Jump to content
HAIF - Houston's original social media

Recommended Posts

I think that I also remember a NABISCO plant somewhere in Houston. I remember learning that it stood for NAtional BIScuit COmpany. I don't have any Fritos and bean dip in the cabinet. But I have some RITZ crackers and potted meat. That made me remember NABISCO. But the plant that I remember might not have been in Houston. Maybe someone out there can set me straight.

Now, to spread the potted meat on the RITZ!

Link to post
Share on other sites
So it appears that most of my memories of Houston are accurate.  This article says that NABISCO was on Holcombe.  Someone else told me that the Prudential Building was also on that street, and I remember it, too.

The Prudential is at Holcombe and Main (Fannin?). Interesting that it is also becoming part of the Med Cntr, but apparently will be destroyed instead of adapted for reuse. Most recent HAIF topic being here. Kind of like the weather, if you don't like how Houston looks right now, wait 20 years. I guess the positive spin on our destroying our past would be to say that we are "dynamic and progressive".

There was a VERY old NAtional BIScuit COmpany building on the 1700 block of Commerce, probably from 1910ish, that was considered for loft space but was finally murdered and buried in the landfill around '99-'00.

Link to post
Share on other sites
So it appears that most of my memories of Houston are accurate.  This article says that NABISCO was on Holcombe.  Someone else told me that the Prudential Building was also on that street, and I remember it, too.

Nabisco was bordered by Holcombe, Almeda, and OST. My wife lived about 2 blocks from there when we were dating. I loved the aromas that wafted over to her house. Prudential building was/is on Holcombe and Fannin.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think that I also remember a NABISCO plant somewhere in Houston.  I remember learning that it stood for NAtional BIScuit COmpany.  I don't have any Fritos and bean dip in the cabinet.  But I have some RITZ crackers and potted meat.  That made me remember NABISCO.  But the plant that I remember might not have been in Houston.  Maybe someone out there can set me straight.

Now, to spread the potted meat on the RITZ!

The Nabisco plant fronted on Almeda which was Texas 288 then. I bet every school child within a hundred miles of Houston made a class field trip to Nabisco to see the crackers being made. I think I remember when they closed it was stated they never made Oreos there, but they did make Ritz. I remember when I was about in the fifth grade, looking down on the huge production area from a glassed-in walkway above and seeing the huge stainless tub of Ritz crackers that they said had broken in the process and wouldn't be packaged. Such a waste.

Remember Gebhardt's Potted Chili Meat? (Not a Nabisco product).

Link to post
Share on other sites
The Nabisco plant fronted on Almeda which was Texas 288 then.  I bet every school child within a hundred miles of Houston made a class field trip to Nabisco to see the crackers being made.  I think I remember when they closed it was stated they never made Oreos there, but they did make Ritz.  I remember when I was about in the fifth grade, looking down on the huge production area from a glassed-in walkway above and seeing the huge stainless tub of Ritz crackers that they said had broken in the process and wouldn't be packaged.  Such a waste.

Remember Gebhardt's Potted Chili Meat?  (Not a Nabisco product).

Wasn't there some way those broken RITZ could have been recycled? When I was in college, I worked as a security guard for a turkey processing plant. No part of the turkeys were thrown away, even cancers. They were put in a big steel box container labeled "Condemned Poultry Parts" and shipped across town to a dog food plant where they were made into meals for man's best friend.

No, I've never heard of Gebhardt's Potted Chili Meat. It sounds good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked very close to that Nabisco plant from 1992 - 1999 and remember smelling the wonderful smells some mornings.

Wasn't there some way those broken RITZ could have been recycled? 

I knew someone who worked for Nabisco several years ago, and he told me that the recipe for fig newtons required a mixture of broken crackers/cookies. So, assuming he wasn't lying, they did recycle the broken stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
I think that I also remember a NABISCO plant somewhere in Houston.  I remember learning that it stood for NAtional BIScuit COmpany.  I don't have any Fritos and bean dip in the cabinet.  But I have some RITZ crackers and potted meat.  That made me remember NABISCO.  But the plant that I remember might not have been in Houston.  Maybe someone out there can set me straight.

Now, to spread the potted meat on the RITZ!

I developed diabetes in 1998. Before that, I used to like to pour milk on a bowl of NABISCO Vanilla Wafers, let them soak, then crush them up and eat them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wasn't there some way those broken RITZ could have been recycled?  When I was in college, I worked as a security guard for a turkey processing plant.  No part of the turkeys were thrown away, even cancers.  They were put in a big steel box container labeled "Condemned Poultry Parts" and shipped across town to a dog food plant where they were made into meals for man's best friend.

No, I've never heard of Gebhardt's Potted Chili Meat.  It sounds good.

I imagine there was. I was only about in the 5th grade and wasn't asking a lot of hard questions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...
I imagine there was. I was only about in the 5th grade and wasn't asking a lot of hard questions.

