Alba Canning Company

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Main Location

San Jose

1918 - 1921

Alba, Morning, Noon, Night[1]

Santa Clara Valley Canning Company

F. H. Holmes

Santa Clara Produce Company

Alba Canning Company was a cannery owned by Anthony Greco, the developer of multiple canning and food processing businesses. Anthony Greco was the brother of Victor Greco, owner of the Greco Canning Company. Alba Canning Company started in 1918[2]. W. F. James was secretary.

Alba's plant was at Eighth and Jackson in the former F. H. Holmes dried fruit packing plant. The plant was on two acres of land, "stretching to Ninth Street", and partially planted in 6,000 pepperocini plants. The company canned tomatoes, apples, green beans, pears, cherries, berries, apricots, and tomato products[3] Output primarily went to the east coast, with apricots going to England. The fruit sent to England was often used as raw material for jam making[4].

The name literally translated to "dawn of the day", with a Latin definition closer to first. Anthony Greco described it as "top", with cafefully packed products and laquered and lithographed cans.

Edith Daley visited Alba Canning in 1919, and wrote a column for the August 1, 1919 San Jose Evening News. She noted that the company was canning 900 cases of apricots a days with only 130 employees, and was outgrowing its current plant. She also noted that the brothers ran another cannery in Santa Clara.

Alba was having financial problems by 1920. In July, Anthony Greco fled the state after an argument with a creditor. Greco owed money to R. C. Storie, "a prominent grower". When Storie stopped by the cannery office to demand payment, Greco asked to see the note then tore it to pieces[5]. When asked about Anthony's whereabouts, Victor Greco of the Greco Canning Company claimed that he had not spoken with Anthony for three yearsThe article notes that Anthony is the brother of Victor Greco of Greco Canning, but that Victor hadn't spoken to Anthony for three years.

Alba Canning was sold in 1921 to Japanese fruit and vegetable growers as the Santa Clara Produce Company[6]. A few records do exist for their demise. The company lost a judgement against Pacific Shingle and Box in 1921 for $2300[7]. As a result of the judgement, the Santa Clara County Sherriff intended to sell lots the company owned in the Divine's Survey #2 subdivision, which included land around the California Packing Corporation's plant near North 7th Street The company must have declared bankruptcy soon after, for bankruptcy trustees later declared on June 9, 1922 they'd be selling the cannery[8].

Alba Canning vs. Santa Clara Valley Canning Company

The Alba plant was also referred to as Santa Clara Valley Canning Company, though it's hard to tell if it's a different corporate name, or a different business[9]. Another source claims that Philip and Nicholas Barbaccia founded the company[10]. Philip Barbaccia had married Gaspare Greco's daughter, Josephine[11].)

Alternatively, they may have been two separate canneries using the same facilities. A 1920 directory lists Santa Clara Valley Canning Co. run by Gaspare Greco (president) and Joseph Greco (secretary), selling through L. I. Sussman in San Francisco. The company packed many products under the California Beauty, Integrity, Outlook, R-Home, and S. C. V. C. Co brands[12].

An October, 1922 report says that Santa Clara Valley Canning Company was buying a "three line fruit cannery at Eighth and Taylor"[13]; it's hard to tell if exactly which cannery this was.


Location Years Address Details
San Jose, CA 1918-1921 Eighth St. and Jackson Ave. On block between 8th, 9th, Taylor, and Jackson[14]
San Jose, CA Park Ave Receiving plant only[15]
Santa Clara, CA 1919 Park Ave.[16] Tomato cannery. Also cited in Edith Daley column.


  1. Alba Canning: California Food Products directory. Volume 1, 1920.
  2. Anthony Greco biography, History of Santa Clara County
  3. Alba Canning. Canners Directory, 1920.
  4. Alba Canners Have Patented String Bean Can: August 1, 1919 San Jose Evening News.
  5. Canner Leaves State As Sheriff Obtains Warrant: July 3, 1920 San Jose Evening News.
  6. Japs Purchase S.J. Cannery: March 7, 1921 San Jose Evening News]. Sale price was $65,000.
  7. July 19, 1921 San Jose Evening News
  8. June 1922 Canning Age
  9. Gaspare Greco in Eugene T. Sawyers, "History of Santa Clara County,California", Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1603
  10. Frederick W. Marrazzo, Italians in the Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing, 20xx, p. 47
  11. Gaspare Greco: In Eugene Sawyer, History of Santa Clara County, California. Historic Record Co., 1922.
  12. Santa Clara Valley Canning Company. California Food Products Directory, 1920.
  13. Northern California Canneries, in Western Canner and Packer, October 1922.
  14. Japantown Atlas: San Jose's Japantown, 1940
  15. The Six New Canneries Started in San Jose in 1918: March 1919 Western Canner and Packer.
  16. Brooks Report on Industrial Situation Nere: December 17, 1918 San Jose Evening News. Listed as tomato cannery, near Pacific Manufacturing.