In 1779, William Frederick Havemeyer, who had been an apprentice of a London sugar refiner, began running Mr. Seaman's refinery in New York City. His brother joined him in 1802. On January 1, 1807, a new plant was opened as Wm. and F.C. Havemaker. Another plant superseded this one in 1859. It was known as Havemayer, Townsend & Co Refinery. By 1864, the refinery was the most modern of its time. When the current plant was built in 1893, it was the largest sugar refinery in the world. After the Sugar Trust was ruled illegal in 1891, Henry Osborne Havemeyer and Theodore A. Havemeyer were elected as chairman and president, respectively, of the American Sugar Refining Company. In May 1896, American Sugar became one of the original 12 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The company subsequently acquired five additional refineries. The company became known as Domino Sugar in 1900 and was officially recognized by the patent office on October 8, 1901. In 1916, Domino introduced individually wrapped sugar tablets.
In 1970, the American Sugar Company became the Amstar Corporation. In 1975, Amstar sued Domino's Pizza for trademark infringement; Amstar won at trial but lost on appeal. Amstar was acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1983; KKR sold Amstar to Merrill Lynch three years later. Domino Sugar was acquired by Tate & Lyle in 1988.
In 2001, Domino Sugar officially became Domino Foods, Inc. Domino Sugar Corp. was sold by Tate & Lyle in 2001 to Florida Crystals Corporation and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida in a $180 million deal that closed on November 6, 2001. Florida Crystals is a privately held company that is part of FLO-SUN, a sugar empire of the Fanjul Brothers whose origins trace to Spanish-Cuban sugar plantations of the early 19th century.
- Official Domino Sugar website, with history, products, and other info
- Amstar Corp. v. Domino's Pizza, Inc., 615 F.2d 252, 260 (5th Cir. 1980)
- Amstar Sale Plan Reported
- Profits sour, Domino Sugar for sale
- Biz Journals news article on sale