Franklin Baker

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for the English minister see Franklin Baker (minister)

Franklin Baker, a flour miller in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, started the business's desiccated coconut business in 1895.

Career[edit]

The Baker's business was founded after he received a cargo of fresh coconuts from Cuba in payment for a consignment of flour he exported. Baker searched for a buyer for the coconuts, and became convinced there was an untapped market for coconut. He came across a small business in Arch Street, Philadelphia, which was about to fold. Mr. Baker bought it for a few thousand dollars and with his boatload of coconuts he entered the coconut business. From that modest start, Baker's coconut has grown to become the foremost supplier of coconut products in the United States.

By 1897, Franklin Baker made so much progress with his new product that he decided to sell his flour business to concentrate on his coconut business.[1] Thereafter, Franklin Baker Jr. joined his father in the business that eventually became known as the Franklin Baker Company.[2]

Franklin Baker Company

In 1913, manufacturing facilities were moved to Brooklyn, New York. In 1924 the business was relocated to Hoboken, New Jersey. Franklin Baker began processing coconut in the Philippines in 1922 at a plant in Sta. Mesa, Manila. This gave birth to the Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines.[3] The original intention was to process coconuts in the Philippines to supply their New Jersey plant with desiccated coconut instead of importing whole nuts from the Caribbean countries.

General Foods Corporation acquired the Franklin Baker Company in 1927, and operations were transferred to a bigger and modern factory in San Pablo City in Laguna, in close proximity to abundant coconut supply.[4] During the Second World War, the San Pablo plant sustained heavy damage due to the bombings. Operations were thus moved back to the United States to ensure continuity of the business. Fresh coconuts from Puerto Rico and Jamaica were brought to the Hoboken plant for processing. Eventually, the San Pablo plant was rebuilt in 1947 at its current location.

In 1964, the U.S. processing facility was moved from Hoboken to Dover, Delaware. By this time, all the base processing was being done in the Philippines while the Dover plant sweetened, toasted and creamed the desiccated coconut for industrial and retail customers.

In 1987, Philip Morris, owners of General Foods, bought Kraft. The Franklin Baker desiccated coconut products were put into the Kraft Food Ingredients Group. In 2004, Kraft, realizing that coconut products were not totally aligned with its core businesses, decided to sell the Franklin Baker Company industrial product lines. Out of the many companies that put in their bids, Kraft selected Andorra Ventures Corporation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hauser,Odell. 1976 . The Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition, page 345. Philadelphia: Current Publications, Inc., Philadelphia
  2. ^ Franklin Baker Company
  3. ^ Patent, Greg. 2002 . Baking in America, Page 219.USA: Houghton Mifflin Cookbooks
  4. ^ Diehl Family. 2002 . Civilian Prisoners Of The Japanese In The Philippine Islands, Page 16.Turner Publishing Company