Balfour Guthrie

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Investment Company
Main Location

London, UK

Balfour, Guthrie, and Company was a British food producer and wholesaler with large operations in California in canned fruit, canned fish, and dried fruit. The company appears at the turn of the century (with their canneries being a possible part of the California Fruit Canners' Association and as a member of the California Cured Fruit Association[1].

In the 1920's when Balfour, Guthrie, & Co. prepared to buy the former Virden canneries in Marysville, San Jose, Elmhurst, Fruitvale, and Emeryville[2]. It's unclear whether any of the purchases went through.

Balfour, Guthrie, and Co. bought the 12,000 acre Marsh Ranch near Brentwood in 1910, and subdivided the town of Brentwood[3]. The company also supposedly owned a share of the Alaska Packers Association[4], and invested in the California Packing Corporation[5]. The company also built a wharf at Port Costa to ship its dried fruit from Brentwood.


Location Years Address Details
Oakland None
San Jose None
San Jose None Lincoln Avenue at Auzerais Street (Bought Virden?)


  1. California Cured Fruit Association drop-off locations: Cannery trust article
  2. Five California Packing Plants are Reported Sold: May 5, 1926 Gridley Herald.
  3. History of the City of Brentwood.
  4. Richard Walker, Another Round of Globalization in San Francisco. In Urba Geography, 1996, 17:1 60-94.
  5. Mira Wilkins, The History of Foreign Investment in the United States 1914-1945,Harvard University Press, 2009, p.221.