Robert Thompson, agent St. Lawrence Starch Company (1897).
“St. Lawrence Starch Company Limited was a major Canadian manufacturer of corn based starch, glucose and feed products, established in 1889 by John Gray, Archie Hutchison, Robert Kilgour, Joseph Kilgour and Jessie Malcolm and based in Port Credit, Ontario.
The St. Lawrence Starch Company was a family owned private company specializing in the manufacturing of corn based products for over a century. Its products, such as Durham corn starch and Jersey Brand gluten feed, were produced for the pulp and paper, textile, alcohol, grocery/food products and pharmaceutical industry.
The Bee Hive Golden Corn Syrup brand was a familiar grocery product in many Canadian households, and on behalf of this brand the Company sponsored sporting events (particularly skiing, figure skating and hockey). The Company was also involved in a major lawsuit in the mid-1930s with its principal competitor, the Canada Starch Company, over which brand of corn syrup was fed to the Dionne quintuplets.
As a result of the Canadian government’s 1987 imposition of a countervailing duty against subsidized American grain corn, in 1989-1990 St. Lawrence Starch, as a user of corn, was forced to downsize. It sold its major trademarks to Bestfoods and ceased large-scale domestic production. The factory was closed and subsequently demolished and the land sold to a residential developer.
St. Lawrence Starch formed a strategic alliance with the A.E. Staley company to distribute their starch and sweetener products in Canada. The Port Credit site served as a distribution centre for imported products from 1990 until the beginning of 1993.
The distribution operations were relocated to a facility in Stoney Creek, Ontario. In 1995, SLS changed principles for the starch and sweetener business and began to represent Cargill, Inc., a large US based corn wet miller, providing sales, marketing and technical services across Canada. The Company continues to operate as a much smaller importer and exporter of corn products across the Canada-United States border.
It is still owned and operated as a private company by the Gray family.”