Louis Saroni (August 1858 – December 6, 1936) was the founder of candy and sugar businesses, and is the namesake of Saroni Drive in Montclair.
Saroni was born in August 1858, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Alexander Simon Saroni and Marianne Saroni, the fourth of five children. In 1874, the family moved to San Francisco, and Louis was listed in the 1880 census as a candy manufacturer. (It's not yet known whether this was for someone else or on his own account.) His brother-in-law David Hirschfeld was also listed as a candy manufacturer.
In 1886, Louis married Isabelle ("Belle") Wand (Saroni) (September 1885 – June 14, 1931), and they had two children, Cora Saroni (Kramer) (January 14, 1887 – May 11, 1980) and Alfred Benjamin Saroni (November 22, 1889 – November 3, 1961). Alfred married Claire Zellerbach (Saroni) of the Zellerbach family which was part of the Crown Zellerbach paper company. 5
Following the 1906 earthquake, the Saroni family was forced to move, and settled in Oakland for a time.
The family lived mostly in San Francisco, but at the time of Louis' death, he was living in Piedmont. 7
Candy and Sugar
Saroni started a candy business in San Francisco. After moving to Oakland following the 1906 earthquake, the family started a sugar wholesaling business, which coincidentally was the same year C & H Sugar started in Crockett, CA. The family moved back to San Francisco, but the sugar business stayed in Oakland.
The family expanded the business to include rice, and later, other food products. Louis' son Alfred took over running the business, and Louis focused on real estate.
The business was at 411 Webster c.1918, and later near 4th and Harrison. Much later it was at 727 Kennedy St. In 1995, the Saroni family sold its food businesses to Garabedian. In 2008, it was sold again and became part of Con Agra.
Trivia: Louis Saroni owned the Lafayette Apartments in Berkeley for a time, which later became (the somewhat infamous) Barrington Hall in the UC Berkeley co-op housing system. 2
Links and References
- Businesses spawned in disaster prospered Oakland Tribune April 15, 2006
- East Bay: Then and Now: When Southside Apartment Living Was All the Rage berkeleyheritage.com July 9, 2007
- Saroni Sugar Here 20 Years This Month Oakland Tribune April 18, 1926
- Naming Our City Streets by Albert E. Norman Oakland Tribune February 19, 1961
- Mrs. Saroni, Arts Patron, Dies in SF Oakland Tribune November 14, 1962
- Albert Saroni obituary Oakland Tribune November 9, 1961
- Rites Held for Louis Saroni Oakland Tribune December 8, 1836