I've noticed in the supermarkets that NABISCO brands are not in big supply, mostly cookies. In Wal-Mart, Great Value is mostly there, also in shredded wheat and vanilla wafers, what NABISCO is best known for. Will Wal-Mart cause NABISCO to bite the dust?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Now, to spread the potted meat on the RITZ!

Potted Meat:

Mechanically Separated Chicken, Beef Tripe, Partially Defatted Cooked Beef Fatty Tissue, Beef Hearts, Water, Partially Defatted Cooked Pork Fatty Tissue, Salt. Less than 2 percent: Mustard, Natural Flavorings, Dried Garlic, Dextrose, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite

Yuuuuuuuummy!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Potted Meat:

Mechanically Separated Chicken, Beef Tripe, Partially Defatted Cooked Beef Fatty Tissue, Beef Hearts, Water, Partially Defatted Cooked Pork Fatty Tissue, Salt. Less than 2 percent: Mustard, Natural Flavorings, Dried Garlic, Dextrose, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite

Yuuuuuuuummy!

Potted meat sandwiches and peanut butter/jelly sandwiches were standard fare for me in my school, sack lunches loooooooong ago. I had Spam when I didn't have potted meat. Strangely, I liked both of them. Glad I didn't know what was in the potted meat. I guess that was before the ingredients had to be posted on the can. Please don't tell me what's in Spam. I still like it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Potted meat sandwiches and peanut butter/jelly sandwiches were standard fare for me in my school, sack lunches loooooooong ago. I had Spam when I didn't have potted meat. Strangely, I liked both of them. Glad I didn't know what was in the potted meat. I guess that was before the ingredients had to be posted on the can. Please don't tell me what's in Spam. I still like it.

Spam:

Ingredients:

Chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added.

Salt (for binding, flavour, and firmness)

Water (to help in mixing)

Sugar (for flavour)

Sodium Nitrite (for colour and as a preservative)

Nothing nasty about the Spam ingredients. I like it too. Fried w/eggs. Yum. Here are some Spam haikus in honor of the pink meat (authors unknown).

"Slow down," she whispered

now guiding my trembling hands

"Turn the key slowly."

Silken pig tofu

The color of spanked buttocks

Blushing at my knife.

Edited by west20th
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...
My 2nd cousin use to work there.

I guess you could say that Nabisco is "All-American." Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers are regarded as American snacks. When I was a little kid, I remember one of their competitors was a company called Sunshine. Its logo was the robust baker.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My memory/knowledge + google

Nabisco does well. I'm looking on page 390 of the 2006 Edition of The World Almanac. Of all cookies, Nabiso Oreo sold $197,957,900 worth in 2004-05 and topped the industry with a 5.4% market share. Nabisco Chips Ahoy came in second.

The Budweiser brewery there in Houston should be in good economic shape. Bud Light beer sold $1,341,192,448 worth in 2004-05 for a 15.6% market share. Regular Budweiser came in second with a 9.8 percent market share.

Link to post
Share on other sites
As kids, my sister and I used to make our own version of S’mores. We slathered peanut butter on a Ritz Cracker, topped it with a marshmallow, then baked them until the marshmallow turned brown.

Yes, sometimes when you have to make up your own recipes, they turn out better than the original product.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
Nabisco was bordered by Holcombe, Almeda, and OST. My wife lived about 2 blocks from there when we were dating. I loved the aromas that wafted over to her house. Prudential building was/is on Holcombe and Fannin.

It's a miracle the old building is still there. Has a new name though. When you go inside its like going back in time. It was made for the masses or rather the big crowds of employees. The RR's are quite large as if in a stadium. Won't be surprised if demolition is in the plans...but when? -_-

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...

My dad did all the work on the conveyer systems for Nabisco, Frito Lay and Kebbler... He used to bring home gobs of discarded treats - boxes were dented etc. We had the EL Fudge cookies right before they were placed on the shelves.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My dad did all the work on the conveyer systems for Nabisco, Frito Lay and Kebbler... He used to bring home gobs of discarded treats - boxes were dented etc. We had the EL Fudge cookies right before they were placed on the shelves.

I used to live on the far south side and I drove into town on Almeda Road. There were times of day when the aromas coming from the Nabisco Plant were to die for.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

i went to kindergarten across from the nabisco factory in the early 60's at sacred heart dominican college. of course back then the school windows were opened and most days the classroom would smell of cookies. i also remember getting cookies from there (wonder if they were the broken ones). hated it when we got fig newtons, just not appealing to a 5 year old.

those are some of the best memories of my childhood, mainly due to remembering the smell of the nabisco factory.

i am pretty sure the land is owned by the texas medical center now. i hope they keep this an the old prudential building standing and renovate them and not tear them down.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I used to live on the far south side and I drove into town on Almeda Road. There were times of day when the aromas coming from the Nabisco Plant were to die for.

