The founder of Old Bay seafood seasoning founded his own company after being fired by McCormick after two days on the job after they found out he was Jewish

Old Bay Seasoning

The Old Bay Line, after which Old Bay is named

Old Bay Seasoning is named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, in the early 1900s. In 1939, a Jewish-German immigrant named Gustav Brunn started the Baltimore Spice Company. Gustav had previously been fired from McCormick after just two days on the job when his employer found out that he was Jewish.

The origins of the company began in Wertheim, Germany, where Brunn started a wholesale spice and seasoning business selling to food industries, seeing an opportunity as spices were in especially short supply amidst hyperinflation in the aftermath of World War I. Due to rising anti-Semitism as the … Continue Reading (5 minute read)

10 thoughts on “The founder of Old Bay seafood seasoning founded his own company after being fired by McCormick after two days on the job after they found out he was Jewish”

  1. spartan6222

    The founder fled Nazi Germany pre-WWII after the night of broken glass. In Germany he had previously owned his own spice importing company. He was put in a concentration camp (this was before they were actively killing jews) but his wife paid to have him released and bought a US passport to make their way to America.

    McCormick bought Old Bay from their former employee 50 years later (1990) for $24 million.

  2. CaptHayes

    There’s some irony in a Jewish person inventing the world’s best shellfish seasoning.

  3. Dry-Cryptographer320

    Imagine being sent to a concentration camp because you’re Jewish, escaping to America for a better life, just to be fired from your new job when they find out you’re Jewish. Unthinkable, but some people prosper in adversity.

  4. strangebru

    Ironically, we in Maryland use it when steaming crabs.

    Crabs are scavengers, thus not kosher.

  5. VagrantShadow

    As a Eastern Shore Maryland resident, Old Bay is in my blood. I love this seasoning. I had it all my life, and it goes great on everything. Funny enough, I been hankering for some Old Bay wedge’s today.

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