Our History

  • 1907 –The Pioneer Canning Company builds new canning factory in St. Henry. The Pioneer Canning Co. packs 35,000 cases of tomatoes.
  • 1908 –“Warvell’s Wheat” a canned cereal launched by The Pioneer Canning Co.
  • LeonaLewis1919 –Leona Beckman marries Lewis Gast and hence a partnership is formed that would forge the lives of many throughout the next century. They have 5 children (Jim, Bob, Bill, Jon, & Jean)
  • 1922 –Henry Beckman (father of Leona), Luke Beckman (brother of Leona) and Lewis Gast purchase dry goods and clothing store. The Beckman & Gast Store opens in downtown St. Henry, Ohio.
  • 1928 –Luke Beckman and Lewis Gast purchase the B. H. Macke Canning Co.  The Beckman and Gast Canning Co. opens for business. Tomatoes, tomato juice, red beets, carrots, pumpkin, and dry beans are canned. Luke Beckman and Lewis Gast purchase a glove factory in Spencerville, Ohio. The Beckman & Gast Store is sold to Harry Romer.
  • turtlesoup1930 –The Beckman & Gast Canning Co. purchase a 160-acre farm in Cranberry Prairie. Luke Beckman and Lewis Gast incorporate the business as The Beckman & Gast Co., Inc.
  • 1935 –The Beckman & Gast Co. enter contract to can, sell, distribute  “Schnell’s Genuine Turtle Soup”
  • 1943 –Luke Beckman and Lewis Gast purchase the Minster Canning Co. as a partnership.
  • 1946 –Luke Beckman and Lewis Gast purchase a canning factory in New Carlisle, Ohio. Luke Beckman is President of the National Canners Association.
  • 1947 –The Beckman & Gast Co. enters contract to can and sell mung bean sprouts.10,000 cases were packed in 1947.  The sprout business was sold to LaChoy that same year.
  • 1948 –Luke Beckman & Lewis Gast sell the New Carlisle factory.
  • 1950 –Lewis Gast sells interest in the Minster Canning Co. to Luke Beckman. The Minster Canning Co. was operated for many years by Luke Beckman’s sons-in-laws. The Minster Canning Co. has since closed. The Beckman & Gast Co. is sold to Lewis Gast and Sons. Lewis Gast and Sons keeping “The Beckman and Gast Co., Inc.” corporate name.
  • Brothers1950s –The 1950s were a period of great change for the company and the partnership of Luke Beckman and Lewis Gast.  In 1943 Luke and Lewis purchase the Minster Canning Co. as a partnership, they also purchase a canning factory in New Carlisle Ohio in 1946.  The New Carlisle plant was sold in 1948 and in 1950 Lewis Gast sold his interest in the Minster Canning Co. to Luke Beckman.   Also at that time Luke Beckman sold his shares of The Beckman & Gast Co. to Lewis Gast and Sons. Lewis and his sons opted to keep “The Beckman & Gast Co.” as the corporate name.  At that point Luke Beckman and his family are operating the Minister Canning Co. and Lewis and his sons are operating the canning factory in St. Henry. The families mutually agreed this was for the best.  Lewis and his sons finish out the decade purchasing a facility in Osgood, Ohio and begin canning green beans.  Today green beans are a large portion of our business.
  • 1960s –By the 1960s the second generation of the Gast family control the day-to-day operation of the canning company.  Lewis and Leona’s four sons (Jim, Bob, Bill, & John) and son-in-law (Jack) all play major rolls in the operation of the company. Once again things are going well for the company.  Early in the 1960s the firm purchases a farm to grown more of its own vegetables.  Until this point the company relied heavily on local farmers for vegetables.  Today Beckman & Gast manages a large farm operation and has a few local growers for vegetable production.
  • 1970s, 1980s, 1990s –Through out the 70s, 80s, and 90s management progressed from the second generation to the third. Bob and Bill’s family members began to acquire ownership of the company. (Trish, Nick, Bo & Gary)  The company continued to grow.  New products, new production lines, new warehouses, new ideas and old values were the all part of life for the Beckman & Gast organization.  By the turn of the century the third generation was in complete control of the company. In 1997, Paul Moorman, son-in-law of Gary and Elaine (Gast) Broering, and Karl Gast, brother of Trish Albers and Nick Gast joined the company.
  • Today –Today our company, over 80 years old, is as strong as ever. The  fourth generation is carrying-on the value and principles handed down to them. New products, equipment, and facilities are an everyday challenge for us as we surge forward. Luke Beckman and Lewis Gast built the Company around consistent quality, low price, and great customer service, those same values still hold true today.
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