Western Libraries

Business and History - W. H. Schwartz & Sons Ltd.

W. H. Schwartz & Sons Ltd.

This page was reproduced with permission from the Canadian Manufactures Association. The Canadian Manufacturers Association, renamed Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, holds the Copyright for the text and images.

This information came from Industry '67 Centennial Perspective, published by The Canadian Manufacturers' Association in May 1967. The original document is accessible through Western Libraries Shared Catalogue.


Canadian Centennial Companies Crest

The first William Schwartz emigrated to Nova Scotia from Holland at the beginning of the 19th century, bringing with him certain cherished family recipes which have since found, through the products of W. H. Schwartz & Sons Ltd., a vastly wider public than he could have dreamed of.

It was this immigrant's son, W. H. Schwartz who founded Canada's oldest coffee and spice house in 1841, in a shed at the rear of the family home in Halifax, equipped with a small handoperated coffee roaster and mill.

The founder's son, W. E. Schwartz, expanded the business to include spices, which he sold personally throughout Nova Scotia, leaving his factory for months at a time and travelling in winter by horse and sleigh, in summer by bicycle.

Now in its 126th year, the House of Schwartz is operating under the direction of fourth and fifth generation members of the founding family.

The President is W. H. C. Schwartz, a grandson of the founder; the President's son, W. E. Schwartz, is a Vice‑President and second in command for both the Atlantic and Central Canada Divisions; his brother, J. A. E. Schwartz, is resident director of the firm's Quebec‑based operations.

President W. H. C. Schwartz is one of the Atlantic Provinces' outstanding businessmen President of Maritime Life Assurance Company: and a director of the Bank of Nova Scotia and of several other large Canadian companies. He was the first and, for a time, the only salesman for his firm when it moved into the Quebec‑Ontario market over 45 years ago. He found a ready market for the company's products in Quebec, and reinforced it by instituting a program of packaging and labelling oriented to the French language. Adoption of the distinctive white "S" logo, and a complete repackaging program, have been other landmarks of President W. H. C. Schwartz's term of office.

Production facilities of the Halifax plant were enlarged by purchase of the old S. H. Ewing Limited factory. When the enlarged plant in its turn became over‑taxed, a new one was built in Candiac, Quebec, and afterwards expanded. Plans are now being made for a new plant to serve the Atlantic area. It will replace the two present factories in Halifax and will be located in the city's suburbs.

Many new lines have been added to the original coffee and spices, including prepared mustard, peanut butter, packaged dates and raisins, flavoring extracts and cake decorations. There are over 100 items in spices and a new line of Gourmet Seasonings.

In recent years, Schwartz has returned to the food markets of England, where its sales were temporarily interrupted by the onset of World War II. Sales in the British market are now reestablished and growing to sizeable proportions.