Address: 618 55th Street, Kenosha
LaMacchia Travel has been a staple in the community for more than a century. Eugenio LaMacchia, an Italian immigrant, opened a grocery store in Kenosha and also dealt in steamship travel in order to help other immigrants coming to the United States find the same opportunities he had.
Once a one-person operation, the company now has eight employees with plans to hire an additional 15 before the end of 2015, and has increased its revenue 42 percent since 2011.
“It’s really about the people,” said Tom Karnes, president and owner of LaMacchia Travel. “The relationships we’ve established with the community and with partners in the industry have really been driving our growth.”
Karnes started working for the company in the early ’80s when his grandfather, Edmund, ran the business.
He and his wife, Monica, purchased the family business in 2009.
The pair has transformed the company to embrace the changes happening within the industry, Karnes said.
“We try to constantly stay ahead of the curve,” he added.
The company is on the verge of launching a new luxury honeymoon and romance travel line called Lovin’ Away. The line will specifically focus on destination wedding and honeymoon travel, and Karnes expects the new product to continue to spur growth for the business.
“The Kenosha area as a whole is on the verge of some incredible growth opportunities,” Karnes said. “It’s really been another driving factor in our company’s continued growth. Kenosha is so lucky to be located directly between two major airports that fly daily to top vacation destinations. We’re spoiled in that respect.”