Since the beginning, the Solo story has always been about a genuine love for baking. So, our ingredients are designed to help you enjoy every moment in the kitchen.
After playing our part in almost a century’s worth of sweet treats, it says cupfuls that so many home bakers have made us their go-to brand for flavor-packed toppings, pastes and fillings.
Five Generations of Craftsmanship
The Solo brand, as we know it, dates back to 1925. It was created as a subsidiary of Sokol and Company to purvey the highest quality baking ingredients around.
You might find one of our products in Nana or Memaw’s treasured old-world cake recipe. Or, it could be the key ingredient in your latest glam cupcake invention. Either way, we’re proud to have been there for five generations of indulgent, delectable tradition.
A Visual History of Sokol and Company
Sokol Grocery Founded
John A. Sokol opens first Sokol Grocery Store in Chicago at 654 Polk Street on November 4, 1895.
Expands to 3 Large Retail Grocery Stores; Visits Coffee Plantation
John A. Sokol travels to Mexico with intentions to educate himself in the planting, harvesting and shipping of coffee.
Sokol and Company Established
John A. Sokol returns to Chicago to sell Sokol Grocery and establish Sokol and Company, a wholesale coffee, tea and spice business on 118 W. Randolph Street in Chicago. A variety of products are offered and sold under the Shield Brand by Sokol.
Growing Success as One of Largest Importers
Sokol and Company begins to import food specialties and selling these items to wholesalers throughout the US. Dried mushrooms, saffron, sultan fig, tubed garlic and cocoa were all added to the product line. Sokol moves to 42 South Water Street
Relocates to Own Manufacturing Facility
Sokol and Company occupies 5 floors at 241 E. Illinois for manufacturing, custom grinding, blending, packing of spices, and warehouse space.
Solo Products Co. Founded
As a subsidiary of Sokol and Co, Solo Products Co. is founded under which the Solo Brand items are sold. Solo Brand begins to retail products such as mushrooms, currants, and introduces cake and pastry fillings in poppy and prune flavors.
Solo Cake & Pastry Fillings
Solo Cake and Pastry Fillings take off in poppy and prune flavors. Sokol begins to travel extensively to establish direct sources for importation of seeds and spices.
1935 - 1942
War Relief & Florida Dehydration Co.
Sokol and Company establishes a vegetable dehydration department and begins to serve as an agency for sending war relief packages to Europe; Florida Dehydration Company is founded.
John F. Novak, President
John A. Sokol passes at age 68, and is succeeded as president by John F. Novak, his son-in-law.
Solo Brand Expands
Solo Brand retail items expand into 6 flavors of Solo Cake and Pastry Fillings, as Sokol and Company establishes a solid network of brokers nationwide.
Teresa Sokol Novak, President
John F. Novak passes at age 61, and is succeeded as president by his wife, Teresa Sokol Novak, only child of John A. Sokol.
Re-focus on Spices & Dehydrated Foods
Solo Brand expansion continues with grandson of John A. Sokol, John Sokol Novak (Jack). Jack works to re-establish the dehydrated vegetables and spice business.
New 35,000 sq. ft. Facility in Countryside, IL
Sokol and Co. moves from Chicago to new 35,000 sq. ft. facility in Countryside, IL. In addition to Solo Raisin Sauce, Solo Dry Poppy Seed and Solo Anchovy Paste, Solo Brand Cake and Pastry Fillings continue to thrive in all 12 flavors.
Jack Novak, President
Jack Novak assumes position of President of Sokol and Company.
1985 - 1988
Baker & Simon Fisher Brands Acquired
Baker and Bohemian Kitchen Brands are acquired by Sokol and Co. Solo Almond Paste and Marzipan are added to customer favorites. Continues expansion by adding Simon Fisher Brand.
1989 - 1995
John S. Novak Jr, President; Celebrates 100 Years
Great-grandson of founder, John S. Novak Jr, is elected President. Facility welcomes a 15,000 sq. ft. addition. Activities in spices & dehydrated foods are phased out for major emphasis on retail brand lines. Anchovy paste and products move into the production spotlight. Sokol is 100!
R&D and Q&A Programs
Focus is brought to contract, custom and food service manufacturing, increasing capabilities and growth. R&D and Q&A programs are strengthened and highlighted as the backbone for future success as Sokol enters its second century as a family owned business.
Sokol Named to INC 5000 List
Sokol and Company experiences a 63.2% growth and is recognized by INC 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies.
Sokol Acquires Borden EggNog
The Sokol and Co. family continues to grow with the addition of everybody’s favorite eggnog.
Industry Leader in Products & Packaging
Sokol and Co. continues to focus on key ingredients because of our commitment to quality and total customization. Continued growth of new capabilities in processing and packaging and acquiring new brands.