Charles William "C.W." Post (1854-1914) began his breakfast empire in 1892 when he opened La Vita Inn sanitarium on this site. Post's first commercial success occurred in 1894 when he created the hot beverage Postum. In 1896 he organized the Postum Cereal Company. His continued experiments with grains resulted in Grape-Nuts, his first cold cereal, in 1897. In 1908-09 sales from Grape Nuts, Postum, and Post Toasties surpassed $5 million. Upon Post's death, his daughter Marjorie ran the company, continuing to advertise extensively and expanding the product line. In 1929 Postum became the General Food Corporation. The Philip Morris Companies purchased General Foods in 1985, and the plant became Part of Kraft Foods in 1989.
Breakfast cereal production began on this site in 1894 when C.W. Post perfected his Postum drink. Remarkable as a factory with structures dating from as early as 1895, the complex reflects the evolution of cereal making. Post began commercial production from one barn. Eventually everything from research to grain processing to packaging occurred here. Known during the early 1900s as the "White City" because of the widespread use of white paint, the complex grew to include grain silos, a power plant offices, processing plants, a paper factory, and warehouses. Post had his office in the Elizabethan building at the center, which also housed the advertising department. It became the employee clubhouse in 1925.
Last Day Local is a blog prompt I use to celebrate the history of Battle Creek, Michigan, my hometown for the past 25 years. I try to post one article on the last day of the month about the heritage and history of Battle Creek, The Cereal City!