Seattle Coffee History question (Corona Coffee)
I have before me a 3.5 lb glass container that has a label on it that says Corona Blend Coffee. It is a predominantly silver label with navy blue accents, and a "Juan Valdez"-like character next to a donkey. The lower part of the label has the words "imported-roasted and packed by Commercial Importing Co." with Seattle, Tacoma and Portland printed below it. It has a metal screw-on lid, plus a metal and wood handle affixed on each side. A pure guess, this appears to be something out of the 40's or 50's. I have googled everything that I can think of in trying to find out where this jar originated, without luck.
Anyone have any idea's?
My searches turned up quite a bit. For example, they advertised in the UW yearbook in 1916. Slogan: "The aristocrat of coffees". Apparently it was a fairly popular brand for quite a long time, I also found an ad from the Spokane Daily Chronicle July 26th, 1940. Their slogan then? "Costs More, Worth More"
I just responded to an earlier post of yours, but now having looked at all the Ebay links, perhaps you are correct. Thanks for helping me out. So now I need to determine what age my coffee container is. Any idea's, short of getting ahold of Douglas Distributing (Continental Importing)?
My Dad, Phil Fagan, was a nephew by marriage to John Shaw who was an owner of Commercial Importing. Dad worked from the early 30's until the start of WWII when he moved to war-related work.
We had a "Juan" , the mozo, and "Delores", the donkey, in inexpensive plaster of paris. "Juan" took a tumble but we still have "Delores", whose ear is slightly damaged.
I notice the above posting is over a year old. I logged on today to see what I could find about my Dad's employer from long ago. Dad had a restaurant coffee route from Seattle to Tacoma along Hwy. 99. I sometimes went with him on his route. My favorite stop was "The Big Tree Inn", partly constructed out of a large evergreen.
We have not found many relics from this early coffee company in our antiquing. My daughter found a jar similar to the one above. I found a large metal coffee storage container in a restaurant in Packwood, WA and obtained it.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
Here's one that looks similar stated to be from the 1930's.
Channel: Online Auction
1930's Embossed Corona Coffee Jar, Paper Label, Lid
1930's Embossed Corona Coffee Jar, with original foil/paper label, and metal lid. Excellent condition, label shows light wear. Commercial Importing Co. Seattle, Tacoma, Portland. Vacuum Packed Coffee, Highest Grade, 1# net. Its actually a quart size jar. No chips, very nice piece.
History of Royal Corona Coffee
In 1899 John Shaw (husband of Gertrude Fagan) filed his papers incorporating the Commercial Importing Company (CIC).
The coffee business started in 1899, was mainly concerned with coffee sales. Tea became a second product line, as a natural extension of coffee as well as an effort to expand into the Canadian market. John also had coffee plantation holdings in South America.
Shaw’s best sales technique involved the leasing of a quality coffee urn for one dollar per month, with the understanding that the retailer would then buy coffee from CIC. Shaw’s business logo was “Cost More – Worth More”. This became his business rationale as well.
John N Shaw was president of the CIC, a pioneer Seattle wholesale tea and coffee firm. Its principle product is coffee marketed under the name of Royal Corona. Shaw was a nationally known tea expert and a tea taster for the Department of Agriculture’s National Tea Board for a number of years.
CIC had offices in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Tacoma, and Spokane and distributed coffee into Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia.
Following Shaw’s death in 1953 the assets of CIC were purchased by Continental Coffee Company of Chicago. In 1954 the CIC name was changed to Royal Corona Coffee Company.
About 1936 John Shaw began business in Salk Lake City with a relationship with Paul J Cecil.
When John Shaw died, the Salk Lake City operation was sold along with the Seattle firm to the Laken family, owners of Continental Coffee, Chicago.
About 1953, Paul added a partner, Vaughn Calwell and together they both mortgaged their homes and bought the business from the Laken’s.