L. East Produce Company and L. East Poultry Records
An Inventory of the Collection
Leonard C. East and his wife Vida Henderson East reportedly moved to Austin, Texas in 1913 from Lampasas, Texas. The couple first appears in the Austin City Directory a few years later as the owners of a wagon yard. The couple had three children: Jewell, Alvin and Jasper. Along with being a businessman East was also a rancher and cattleman. According to company advertising, L. East Produce Co. was established in 1913. Leonard East's son Alvin joined him in the business and was involved with the company until his death in 1989. The early location of the company was 102 W. 2nd Street. In the 1930s the company moved to 103-105 Colorado because it needed more space, and then in 1944 it relocated to 706 E. 8th Street, and in 1974, it was moved again to its present location at 2615 E. 6th Street. A 1935 advertisement in the Austin City Directory indicated that L. East Produce Company sold groceries, meats, wholesale and retail turkey, chicken, eggs, butter, duck pecans, guineas, geese, furs and hides. The 1944 invitation to the grand opening of L. East Produce Company at its new location on East 8th Street boasted of a "modern market and grocery department" with a "refrigerator-cooled vegetable department and the latest sanitary poultry department." At some point (indications are the early 1950s) the Easts created a separate company for the distribution of wholesale poultry to grocery stores and other wholesale markets called L. East Poultry. In 1953 the Austin City Directory lists for the first time, "wholesale poultry" instead of "groceries", as the business of the L. East Produce Company. Today the company is called the East Poultry Company and is known for further processing poultry including de-boning and portioning to supply local area restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, educational institutions and health care providers with a variety of products.
The small collection includes marketing materials for both L. East Produce Company and L. East Poultry, as well as a limited amount of correspondence, invoices and receipts dating from the 1920s through the 1950s. Well documented is a radio advertising campaign run in the early 1950s that included a "Chicken of the Week" recipe submitted by local residents. Of interest is a series of memorandum and letters relating to a newspaper column written in 1951 about the potential dangers of eating chicken treated with Diethylstilbestrol (DES). Also included are two unidentified photographs.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Relationship between the donor and the East family is unknown.
L. East Produce Company and L. East Poultry Records (AR.P.005). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1977/003
Donation Date: 1978
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2011.
Detailed Description of the Collection