Sauer’s Timeline

In 2017, Sauer’s celebrated 130 years in business. Sauer’s is known for its extracts, flavorings and spices. The company also sells spices, seasonings, mayonnaise, and salad dressings under a variety of brand names, including Duke’s Mayonnaise, Gold Medal, and BAMA.

  • 1887

    Conrad Frederick Sauer, a 21-year-old pharmacist, starts his own company on October 13, producing and selling pure-flavoring extracts in 5- and 10-gram bottles from the company’s first headquarters at the intersection of 17th Street and Broad Street.

  • 1911

    The C.F. Sauer Company moves to 2000 West Broad Street, where the company’s headquarters remain. The company has 250 workers, including 48 salesmen.

  • 1917

    Conrad Sauer, Sr. offers his company’s pharmaceutical capabilities for the war effort to President Woodrow Wilson, and Wilson accepts.

  • 1927

    The C.F. Sauer Company becomes the nation’s largest producer of extracts and spices. Conrad Sauer, Jr. is elected president and treasurer of the company following the death of his father.

  • 1929

    The C.F. Sauer Company buys Duke’s Products Company of Greenville, South Carolina. The Great Depression begins and a period of declining markets and the scarcity of raw materials challenges the company through World War II.

  • 1948

    The Joan Brooks Show, solely sponsored by The C.F. Sauer Company, premieres on a Richmond radio station. Eventually renamed The Sauer Show, it plays on 77 stations in 13 southern states until 1951.

  • 1957

    The C.F. Sauer Company adds Gold Medal black pepper to its growing product offerings.

  • 1964

    The C.F. Sauer Company buys Dean Foods, a margarine manufacturer, which produces private-label and foodservice products.

  • 1976

    Sauer’s buys Metrolina Plastics Inc. of Shelby, North Carolina, to make plastic spice cans, bottles, and tops for company products. Metrolina’s operations are now adjacent to Sauer’s production complex in Richmond.

  • 1984

    C.F. Sauer Foodservice is created to make commercial recipes and flavorings.

  • 1990-91

    The C.F. Sauer Company completes the expansion of its Greenville, South Carolina, manufacturing plant and adds a new distribution center in Richmond.

  • 1993

    Conrad Sauer, IV is elected president of the company.

  • 1996

    The C.F. Sauer Company buys BAMA brand food products from Welch Foods Inc., giving the company entry to the export market.

  • 1999

    In August, The C.F. Sauer Company buys The Spice Hunter of San Luis Obispo, California, a marketer of exotic spices, spice blends and all-natural foods. A few weeks later, the company purchases Mrs. Filbert’s Mayonnaise.

  • Since 2000

    The Greenville plant renovation increases production and storage abilities for high-volume products. The company builds a 210,000-square-foot mayonnaise plant in New Century, Kansas, providing nationwide distribution.

  • 2019

    After 132 years of private ownership, The C.F. Sauer Company is acquired by Falfurrias Capital Partners of Charlotte, North Carolina. The new owners are loyal fans of Sauer’s and Duke’s products.