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Gehl Food & Beverage History

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Celebrating over 125 years of excellence

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Gehl Food & Beverage History

It began over 125 years ago in a three-room creamery in 1896: the commitment to make new and better dairy products. That was when J.P. Gehl first had an idea for improving the quality of local butter. His "renovated" butter caught on quickly with local bakers, and soon the business grew to offer a whole range of better-quality dairy ingredients. 

Always quick to adopt new technologies, J.P. Gehl saw an opportunity to serve the retail market with a more consistent-quality milk in the 1920s. Ice cream was added, and by the 1950's Gehl's® became a popular household brand in the delivery of dairy ingredients.

As the retail market changed in the 1960s, the company traded its regional milk business for new technology to produce sterile, non-refrigerated dairy products. The company became a pioneer in making puddings and cheese sauces for some of the best known grocery brands, while still offering high quality dairy products to bakers and restaurants under the respected Gehl's® name.

Today, our leading efforts in sterile packaging have created an entirely new category: our direct-from-the-pouch sauces for foodservice. At the same time, our technology has shaped the nation's weight loss shakes, protein beverages, and iced-coffee drinks.


California Natural Products History

California Natural Products (CNP) started in 1980, with a commitment to offer consumers quality, fresh, and nutritional aseptic food and beverages at a competitive price. Pat Mitchell, a third-generation family farmer, began CNP on his family property in Northern California.


Shortly after its inception, CNP launched the Ingredient division, which invented and originally patented processes for making rice milk, rice syrup, and rice-syrup solids. Today, these ingredients, and many more made by CNP, are used in the top natural and organic consumer products across the nation.



In the mid-1990’s, CNP pioneered the packaging of natural and organic aseptic beverages, eventually earning the broadest portfolio of Tetra Pak® offerings in North America. We continue to hold this title to this day.



Photo is courtesy of Tetra Pak®


Better Together

In 2018, Gehl Foods, LLC acquired California Natural Products and in 2022 expanded operations to the east cost with the addition of Gehl Food & Beverage Southeast. 

Today, Gehl Food & Beverage Companies produce many products for top consumer brands and products that can be found in nearly every retailer, convenience store, concession stand (movie theaters, ballparks, amusement parks, etc.), and health food store across the country.