The Folger Coffee Company has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 17th century. The forerunner of the company was founded in 1850 in San Francisco, California, as Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. It was here that James Folger, at the age of 14, got his first job. He and his two brothers had come from Nantucket in search of gold after a big fire destroyed their family's livelihood. James worked for William Bovee, who saw the opportunity to produce roasted and ground coffee ready for brewing.
An 1852 advertisement for Bovee's coffee and spice mill featured a gold miner by a Sierra creek. An original coffee barrel from J. A. Folger & Co., which stored roasted coffee beans, is still around today. Workers prepared to ship Folgers Regular Grind and the new Folgers Drip Grind, while vendors were hired to find and clean glass jars and packers struggled to make airtight lids out of waxed cardboard.
During World War II, an ad informed customers about Folger's updated metal preservation packaging. In 1968, Folger's introduced decaffeinated coffee in the green can. The company also launched a campaign called “Tastes as Rich It as Looks” to promote Folgers Crystals. This was followed by a promotional display item featuring a Folgers ERTL ride-on racer coffee machine. Folgers Memorial Tin was sold to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans. Today, the company has a commitment to coffee producers and drinkers around the world.
Until Folgers provided affordable coffee for purchase, ground coffee was unheard of at the wholesale level. James Folger II took Folgers Coffee national in 1889, using its bulk roasted coffee to spread the name across the country. He dispatched salespeople all over the West, going head-to-head and often winning against East Coast coffee giant Arbuckle's.During World War II, instant coffee was in high demand from soldiers who were at war, and when they returned, Folgers instant coffee was still in demand. One of the hardest parts of Folger's story is when the company became known simply as JA Folger & Co. Every employee plays an invaluable role in delivering the best tasting, best quality coffee to consumers every day. The knowledge and heritage behind the delicious and timeless taste of Folgers coffee has been passed down for more than 160 years.