History

In 1879, after being dissatisfied with the quality of the coffee he was receiving for his grocery wholesale business, company founder Herman Hulman decided that he could roast higher quality coffee in-house. Hulman traveled to the east coast to secure a green coffee bean supplier and roasting equipment. As a result of his trip, Hulman forged a business relationship with Jabez Burns & Sons, and returned to Terre Haute, Indiana to begin spice grinding and coffee roasting. Hulman set out to make a coffee suitable for a monarch, yet affordable for paupers.

The United States Trademark and Patent Office first documents Hulman & Company selling their Rex Coffee blend for commerce in 1885 and issued a U.S. trademark to Hulman’s son, Anton Hulman, on June 12th, 1905. Rex Coffee was sold from Chicago to Louisville, Cincinnati to St. Louis. Hulman & Company roasted coffee and marketed under a myriad of names, the most famous of which being: Rex, Farmers Pride, Dauntless, Crystal, and Delicious Sips. Coffee roasting activity remained a staple of Hulman & Company until 1968.

During a historic renovation project in 2009 of the original Hulman & Company building in Terre Haute, a leather suitcase used by salesman in the early 1900’s was discovered. This suitcase contained original Hulman & Company coffee samples which, paired with old Hulman & Company sales catalogs and other historical reference material, were used to help re-create the Rex Original Blend and Farmers Pride Coffee blends sold today.

As a part of the renovation project, it was determined coffee roasting would resume at this historic location, where Clabber Girl Corporation, a division of the modern day Hulman & Company, is headquartered.

The first floor of the building was restored and today contains Rex Roasting Company, where all of our coffees are roasted on site; the Clabber Girl Bake Shop, which has breakfast, lunch, retail sales, and catering; and the Clabber Girl Museum, where visitors can experience the rich history of the Hulman family and Clabber Girl.