The Spreckels Sugar Company was founded by capitalist, Claus Spreckels (1828-1908).
Initially a San Francisco grocer, he became involved in California sugar production as
early as 1863 and was one of the founders of the California sugar beet industry.
Spreckels established his first sugar company, Western Beet Sugar, at Watsonville (1888).
By that date Spreckels had also gained control over much of the cane sugar industry in
Hawaii. He was active in the California transportation and power industries, as well.