Contadina Canning

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Main Location

San Jose

1914 - 1920, 1931-?


Hershel California Fruit Products.

Aiello Brothers & Co or Contadina Canning was a San Jose cannery in operation from 1914 to 1920, and later operating possibly under similar ownership after 1931. The company as the first tomato cannery in the Unites States in 1914 in Highland, New York by Carlo Aiello. Because of World War I restrictions, canned tomatoes from Italy had disappeared, and Aiello sought to fill that void. The company moved to California and San Jose in 1917 for the better growing season, but maintained their farm in New York[1].

Aiello Brothers operated a large cannery on Moorpark Ave. in San Jose[2]. A Western Canner and Packer article mentioned that the cannery was operating to capacity on tomato paste, the entire pack being contracted for by Antonio Morici, Chicago importer.[3].

Aiello Brothers sold the cannery to Hershel California Fruit Products in 1920. Contadina disappeared from city directories in that year. The Aiellos continued to serve as officers for Hershel California and worked at the cannery through 1927, but no longer appeared in association by 1930. Antonio Gagni, noted as a cofounder, sold his stake in Contadina Canning Co. in 1936[4].

A new cannery was started in Gilroy in 1931 under the Aiello name, but it's unclear if it was the same family[5].


Location Years Address Details
Gilroy 1931 Being built
Highland, New York 1917
New York City None 12 First Street
San Jose, CA 1917 Moorpark and Race Street


Aiello family details: <verbatim> 1916: [[[Contadina]] not listed] 1917: Aiello, Joseph, baker, 865 Orchard 1917: [contadina not listed] 1918 [no aiellos] 1919: carlo Aiello, 2nd vice president, salsina canning, h 55 page 1919: frank aiello, contadina canning, h 142 martha 1919: joe aiello, buyer, salsina canning, 55 page 1919: contadina canning company, antonio morici, antonio gagni, frank aiello, race cor moorpark 1920: giuseppi aiello, laborer, 475 chapman 1922: Carlo aiello, 401 h w. san fernando 1922: carlo aiello, fruit broker, r 259 race 1922: frank aiello, hershel california fruit produxts, r 259 race 1922: joseph aiello, fruit broker, 259 race 1922: no contadina 1922: aron hershel mgr hershel california fruit products co h 34 fremont 1922: hershel california fruit products aaron hershel, anton gagni, frank aiello, race cor moorpark 1923: aiello, carlo, h 401 w. san fernando 1923: frank aiello hershel california fruit products r 259 race 1923: giuseppe aiello laborer h 1351 locusts 1923: joseph fruit buyer h 259 race 1923: hershel california fruit products aaron hershel anton gagni, frank aiello, race corner moorpark 1927: aiello florence clerk hart and son 831 harliss 1927: frank (frances) hershel california fruit products co h moorpark av for race 1927: jean sten hershel california fruit products co r moorpark for race 1927: joseph conchetta h 831 harliss 1927: joseph (rose) fruit buyer h 296 hanshett 1927: peter f stdt h moorpark cor race 1927: rose mrs ladies furnishings 64 e san fernando 1927: Hershel california fruit products aaron hershel general manager packers of contadina pacific star brands tomato paste our specialty 1930: aiello frank (frances) h 998 moorpark 1930: jean m. clerk hershel california fruit products r 998 moorpark 1930: joe (rose) (Aiello and Aiello) h 1394 hanschett 1930: joseph (concheta) lab 831 harliss 1930: mary r 831 harlesss 1930: peter (angeline) aiello and aiello 998 moorpark 1930: rose mrs with garden city manufacturing r 1394 hanshett 1930: valentine r 998 moorpark 1930: aiello and aiello, (peter and joseph) fruit packers 389 n. san pedro 1930: Hershel california fruit products aaron hershel general manager packers of contadina pacific star brands tomato paste our specialty </verbatim>

Highland NY, and New York City office mentioned in Canner's Directory


  1. Paolo's restaurant history
  2. October 1917 Western Canner and Packer
  3. Unknown issue, Western Canner and Packer
  4. Obituary: John Gagni, 82, scion of cannery family. May 2003 San Jose Mercury News. "Mr. Gagni was the son of Antonio Gagni, a native of Sicily who came to San Jose from Brooklyn, NY in 1916. The elder Gagni was one of the original tomato paste packers and a co-founder of Contadina Canning Co., once located on Moorpark Avenue in San Jose. The Gagni family sold its interest in Contadina in 1936."
  5. January 26, 1931 San Jose Evening News