Schwartz Coffee & Spices

W.H. SCHWARTZ & SONS

HALIFAX, NS

CIRCA 1841-1984

FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS AS A COFFEE ROASTER IN HALIFAX’S NORTH END, THE SCHWARTZ BRAND EXPANDED EXPONENTIALLY UNDER FAMILY OWNERSHIP OVER THE NEXT CENTURY BEFORE BEING ACQUIRED BY MCCORMICK & COMPANY IN 1984.

THE ADDITION OF A SPICE MILL IN 1880 WAS DEFINITELY A DEFINING MOMENT FOR THE COMPANY AS IT OPENED UP THEIR STABLE OF PRODUCTS CONSIDERABLY.  IT ALLOWED THEM TO FOCUS ON QUALITY AND TO BE THE FIRST IN CANADA TO SELL “PURE” SPICES.  AT THE TIME, THE NORMAL WAY TO BUY SPICES WAS TO HAVE THEM MIXED WITH CORNMEAL OR FLOUR AND BUYING SMALL QUANTITIES OF PURE SPICE IN BOTTLES WAS A NEW IDEA.

SON OF THE FOUNDER, WILLIAM E. SCHWARTZ ALSO IMPORTED THE FIRST BICYCLE FROM THE UK WITH INFLATED TIRES - HE USED THIS BICYCLE TO TRAVEL ALL OVER NOVA SCOTIA, SELLING HIS SPICES.

IN THE 1950’S THE COMPANY BECAME FAMOUS FOR THEIR BIG “S” LOGO AND THEIR SLOGAN OF “SAY SCHWARTZ AND BE SURE”. 

AS EARLY AS THE 1930’S SCHWARTZ WAS SELLING IN OVER 50 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.

IN THE 1950’S SCHWARTZ BEGAN SELLING PREPARED MUSTARD AND PEANUT BUTTER IN REUSABLE GLASSES EMBLAZONED WITH PLAYING CARD SUITS - ACES, HEARTS, CLUBS & SPADES.  MANY KIDS GREW UP WITH THESE AS THE ONLY DRINKING GLASSES IN THEIR HOUSE, BUT TODAY THEY ARE COLLECTOR’S ITEMS.

BY THE 1960’S, THE GRANDSON OF THE FOUNDER, W.H.C. SCHWARTZ WAS PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY ENTERPRISE, BUT ALSO SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF MARITIME LIFE ASSURANCE CO AND A DIRECTOR OF THE BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA.

HEAVY TAXATION OF THEIR FACTORIES IN NOVA SCOTIA LED THEM TO OPEN PRODUCTION FACILITIES IN QUEBEC, BUT THE NOVA SCOTIA OPERATIONS CONTINUED UNTIL THE 1980’S.

TODAY, THE SCHWARTZ BRAND HAS DISAPPEARED FROM CANADIAN PANTRIES, BUT STILL REMAINS THE BRAND UNDER WHICH MCCORMICK OPERATES IN THE UK.

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