In 1915 the Pacific Coast Shredded Wheat Company, a division of the Shredded Wheat Company, opened a large processing plant located at 1267 - 14th Street in West Oakland, California. The plant was first proposed in 1914 -- and an article in the June 7, 1914 Oakland Tribune with the headline "Factory Invades a Residence Section" asserted that "[p]ractically no complaint has been heard from nearby property-owners over the location" of the plant "in a strictly residence district," allegedly due to the "proposed artistic buildings, surrounded by beautiful grounds." The building was designed by L.P. Hobart, and built by Clinton Construction. 3
Caption on the 1917 photo below reads 'Shredded Wheat Factory, 14th and Union Streets, Oakland. This Niagara Falls concern located in Oakland against the competition of Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Model steel, glass and concrete factory, four stories in height, occupying two city blocks. Has six concrete storage tanks holding a total of 65,000 barrels of wheat. Total investment $500,000. Employs 250 operatives."
The Shredded Wheat Company was purchased by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) in December 1928.
Today the factory has been run since 1994 by the California Cereal Products (CCP) which produces and distributes organic rice flour, crisp rice, and corn flakes, which is mainly exported to Japan. Tours are given of the Gothic style building, but there are restrictions including no cameras, no jewelry, and visitors must wear hairnets and sleeves.
Links and References
Shredded Wheat Factory, Oakland History Room, Oakland Public Library
Shredded Wheat Factory photo CC BY-ND 2.0 by Nick Fisher
ad Architect and Engineer January 1917
- Shredded Wheat History Chronology
A Tour of Oakland Food Industries Lisa Lau's Blog
- Oakland by Annalee Allen and Edmund Clausen (page 56)
Shredded Wheat Company, Factory, Oakland, CA Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)
Shredded Wheat Factory and Houses, Oakland, California c.1935 (Black & White photo - Copyright © Estate of Ansel Adams)
Main Office of Shredded Wheat, Oakland 1919 flickr (Black & White photo)