National Presto Industries

Billboard outside of National Presto Industries headquarters in Eau Claire, 2008.

An Eau Claire company synonymous with making meals at home saw its sales surge while stay-at-home orders were in place earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.

National Presto Industries reported Monday that net sales in its housewares and small appliances segment were up 36% during the second quarter when compared to the same time last year.

"Those shutdowns necessitated home meal preparation and in turn triggered demand for the cookware and appliances the company designs and markets," company President Maryjo Cohen said in a news release.

The company pioneered the home pressure cooker and has an array of kitchen appliances including electric skillets, griddles, waffle makers, slow cookers, fryers and popcorn poppers.

The company's second quarter encompasses April through June. Government orders seeking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 resulted in many restaurants that were closed or limited to drive-thru and carry-out business during a portion of those months.

In addition to housewares, Presto also has a defense products segment and two start-up ventures. Between all of its divisions, Presto had a 21% increase in net sales. The $87.1 million in sales made during the recent quarter is $15.4 million more than the company reported a year ago.