Ben Hur

From Interstate 5, outside downtown San Diego, you can see a Ben Hur. He won’t be thundering along at 95 miles per hour though. He’s stayed put there at 800 W. Ivy since way back in the 1920’s as Ben Hur Coffee, Tea and Spice Products, Inc. They were based out of Los Angeles in a building that also remains. However there the original art work is gone. Only a faded trace of the letters “Coffee.” Another sign “Angeles Desk Company” was painted over it. Luckily, this handsome display in San Diego survives and adorns the urban landscape.

Ben Hur Coffee, Tea and Spice had its day though. With plants also in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. They had a good contract going with Lucky Markets as producer of their store brand.

Six years after buying A. Schilling and Company of San Francisco, McCormick and Company then acquired Ben Hur Products, Inc in 1953. Schilling lived on in brand, but Ben Hur fell by the wayside.


You may find an old Ben Hur coffee tin on ebay selling for a hundred bucks. Or maybe a spice tin is more budget friendly.


I am Dan Soderberg, award winning documentary film maker and phototgrapher specializing in architecture, historic preservation and nature.
  • Zack

    Nevah hoid of it before now. Thanks.

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