In 1886 Burns coffee roasters were installed into one of the buildings operating as Joseph Speidel Grocers, in Wheeling, WV. This building became its coffee roasting center. In 1896 the name was changed to Wheeling Coffee & Spice Company. The coffee was marketed under the names Dawn, Delmonico and " O.G. (Old Government) Coffee" and packed in cans and glass jars. Wheeling Coffee & Spice was the first to use a vacuum seal on jars. The Hazel-Atlas Glass Company also of Wheeling, WV designed this system. The coffee was shipped by boat and rail to coal mine company stores throughout a five-state area and delivered by horse-drawn wagons to stores and residence in the Wheeling area.
In 1931 the "Paramount Coffee" brand name and a new one pound paper bag for packaging were introduced and the company entered the restaurant and institutional market. "Paramount" eventually replaced the names including the "O. G." name. Many people felt the "Old Government" name was negative at a time when a "new government" was trying to create a positive atmosphere for recovery from the deep depression.
During the 1930's, problems developed between Wheeling Coffee and Hazel-Atlas. The jars used in packing the coffee doubled as canning jars. Hazel-Atlas attempted to purchase Wheeling Coffee hoping to increase its own canning jar sales. The attempt failed and in 1939 Hazel-Atlas did not renew its contract with Wheeling Coffee bringing to an end the use of these jars.
The early 1940's were a time for dramatic change. The company phased out the retail distribution of its products, and for more than fifty years focused solely on the wholesale trade
In 1993, with the growing popularity of Coffee Shops across the nation, the company opened its first retail Gourmet Coffee Shop offering over fifty varieties of imported, blends, dark roasts and flavored coffees along with a line of coffee related products. Then in 1999, extensive historical renovations to the building were made and a larger remodeled gourmet coffee shop on the site is in operation at this time.
Most recently, in March 2019, the coffee shop was purchased by the David family after the passing of the legendary Mary-Ann Lokmer. The family plans to revamp and remodel Wheeling Coffee & Spice while still keeping the over-100 year old architectural charm of the building and business.
More than 100 years have passed, but many of the traditions are still alive at Wheeling Coffee & Spice Co. The wholesale and retail company remains in the original buildings, graced with four iron columns marked "Sweeneys Co. 1858 Wheeling, Va.," predating the state itself. The Burns Coffee Roasters manufactured by the Blaw-Knox Company in 1884 are still operational and are used for single batch roasting most of our gourmet coffees. The beans are slow roasted, hand-raked and air-cooled producing a unique distinctive taste. Paramount Coffee may be purchased in one-pound paper bags designed and copyrighted in 1931, and more important, we still deliver the excellent cup of coffee which Wheeling Coffee has offered to the public for more than a century.
Paramount Coffee's Gourmet House Blend is a rich blend of choice Central and South American coffee beans roasted to perfection. Wheeling Coffee offers many delicious gourmet and flavored coffees. When in the Wheeling area, please drop by and allow our staff to show you some of the interesting aspects of our company's history while you enjoy a cup of our great tasting coffees.
The Word Is Out!
"I've been going to Wheeling Coffee and Spice for more than 25 years to purchase 1/2 pound Caf and 1/2 pound Decaf freshly ground French Roast coffee every WEEK! Larry lets me know when he roasts the French Roast beans. Now that's fresh!"
— Susan H.
"Wheeling Coffee and Spice is like a luxury car. If your having a day full of potholes, a stop into the coffee shop smooths out the ride."
— Wolly S.