When we think of Folgers Coffee, we think of the iconic jingle “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup”. But how did this beloved coffee brand come to be? Let's take a look at the history of Folgers Coffee and the family behind it. In 1850, James A. Folger II, a young carpenter from Massachusetts, moved to San Francisco during the California Gold Rush. He found work as a clerk in William Bovee's coffee and spice mill, where he quickly learned the art of roasting coffee beans.
After a few years, he decided to start his own business and opened J. A. Folger & Co. in 1872. Folger's business grew rapidly, selling coffees under the Folgers Coffee brand and others, depending on the grade of the beans.
He dispatched salespeople all over the West, going head-to-head and often winning against East Coast coffee giant Arbuckle's.In 1889, James Folger II took over the company, which led to Folgers Coffee being enjoyed throughout the country. He was instrumental in making Folgers the number one coffee brand in the United States by introducing advertising campaigns featuring the character of Ms. Olson. She became the face of the brand for more than 20 years. In 1953, Folgers Instant was launched but later discontinued as it did not live up to customer expectations.
In 1968, a Folgers variety made especially for electric percolators was introduced. In 1989, Procter & Gamble acquired our coffee brand and started distributing Folgers nationwide. In 2005, Folgers Memorial Tin was sold to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans. Today, Folgers continues to be committed to coffee producers and drinkers around the world. So next time you open a fresh can of Folgers coffee and enjoy its aroma that fills your kitchen, remember that it all started with James A. Folger II's journey during the California Gold Rush.