Sauer’s Timeline

In 2019, Sauer’s celebrated 132 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.

  • 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.

  • 2007

    The C.F. Sauer Company celebrates its 120th anniversary. The celebration is held at company headquarters and is attended by hundreds of employees and community leaders. 

  • 2007

    Sauer’s launches a new packaging design for its entire product portfolio. New spice jars feature a unique square shape and convenient flip-top shaker cap. The brand also introduces dozens of new products, including grilling marinades, slow cooker seasoning mixes, and reduced-sodium varieties.

  • 2007

    Sauer’s introduces an award-winning, revolutionary new retail merchandising system. Innovative, self-rotating modules showcase and dispense spice jars in new packaging, and feature visually dynamic signage and consumer friendly spice descriptions and usage ideas.

  • 2012

    The C.F. Sauer Company celebrates its 125th anniversary. Commemorative flagpole banners and radio ads spread word across the City of Richmond.

  • 2014

    10 restaurants offer special dishes made with Sauer’s products for the “Sauer’s Dine Out!” event. Richmond diners download the Sauer’s Spices app and earn prizes when they try three specials and complete a punch card.

  • 2014

    Sauer’s sponsors the 1st annual Fire, Flour, & Fork, a four day gathering of chefs, producers, and food lovers in downtown Richmond. Attendees can sign up for an exclusive tour of the Sauer’s plant, compete in recipe contests using Sauer’s products, and compete in a spice-themed spelling bee.


    The C.F. Sauer Company introduces a paid summer internship program, inviting one qualified college student to join the Marketing team for 11 weeks of brand, website, e-commerce, and social media management skill-building.

  • 2016

    The C.F. Sauer Company launches new, best in class websites for Duke’s, The Spice Hunter, and Sauer’s. Websites are equipped with e-commerce and advanced recipe search capabilities. Unique interactive landing pages allow consumers to gain knowledge and expertise.

  • 2017

    Construction begins on The Sauer Center, a 40-acre mixed-use property development adjacent to The C.F. Sauer company headquarters on West Broad Street at Hermitage Road. Anchored by a new Whole Foods store, the state of the art facility will incorporate electric charging stations in the parking lot and solar panels on the building roof tops.

  • 2017

    In celebration of its 130th anniversary, Sauer’s partners with Richmond brewery Ardent Craft Ales to craft Vaulted Vanilla Milk Stout – a small batch, limited edition beer brewed with Sauer’s Vanilla Extract, aged for over 40 years in the Sauer’s vault. 100% of proceeds go to FeedMore.

  • 2017

    In the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, The C.F. Sauer Company donates over 40,000 pounds of product to FeedMore relief efforts.

  • 2019

    Sauer’s launches new logo and packaging design for entire portfolio of spices, extracts, seasoning mixes, and condiments to improve shelf appeal and articulate heritage.

  • 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.