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Blue @ Work

A recipe rooted in a century of history

Templeton Rye in Templeton, Iowa

We asked some of our long-time small business customers why they choose — and continue to choose — Wellmark for their health coverage. Here’s the story of Templeton Rye.

You don't have to be a whiskey connoisseur to know that the flavor of whiskey becomes better with age — especially when it's flavored in oak barrels. It’s the knowledge passed along from grandparents, classic films, and even the iconic Don Draper from "Mad Men."

Templeton Rye External Site whiskey — a national favorite produced in Iowa — has the whiskey distilling process down to a science. It’s why their whiskey has received the nickname “The Good Stuff” alongside numerous honors and gold medals for Best of American Straight Rye, Best of Whiskey and Overall Packaging Design. Plus, it was awarded Rye Whiskey of the Year in 2009 at the San Francisco World Spirits Tasting, where it was up against more than 800 spirits from 60 countries entered in the competition.

A peek inside Templeton Rye

Clink, cheers and sip to some Templeton Rye history

But, Templeton Rye’s success didn’t happen overnight. Templeton has a history dating all the way back to the 1920s, where residents of the small town of Templeton, Iowa, began producing a high-caliber and sought-after whiskey recipe.

With any success, however, comes roadblocks. Templeton Rye faced challenges right out of the gate when the United States made it illegal to drink or distribute any alcohol due to the eighteenth amendment — which ushered in the prohibition era. However, with the help of infamous bootleggers like Al Capone, and with persistence and support from local citizens, Templeton Rye came out of the prohibition era stronger than ever.

And, to thank their supporters from near and far, they've invested back into the Templeton community to show their appreciation.

"There is an elementary school that sat empty for about 10 years and some of the local individuals (including my family) came together to renovate it into a community center," says Chase Prebeck, hospitality manager at Templeton Rye. "Templeton Rye was a big donor in this project by giving $250,000 and now there's weddings, conferences and more held up there weekly."

Ingredients for the perfect recipe: options, cost and support

If you step foot on Templeton Rye’s beautiful grounds spanning 20 acres, it’s hard to believe they’re a small business. “When you look around our campus and see what we are able to do, this place is operating on a big-time level,” says Jane Knutson, chief financial officer at Templeton Rye. “We only have thirty people who keep this place running day in and day out.”

When it comes to taking care of their employees, Templeton Rye continues to choose Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for their health insurance benefits. It all comes down to three things: options, cost and support. When mixed together, they make the perfect combination every time. Here's how:

  1. Options. "Typically, when it comes to insuring, Wellmark has always been able to give us various options for employee health insurance plans — even as a small business,” says Knutson. “We appreciate the variety and selection.”
  2. Cost. Covering your small business costs are never easy — or cheap. At the end of the day, every business is looking to keep costs affordable and the company's bottom line in check. “With Wellmark, we are able to be cost-conscious while offering our employees the best health insurance benefits,” says Knutson.
  3. Support. As a small business, everyone wears several hats — which means time can be limited when it comes to answering employees' specific and unique questions. “During open enrollment specifically, we lean on our agent Opens in a new window, Frank Olson, since he is just a skip and a jump away from the distillery,” says Knutson. “He is hands-on and helpful with our employees when it comes to selecting a plan that works best for them.”

Looking for coverage for your small business?

Choosing the right benefits for your business is a big decision. Look at the benefit solutions for businesses with 1–50 employees and find the package that works best for you.

If you have any questions, contact your authorized Wellmark representative, or email us at Send Email.

We wanted to learn more about why some of our long-time small business customers continue to choose Wellmark for their health coverage in their own words. Trust, shared values, experience, longevity and understanding continually came to the forefront.

Thank you to Templeton Rye for sharing their story with us.