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Hawaiian Pineapple Importing Company, Hawaiian Pineapple Company

The Hawaiian Pineapple Company was a Hawaiian pineapple producer with connections to mainline factories. The company was founded by James Drummond Dole, who had the goal of making Hawaiian fruit available on the mainland via canning. James was the brother of Sanford P. Dole, the first territorial governor of Hawaii. James Drummond Dole arrived in Hawaii in 1899 and bought agricultural land for a pineapple plantation immediately; he built his first cannery in 1901[1]. Dole primarily canned for other companies, but embossed "Dole" on their cans to build their brand name and to identify the quality level of the pineapple[2]. The company improved sales prospects by pairing with Hunt Brothers Packing Company as sales agent in 1907[3]. Dole increased production and acreage over the years, gaining 12,000 acres for pineapple in 1922 (in exchange for selling a one-third interest in the company to the Waialua Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of Castle and Cooke. That year, the company also out-produced the California Packing Corporation. Hawaiian Pineapple also bought the island of Lanai in 1922 for plantations.

The Hawaiian Pineapple Company had at least one plant on the mainland in San Jose. Elton R. Shaw initially worked with the Hawaiian Pineapple company to sell pineapple juice in the United States, and later sold his the Hyde-Shaw Company to Dole in 1910 on the promise of the canned fruit market. Pineapple juice did not catch on, and Hawaiian Pineapple got out of the market by 1913. The company sold the business to Richardson and Robbins in 1917.

Hawaiian Pineapple received several buyout offers from the California Packing Corporation and General Foods in 1929 and 1932. Because of financial problems associated with the Great Depression, the company went into receivership in 1932. Castle and Cooke, one of the "big five Hawaiian sugar producers, took a majority share of the new company and bought the rights to the Dole brand[4].

Dole in San Jose

Hawaiian Pineapple bought the Barron-Gray Packing Company in 1948, possibly to gain some control over a major buyer of pineapple for fruit cocktail. Dole would can pineapple in Hawaii and ship it in large #10 cans to San Jose, where it would be taken out of the cans and mixed with the other fruit to make fruit cocktail[5]. The former Barron-Gray plant was well-known as the Dole cannery in the 1940's and 1950's. In 1964, there were separate phone numbers for business office, warehouse office and receiving, hiring shift schedules for the cannery, weigh master and scale house, nurse, raw products, and personnel office. The plant was served both by the Southern Pacific (along Fourth Street) and Western Pacific (along Fifth). The Western Pacific had a separate siding for the "box pile", an empty lot where field boxes were stored in the off-season[6]. A lawsuit over a forklift-train collision also highlights operation of the plant[7] The forklift operators had to travel between the cannery and a warehouse by rolling out of the warehouse, down a ramp, across two switch tracks, and up a ramp into the main plant. Boxcars on spurs on either side of the ramp blocked the employee's view.</ref>.

The San Jose cannery was sold to Tri-Valley Growers and shut down in 1969, with Tri-Valley taking the machinery to its other plants in the Central Valley[8]. Dole's food testing laboratory was finally moved away from San Jose to Westlake Village in 1992. The Dole building headquarters still exists in San Jose, and is a modernist landmark.


Location Years Address Details
Honolulu 1901-1991 650 Ilwilei Road Converted to shops[9].
San Jose 160 East Virginia St.
San Jose 1910-1915 Fifth Street betwen Margaret and Patterson Related to ownership of Hyde-Shaw Company.

See deeds book 430 pg 369 and book 434 pg 133. Hawaiian Pineapple was selling to J. H. Hunt.

San Jose 1964 5th and Viriginia


See Jerry Fairbanks, Inc.:Dole Fruit Cocktail. Movie shows both the orchards of the Santa Clara valley as well as operation of the cannery in the 1950's.


  1. James Drummond Dole: Dole Plantation history
  2. Richard A. Hawkins, James D. Dole and the 1932 Failures of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. In Hawaiian Journal of History, v. 41(2007).
  3. Richard A. Hawkins, A Pacific Industry: The History of Pineapple Canning in Hawaii I.B. Tauris, London, 2011.
  4. Richard A. Hawkins, James D. Dole and the 1932 Failures of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. In Hawaiian Journal of History, v. 41(2007).
  5. [ INTERNATIONAL L. & W. UNION V. HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE CO. 226 F.2D 875 (9TH CIR. 1956) ]. Lawsuit based on Dole trying to evade strike and pickets by shipping canned pineapple to Oregon, then sending it to San Jose.
  6. Western Pacific Training Manual: San Jose Yard: William St. to Pomona Ave. track diagram. In Jeff Asay, "Track and Time: An Operational History of the Western Pacific..." 2006, Feather River Rail Society.
  7. Hawaiian Pineapple Co. vs Industrial Accident Commission, 40 Cal2nd 656, April 14, 1953
  8. April 22, 1969 San Jose Mercury News. Dole kept the land, and Tri-Valley took the equipment to Modesto.
  9. About the Dole Cannery: