changes throughout the years, but continues to provide an old world taste to our customers.