What We're About
In 1858, when Old Judge Coffee was first roasted, coffee was 4-6 cents a pound and delivered in bulk on horse drawn wagons. Sixty-six Steamboats left Saint Louis daily to travel the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers, and a 320 acre farm in what is now St. Louis County sold for sixty dollars. Back then, the Old Judge Coffee Company was known as the "Flint-Evans Company," and not long after that, the "David G. Evans Company." St. Louis in 1858 was a bordertown and point of departure for all points west. Of the thousands of pounds of coffee that went west, a majority came from the Old Judge Company.
Coffee was the principal product of the company, but it also packaged and produced related products like tea, spices, flavoring extracts, and sold coffee roasters and grinders.
The David G. Evans Coffee Company used to receive samples from loads of coffee when they arrived at the docks on the Mississippi river, bid for, bought, then roasted and blended the coffee at the Old Judge warehouse which still stands at Laclede's Landing in St. Louis, MO.
Salesmen would come to the warehouse each morning with horse drawn wagons. At dawn those salesmen would load their wagons and start off on their routes. They called on grocery stores and large commercial users twice daily. First to deliver yesterday's orders on their way out, and then pick up orders for the next day on their way back.
Old Judge was first sold in bulk to grocers and commercial customers. The coffee was initially sold to individual customers in colored paper bags. Then came glass jars, vacuum- bags, and finally the vacuum packed can. Old Judge was one of the first coffee companies in the world to package coffee in a vacuum-packed can.
In 1962 The Old Judge Company was acquired by Chock Full O' Nuts and production languished into the 1980's.
In 2020, David Messner acquired the Old Judge Trademark and re-launched the company as a platform for highlighting heritage St. Louis and Midwest brands. This is a new chapter and we look forward to introducing a new generation to Old Judge Coffee.
Old Judge Coffee is a snapshot of the legacy of St. Louis and the larger Midwest. It’s part of a history of keeping things simple and doing them the right way. A hundred years ago, to create a unique flavor, Old Judge Coffee was made from the best coffees arriving at the local shipping dock. Today, we are doing the same thing but with a modern twist.
Old Judge Quality
Old Judge started with coffee, but we are not stopping there. Just like St. Louis, we are looking at a land of opportunity and refusing to limit ourselves to mediocrity. You can trust that with us, Old Judge Coffee is expanding into a complete line of products dedicated to quality, value for the customer, and great taste.
You don’t have to look up the old commercials or the historical documents to get a touch of the history of St. Louis— just buy one of our products. It is no longer limited to memories and nostalgia. Old Judge Coffee is back, and it’s here to stay.
Don’t miss out on your chance to be part of our future.