Friday, June 5, 2015

Van Roy Coffee Building Then & Now

Courtesy of the Chesler Group
Just a few minutes away from where I work in Cleveland is the historic Van Roy Building at 2900 Detroit Avenue. From 1935 to 2003, it was the longtime home of the Van Rooy Coffee Company. It's currently available for lease through the Chesler Group.

1949 ad from the
Cleveland Indians Sketch Book
For a long time I've wondered why the company name was Van Rooy and the products were branded Van Roy. Fortunately, the short history on the Chesler Group website (here) offers an explanation. Although one of the company's founders was Anthony Van Rooy, it was a marketing decision to gradually phase out the double o on the product lines to improve name recognition.

The Van Roy Coffee Company is still around today, having relocated to 4569 Spring Road south of Cleveland. Here is the link to its website.

And here is my "now" shot of the building, taken just a few days ago. As you can see, the painting of the Van Roy coffee package is still there.

There used to be another memorable Van Roy Coffee sign on this same side of the building, but at the northern end closest to the Shoreway. The sign was slightly rounded, and resembled a coffee can. It featured the Van Roy waiter mascot.
Here's a painting of that iconic sign (below). This artwork is used on a label found on current bags of ground Van Roy purchased at the Spring Road location.
And here are a few screen grabs (courtesy of Google Maps) showing where this sign was located near the Shoreway, below and to the left of the billboard on the Van Roy building.
It's too bad the coffee can sign had to come down. You kind of get used to seeing something year after year, and all of a sudden – it's gone – with no opportunity to take a picture of it.

The Van Roy Coffee Company's close proximity to the Shoreway made it possible for it to demonstrate a unique gesture of civic goodwill. My wife remembers that once back in the 1980s during a particularly bad traffic jam on the Shoreway, employees of the Van Roy Coffee Company were handing out free cups of their well-known coffee to stranded motorists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice then and now photos.