American Fruit Growers

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Dried Fruit Packer
Main Location

Fullerton, CA

1931 - 1967

Blue Goose

Blue Goose Growers

Pioneer Fruit Company

American Fruit Growers was a fruit and vegetable packer and marketing organization operating across the United States. The company was known for its "Blue Goose" brand; its early citrus was electrically branded with the company name to distinguish it from Sunkist..

American Fruit Growers started out as primarily a marketing organization. The company would buy the highest grade fruit from individual growers and packers, and sell the fruit under its own name. In other cases, they would license the "Blue Goose" brand to individual packers for their highest quality produce. The company started off selling oranges and grapefruit, and quickly extended its product line. In 1922, the company had 165 sales offices across the United States and Canada. The company sold apples from the west and east coast, cabbage from California, Florida, New York and Texas, citrus from California, Arizona, and Florida, and onions from the east and west coast[1]

The company apparently changed its focus over time. American Fruit Growers bought the Pioneer Fruit Company in 1932[2]. In 1933, the company lost $500,000 in 1932 and $416,000 in 1933, and hinted at apples being a losing market[3]. In 1940, the company was listed as incorporated in Delaware, with primary California offices in Los Angeles county. The company then was primarily handling citrus[4].

In 1961, the company changed their name to "Blue Goose Growers"[5]. The company was based in Fullerton at that time.


Location Years Address Details
Bastanchury[6] (Fullerton / Sunny Hills) 1927
Corona 1938[7]
Loomis -1967 3350 Taylor Road Had cold storage plant[8]. Sold to California Fruit Exchange in 1967.
Riverside 1937 Was McDermott & Wall Inc. "growers shippers" with Blue Goose logo on building[9]. San Jose 1931, 1936, 1940 397 San Pedro Street
San Juan Capistrano[10][11]. 1932-1952 McKinley (later Verdugo) at railroad tracks[12]

American Fruit Growers in San Juan Capistrano

American Fruit Growers moved into southern Orange County, California, in 1932 when they leased 700 acres to grow vegetables. The company took over a former grain storage building at on Verdugo Ave. at the railroad tracks to pack the vegetables. The company operated in San Juan Capistrano through 1952. The site is currently the Metrolink parking structure[13][14]


  1. John T. Barrett, The Blue Goose Campaign of Marketing and Advertising. In May 25, 1922 Printers Ink Magazine.
  2. Jerry Bowen, Solano Valley History
  3. American Fruit Growers, "Thirteenth Annual Report to Stockholders". Cited in Amanda L. Van Lanen, "We have Grown Fine Fruit Whether We Would Or No: History of the Washington State Apple Industry 1880-1930. Dissertation for Doctor of Philosophy, Washington State University Department of History.
  4. [ Western Fruit Growers et. al. vs United States of America, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, #9717.
  5. Blue Goose Fruit Shed: Sierra Nevada Geotourism Map Guide. Site documents the history of the Blue Goose fruit shed in Loomis.
  6. Clifford Prather, Packing Houses in Orange County. From Fullerton Model Railroad Historical Society. Generated from 1927 directory. Listed as accessible from the Santa Fe, UP, and PE.
  7. E. M. Harvey, Changes in Lemons During Storage as Affected by Air Circulation and Ventilation. USDA Technical Bulletin #9087, February 1946. Storage methods for Eureka lemons was tested between 1938 and 1941 in cold storage at the American Fruit Growers plant in Corona. Credits A.C. Barnes as manager of Corona packing house.
  8. Blue Goose Fruit Shed: Sierra Nevada Geotourism Map Guide.
  9. Photo at [1]
  10. Alain Kap, The Blue Goose Sign and Crate Label. From "Modeling the ATSF 4th District LA Division" blog.
  11. National Register of Historic Places, Roger Y. Williams House, Orange County. Notes packing house opened in 1934.
  12. P Hallan-Gibson, D. Tryon, et. al., "San Juan Capistrano". Arcadia Publishing.
  13. P. Hallan-Gibson et. al, "San Juan Capistrano". Arcadia Publishing. An aerial photo from the 1960's shows the packing house just south of the station.
  14. Capistrano Dispatch, Community Loses Longtime Resident David Gunther. "He began his career at the Blue Goose packing house operated by American Fruit Growers on Verdugo Street (where the parking structure is today.)".