'A part of the large stock of useful articles given to our customers'
Grand Union Tea Company Brooklyn-Borough of New York. Established 1872
'You see our wagons everywhere'
Catalog of items that can be redeemed by tickets from the customers. Ranges from Oak Roman Chair (100 tickets), lace curtains (120 tickets a pair), Ormolu clock (300 tickets), and dinner set Berlin 1903 (440 tickets)
31 x 24 cm
The Jones brothers started their tea company in 1872 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Frank Jones had the idea to sell their tea and coffee products directly to consumers, leaving out grocers and other middlemen.
They began by going door to door in Scranton. The name of their company was the Jones Brothers Tea Company, aka the Grand Union Tea Company. The name “Grand Union” was supposed to be an inspiration to shoppers engaging in a “grand union of savings.”
Before they left Scranton, the brothers established a chain of stores that carried just their own products. They moved to Brooklyn in 1893 and purchased the Dumbo property in order to expand their business.
They continued to open branch stores across the Northeast, as their warehouses in Dumbo continued to grow. It eventually became this factory.
The 1904 edition of King’s Views of Brooklyn states that this was the “largest warehouse and factory in the United States for teas, coffees, spices, flavoring extracts, baking-powders and soaps.”
By 1913, even before this building was built, the company employed 293 people. By 1917, there were 262 stores in 33 states and Washington, D.C., and by 1927, it operated 650 stores.
When 68 Jay Street was completed, the Grand Union warehouse had 10 acres of floor space. It shipped 120,000 cakes of soap and 20,000 pounds of baking soda each day. The company’s yearly output of coffee was 32 million pounds.