Sodalicious treats from A. Harvey & Co. for 158 years

Posted on January 27, 2023 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments


A. Harvey & Co. ads for Newport Fluffs cereal (left) and hard bread, crackers and biscuits (right) from the early days (photo credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland & Carl Smith on Pinterest)

From crackers and cereal to soda and bottled water, A. Harvey & Co. has a history of over 150 years in Newfoundland and Labrador. With a diversified business portfolio, A. Harvey & Co.’s subsidiary Browning Harvey is well known today as the producer of Pepsi products for the province. While product focus has changed over time, Browning Harvey’s commitment to its local community has never gone flat.

Separate beginnings

The formation of Browning Harvey dates back to the 1860s when G. Browning & Son Limited and A. Harvey & Co. were first established.

Gilbert Browning founded G. Browning & Son Limited in the 1860s in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His son joined operations in 1867, and the business was passed down through the family over time. With a production facility in both the east and west ends of St. John’s, G. Browning & Son produced pantry staples like hard bread and a variety of biscuits.

A. Harvey & Co. was established by Alexander J. Harvey in 1865 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Harvey operated a bakery, and also had business dealings in the marine shipping industry, natural resources, the seal fishery and fuel brokerage. Harvey’s sons eventually joined him in business, and it was around this time that they began producing soda crackers and biscuits.


Browning Harvey bottling factory located in the west end of St. John’s in 1931 (left) and an ad for Browning Harvey flavoured syrups (right) from 1951 (photo credit: Browning Harvey Ltd. & the Western Star)

Two become one

In 1931, A. Harvey & Co. and G. Browning & Son merged their complementary snack foods businesses into one, creating Browning Harvey Ltd. While continuing to produce crackers and other foods, Browning Harvey opened a bottling factory that same year and launched their own line of soda flavours.

Thinking about Browning Harvey’s future, Reginald Harvey, President and Managing Director at the time, had big plans for growth. In 1944, Harvey made the journey to New York and secured a franchise agreement with the Pepsi Company that allowed Browning Harvey to produce Pepsi products for the province. So, the company’s focus switched from food to beverages.


A video describing the history of Browning Harvey and its involvement in the local community (video credit: Browning Harvey Ltd. on YouTube).


For the community

In the 1950s, Browning Harvey built a new production facility for their soda business and upgraded to an even larger state-of-the-art bottling plant on Ropewalk Lane in 1963 (where operations remain today). While the business has made continuous investments in technology and training over time to improve production, its recipes have remained the same. Current Director of Community Relations, Anna Patten, says they still use quality ingredients like raw sugar in their Pepsi, so it has “the same great taste today as it did in the ‘40s.”

Another constant for Browning Harvey is its commitment to the local community. Patten commented: “We’re committed to supporting those who support us. We strive to keep our business local and to employ Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as much as possible.”


A current view of Browning Harvey’s bottling facility on Ropewalk Lane in St. John’s, N.L. (photo credit: Browning Harvey Ltd.)

Still popping

Today, Browning Harvey continues to produce Pepsi products for Newfoundland and Labrador and operates under the umbrella of family-owned and operated A. Harvey & Co. Anna says that she and her sister represent the fifth generation involved in the family business.

Commenting on the future, Patten says Browning Harvey plans to “grow and develop along with trends, so we can continue to serve Newfoundland and Labrador with the best soft drinks and non-carbonated beverages.”

Still popping, 158 years later.

For more Web Exclusives, click here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment policy

Comments are moderated to ensure thoughtful and respectful conversations. First and last names will appear with each submission; anonymous comments and pseudonyms will not be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that Atlantic Business Magazine has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. Publication of a comment does not constitute endorsement of that comment. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


With ABM

Help support the magazine and entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada.


Stay in the Know

Subscribe Now

Subscribe to receive the magazine and gain access to exclusive online content.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty