How Muir Glen got its start
Muir Glen’s history shows what can happen when a brand is created with the consumer in mind from the start.
The brand was founded in 1991 by a group of entrepreneurs in California’s San Joaquin Valley, with extensive experience in agriculture and the tomato industry.
They were looking to provide a premium-quality organic option for consumers. So the founders partnered with area farmers to quickly make Muir Glen the first large-scale certified organic tomato processor.
All Muir Glen tomatoes are field-grown and vine-ripened under certified organic practices. Picked when they’re ready, the journey of a Muir Glen tomato from vine to a can takes only eight hours.
One of the challenges for Muir Glen early on was how to isolate the processing of organic tomatoes. Organic standards don’t allow conventional tomatoes to co-mingle with those that are organically-grown.
So Muir Glen’s cannery, as you can see in this video, made that easy.
The brand also had some challenges in the field during those first few years, in finding enough organic farmers to work with to keep the business growing. They also had to educate consumers about what it meant to be organic, and the benefits for quality and taste.
Muir Glen was named after the legendary naturalist John Muir. The brand joined General Mills in 2000.
Muir Glen products include regular and fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato sauces and pastes, premium pasta sauce and original salsas.
Editor’s note: Look for more posts in our “Origin Stories” series in our History category.