After more than a century, the Lodi Canning Company will have new owners.
Bob Goeres announced the sale of his family’s company March 29, but noted the new owners, who work in the sales and marketing end of canned goods, are committed to retaining the employees.
“Since they’re into sales and marketing, they don’t know anything about production, so all of the employees are keeping their jobs,” Goeres said.
The company has already contracted with growers to supply the company with peas and sweet corn for the 2021 season. Along with peas, Lodi Canning Company cans creamed style corn.
“The plan is we will function as normal for this summer and beyond,” Goeres said.
He noted that the new owners — one from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the other from Los Angeles, California — will honor growers’ contracts and have no plans to change the product line. The two are partners in Idol Brands, LLC, and will be operating under the banner of Lodi Canning Company. They do plan to bring in other canned foods to be labeled and shipped from the Lodi plant, according to Goeres.
Goeres said he wasn’t looking to sell the business; the buyers approached him.
“As the old saying goes, ‘I was given an offer I couldn’t refuse,’” he said.
He said the new owners were “attracted to the idea of a 103-year-old company and the nice, cute, small town of Lodi,” he added.
Goeres is the third generation owner of the company, which his grandfather, Dr. T.O. Goeres, helped start in 1917. Both Bob Goeres, and his father, Ted Goeres, felt it was important that all 24 employees stay on, he said.
Goeres does plan to continue at Lodi Canning Company for at least another year to ensure it continues to operate smoothly.
Lodi Canning Company will remain committed to the community, he said.
“We plan on continuing to reap the bounty of the community from the crops being grown to the pool of employees, be them 16-year-olds to retirees,” Goeres said. “We’re not leaving the community; we want to continue as we have for the last 103 years.”
The company celebrated its centennial year in 2018. It was begun in 1917 by Dr. Goeres and more than a dozen other investors who wanted to bring jobs to the community. Goeres bought out the partners in the 1920s, and Lodi Canning Company has belonged to the Goeres family since.
The company sells its creamed corn in gallon cans as a supplier to nationwide distributors Sysco and U.S. Foods that ship to restaurants, schools, prisons and nursing homes.
The family has a long history of philanthropy in Lodi. According to a Lodi Enterprise and Poynette Press article in 2018, T.O. Goeres brought the Works Progress Administration, a Great Depression federal work program, to work on the city’s parks. The family also funded the city pool. Current philanthropic efforts lie in the Lodi Area Community Endowment and other organizations and projects.