Monday, November 21, 2022




This interesting and rare sauce bottle has been very difficult to document, with scant information about its proprietor. The best available clue about its origin is embossed on the bottle. Along with the name of the contents, CALIFORNIA WALNUT SAUCE, and the apparent name of the proprietor, M. E. YOUNG & CO. This person is most likely Mary E. Young, the husband of restaurateur, John Henry Young. He and Mary were married in Knox County, Illinois, on March 20, 1883, where John began his restaurant career. The couple and their two children moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1910. 

“Mrs. Young’s Famous Walnut Sauce” was first advertised in 1916 (Los Angeles Evening Express, April 4, 1916), and in August of that year, “M. E. Young & Co, Walnut Table Sauce” was noted as one of the many new enterprises in Los Angeles (The Los Angeles Times, August 13, 1916)

 After an unusual hiatus, it was advertised again in May 1919, along with significant changes that occurred that year.  Mrs Young was probably the registrant for the trademark of the walnut sauce which was first unveiled in June of 1919. Further examination of trademark records is necessary to confirm this.

The first advertisement including the trademarked logo for California Walnut Sauce was located in the Los Angeles Evening Express on June 6, 1919. Mary E. Young was the probable registrant. The significant change occurred when she died on June 11, 1919, which apparently caused the subsequent sale of the product to other parties.


Within a couple of months after Mary’s death, the walnut sauce had been re-branded to “An-ge-lo California Walnut Sauce”. The new advertisements note this change and also note the old and newer trademarks are included on the new labels. The new proprietor was the California Walnut Sauce Co., of Los Angeles, with no mention of M.E Young & Co. It is likely that the new owners of the Walnut Sauce Co. had been swallowed up by large corporations. By October 1920 the Columbia Products Company was given permission to take over the assets and business of the Walnut Sauce Co., which was owned by another large conglomerate, the Stetson- Barret Company (The Recorder, San Francisco, California, October 13, 1920). The brand appears to have fallen out of favor by the decade's end.


The new advertisement for “Angelo” California Walnut Sauce first appeared in this advertisement. (Los Angeles Herald, August 20, 1919) The Worcestershire-type bottles remained the same and it is only assumed that the older lettered bottles, as shown here, were no longer used.



The 8 oz. light aqua tooled-top bottles are also embossed on the heel, “I.P.G.CO”, the unmistakable mark of the Illinois Pacific Glass Company, which operated from 1902 to 1930.


It is assumed that the species of walnuts used in the California Walnut Sauce was actually the English Walnut, (Juglans regia), which is an ‘old world’ variety, typically grown on the native California Black Walnut (Juglans hindsii) rootstock. This is noted primarily because the name of the product alludes to the possibility that the California species was used in an extract form. To walnut connoisseurs, there is a slight difference in the taste of the nut, but the native species is much more difficult to harvest and is almost never grown as a commercial crop. If just the liquid extract is used, as in the case of walnut sauce, it is possible that the native variety may have been used for this product.

Mary E. Young is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Glendale, California, along with her husband, John Henry Young who died on January 27, 1930. John operated his None-Such Restaurant at 3402 South Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles from 1910 to at least 1921.