California Conserving Company

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California Home-Brand Products. Logo was a downward-pointing triangle with the letters CHB[1].

California Supply Company

Hunt Brothers Packing Company

The California Conserving Company was a food processor in the mid 20th century. The California Conserving Company was founded in San Francisco in 1860, and moved to Hayward in 1900[2]. By 1925, it claimed to be the largest pickle and tomato plant "in a single unit" in the U.S. "It operated year-round producing catsup, chili sauce, tomato paste, and other tomato-based products as well as a wide variety of pickles, wine vinegar, white vinegar, cider vinegar, mustard, sauerkraut, and Worcestershire sauce." The company also produced "Spaniola Sauce". The company canned under the California Home brand.[3].

The company may have been founded by John Koster as the Pacific Vinegar and Pickle Works[4].

In 1920, Judah Newman was president, E.S. Wangenheim, vice president and treasurer, F. Schumacher, secretary. Wagenheim was later president[5].

In 1920, California Conserving Company apparently considered leasing their warehouse to the Canners Warehouse Company for field warehousing of canned goods and canning supplies[6].

The company used Emil Brisacher of San Francisco as their advertising agency in 1922[7].

The company bought the Mountain View-based California Supply Company in the early 1940's, and made pickles at that plant. They moved from Mountain View to a modern Fremont plant in the early 1950's[8].

California Conserving Company merged with Hunts in 1946.


Location Years Address Details
Grand Island 1927 River Road Just south of Ryde along Sacramento River[9]
Hayward 1931-1946 Lower A Street near SP tracks
Mountain View 1941-1950s Oak Street at railroad tracks, east/south of Sunsweet. Some sources claim closed in 1950; one person who grew up in Sunnyvale says he worked at the plant during the summer of 1953.
San Francisco 1922 110 Market Street[10]
San Jose 1972 1325 E. Julian St.[11]


  1. California Conserving Company, Inc: [1], Logo was dead by 1964, and was used for canned tuna, sandwich spread, mayonnaise, and pickles.
  2. City of Hayward Historic Preservation Program
  3. December 7, 1934 San Jose Evening News. Also noted the company giving away free glasses in exchange for canning labels.
  4. Obituary: John L. Koster. In April 1923 Western Canner and Packer. "On the 31st of March John L. Koster passed away at Saratoga, California. He was 83 years of age. Mr Koster, who was a native of Charleston S.C. came to California by way of the Isthmus at the age of 19. He spent some time in Nevada during a mining boom but returned to San Francisco where he established the Pacific Vinegar and Pickle Works, now the California Conserving Company. Later he built the Pacific Woodenware and Cooperage Company, later merging with the California Barrel Company which he founded.... associated with Claus Sprecklels Sr., being one of the organizers of the Western Beet Sugar Company and the Pajaro Valley Railroad Company. ... organized the Honolulu Plantation Company... one of the contributors to the building of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad (Santa Fe)."
  5. California Conserving Conpany: California Food Products directory. 1920, A. Marks, San Francisco.
  6. Application of the Canners Warehouse Company: Decisions of the California Railroad Commission, Application #5661, decided May 17, 1920
  7. California Conserving Company Appoints Agency: November 2, 1922 Printers Ink
  8. June 28, 2002 Mountain View Voice. The 1950 closing date may be wrong; a former employee said he worked there in the summer of 1953.
  9. Pratt-Low Info, Cannery Landing RV Campground. Site shows 1928 steamboat map showing Libby Cannery, California Conserving, and Pratt-Low Cannery along west bank of Sacramento River in Grand Island, just south of Ryde.
  10. Membership List: Annual Report: Board of Trade of San Francisco. 1922
  11. List of manufacturing businesses in Santa Clara County, Vocational Education memo, 1972.