The 1850s: Forging a Path


James A. Folger and his two brothers travel to San Francisco from Nantucket after a fire destroys their family’s livelihood. While his brothers hit the gold mines, 14-year-old James gets a job with William H. Bovee’s Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. Their logo featured a gold miner standing beside a Sierra stream.


By this time, James is a full partner of the company and begins purchasing his other partners’ shares. Then, in 1865, the economy collapses following the Civil War. The business goes bankrupt, but James convinces his creditors to pay off the company’s debts. He buys out all the other partners, reorganizes the company and renames it “J.A. Folger & Co.” Pictured is an original barrel that stored roasted coffee beans.

1880: Raising the Standard


“Cup-testing” emerges as a new method of determining the quality of coffee beans.  James implements the technique and develops specific standards for taste and aroma.  Today, we'd call this a damn good cup of coffee.

The Early 1900s: Branching Out


The company branches into new markets as salesman Frank P. Atha convinces grocers in eastern states to stock Folgers coffee. He often hands out coffee samples from elaborate in-store displays that he designed himself.


Just one year after moving in, the J.A. Folger & Co.’s building is one of the few to survive the Great San Francisco Earthquake. During the long grind of recovering and rebuilding, citizens are given free Folgers coffee.

The Mid-1900s: Onward & Upward


An ad encourages readers to “Enjoy Folgers Coffee Iced.” We’ve known our coffee is damn good at any temperature since before it was trendy.


Thanks to wartime changes in shipping routes, New Orleans becomes the hot new hub of the green coffee market. The company plans and constructs our largest coffee plant, and we’re proud to call NOLA our home to this day.

1984: Wakin’ Up


The slogan “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up Is Folgers in Your Cup®” is launched.

We know you sang along as you read it.

The 2000s: Building Community


Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. Our plant and many of our employee’s homes are severely damaged. As the city rebuilds, we set up temporary housing on our grounds for workers whose homes were lost. We’re the first major industry back in operation in NOLA after the hurricane, and we sell commemorative cans to assist in relief efforts.


Folgers coffee joins The J.M. Smucker Co. family of brands.

The 2020s: Refreshing Our Rep


Our rep gets a refresh with #DamnRightItsFolgers, an unapologetic celebration of our expert craft and deep roots in our hometown of New Orleans.


Dark roast coffee lovers get a big wake-up call: Folgers Black Silk is preferred over Starbucks® French Roast in a blind taste test*. 

*Nationwide test of hot brewed ground coffee purchased at grocery.