I remember growing up in the early 90s when the Nabisco plant was still alive, my mom would drive to the Kroger (then called AppleTree) on OST. Instead of taking MacGregor to 288 and taking 288 to OST, sometimes we'd take the long way, which was taking Ardmore down to Holcombe and turning down Holcombe. We'd get to OST from Holcombe via either Almeda, or Grand Blvd to Van Etten. Either one of those detours would take us right past the bakery, and she'd put the window down to let me smell the bread baking.

MMMM.... freshly baked bread...

homer_simpson_drooling.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites
i am pretty sure the land is owned by the texas medical center now. i hope they keep this an the old prudential building standing and renovate them and not tear them down.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the old Prudential Bldg is coming down. It's literally falling apart and it's beyond repair. Look for it to be imploded or demolished before the end of this year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 years later...

As a native Houstonian and second generation employee of the cracker factory I'm thrilled to find this thread. I was employed there and witnessed the last RITZ cracker come off the oven in '99.

I was not part of the demo crew that removed all of the equipment but was fortunate enough to visit twice after the new construction was in progress. It was an amazing re-use of a building built to last a long long time.

post-13030-0-71051600-1395952031.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Physically, I believe it's still intact, but have no idea when it ceased being used by Nabisco. If the Canal location opened in 1940 with the bigger plant near TMC opening in 1949, did Nabisco only operate it as a bakery for less than a decade?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Physically, I believe it's still intact, but have no idea when it ceased being used by Nabisco. If the Canal location opened in 1940 with the bigger plant near TMC opening in 1949, did Nabisco only operate it as a bakery for less than a decade?

 

That's a great question. This is what I've found searching for local bakery history...

Maybe the Canal location was a distribution facility.

When National Biscuit Company moved to Houston from Galveston after the 1900 storm the small two oven bakery was somewhere in the second ward. They soon outgrew this location and built a bakery on Chenevert around 1910.

 

National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) occupied the five story, red brick, 100,086 Sq. Ft. building on Chenevert, employing 200 people, until 1949. Following general trends, the company moved to the edge of the city, then Holcombe and Almeda to provide space for employee parking and easy access for trucks. The Chenevert building was sold to the Purse Furniture Co. and now may be lofts.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

In the early 40's, the canal location baked bread. The Almeda location built and opened in 1949 baked only cookies and crackers. I remember seeing some old loaf pans around the Almeda bakery and we used them for small parts, nuts and bolts.

post-13030-0-92450400-1399324477_thumb.ppost-13030-0-80260400-1399324516_thumb.j

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I don't remember where I captured the newspaper article photo from. I'm collecting historical info for a FaceBook page Re: the Almeda location (1949-1999) and the employees. The watercolor on the right was presented to all current employees at the time of the closeure.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

When the then "modern" Nabisco Bakery opened in the early 50's in Houston on Holcombe and Almeda, the Harrisburg Rotary Club was invited on a tour of the new facility. I remember that it was as hot inside by the huge ovens as my family's laundry and dry cleaning plant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 years later...
On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2005 at 7:21 PM, Guest danax said:

The Prudential is at Holcombe and Main (Fannin?). Interesting that it is also becoming part of the Med Cntr, but apparently will be destroyed instead of adapted for reuse. Most recent HAIF topic being here. Kind of like the weather, if you don't like how Houston looks right now, wait 20 years. I guess the positive spin on our destroying our past would be to say that we are "dynamic and progressive".

There was a VERY old NAtional BIScuit COmpany building on the 1700 block of Commerce, probably from 1910ish, that was considered for loft space but was finally murdered and buried in the landfill around '99-'00.

Nabisco, NW corner of Commerce & Chenevert. Taken September 1998.

 

Nabisco Building Commerce @ Chenevert.jpg

Edited by HardcoreHoustonian
Photo
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
On 8/15/2005 at 5:14 PM, Ashikaga said:

I think that I also remember a NABISCO plant somewhere in Houston. I remember learning that it stood for NAtional BIScuit COmpany. I don't have any Fritos and bean dip in the cabinet. But I have some RITZ crackers and potted meat. That made me remember NABISCO. But the plant that I remember might not have been in Houston. Maybe someone out there can set me straight.

Now, to spread the potted meat on the RITZ!

The plant was on the SE side of Houston off or on OST I think. I can remember my mom going there and buying "marked down" goodies.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
On 9/29/2019 at 10:45 AM, gnu said:

SE corner of Holcombe and Almeda

 

Google Map link

My dad was in the VAhospital for an extended time in about 1967. We could smell the cookies and crackers baking. Dad knew they had a storefront and my mom would bring him different things every night, still warm. He called it the Nabs plant. The smell was intoxicating for a small child. We weren't allowed to go in to see him. We'd stand on the lawn and he'd wave from the window. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...