San Francisco Landmarks
Austin and Reuben Hills started their coffee business in 1878 in a stall at Bay City Market where the United Nations Plaza is now located. Their firm was one of several coffee giants founded in San Francisco. The competition included Folger's, MJB and Schilling.
The brothers moved their business several times before locating on the Embarcadero where their Romanesque Revival plant was designed by George Kelham. The building sports patterned brickwork, arched doorways and windows, bronze grillwork doors, and a large tower which was both decorative and functional. Gravity aided the blending of beans stored in the tower.