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In 1922, Italian immigrant John B. Sanfilippo began a small pecan shelling company out of a rented store front on Larrabee Street in Chicago. He eventually joined his father, Gaspare, to open a small factory on Division Street to crack and shell pecans.
It was from these humble beginnings that John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc., owner of Fisher Nuts, grew to become a premier processor, marketer and distributor of baking nuts, snack nuts and nut-based products. Today, these products can be found under the Fisher, Orchard Valley Harvest and Sunshine Country brand names, and a variety of private brands.
JBSS is celebrating its 90th year in business with sales having grown to exceed $674 million over its history. Attributing much of its success to the strong business principles from the early days of the pecan industry, JBSS celebrated its Founder’s Day on March 5, which coincides with founder John B. Sanfilippo’s birthday.
“John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. is proud to be a fourth-generation Chicago-based company committed to quality, expertise and innovation,” said Jeffrey Sanfilippo, CEO. “Our employees are dedicated to carrying on John B. Sanfilippo’s legacy of providing the freshest, best quality nuts to consumers around the world.”
John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. Through the Years
1910: John B. Sanfilippo, along with his brother, Joe, and mother, Rosa, joined his father in America from Sicily.
1922: JBSS began business in a storefront location in Chicago.
1929: A factory on Division Street was built to crack and shell pecans.
1945: JBSS integrated an automatic pecan cracker at its plant with two machines, and boosted production to shelling 150,000 pounds per year.
1963: Upon the death of John B. Sanfilippo, Jasper Sanfilippo took over as president of JBSS.
1970s: JBSS diversified its product line and moved into packaging and distribution by acquiring the route distribution business of the H.H. Evon Co.
1991: JBSS went public to raise capital for long-term expansion plans. By that year, sales reached $151 million with continued expansion to other varieties of tree nuts and peanuts. The company also began acquiring other companies and brands and expanded operations into the nut growing regions of the United States. JBSS operates shelling and processing facilities in Gustine, Calif.; Selma, Texas; Bainbridge, Ga.; and Garysburg, N.C.
1995: JBSS purchased the Fisher Nut brand in 1995 from Procter & Gamble.
2007: JBSS constructed a new 1.1 million square-foot corporate headquarters, which includes processing, packaging and a distribution center.
Today: Recent JBSS innovations include the “Freshness Seal” bag for Fisher Baking Nuts and the “Freshness You Can See” can and jar for Fisher Snack Nuts. The vision of JBSS is to be the global source for nuts, committed to quality, expertise and innovation that delivers an unmatched experience to customers and consumers.