The Home Juice Organization

A. Home Juice Co.

In the early 1940s, Jim Haddad started Home Juice Co. out of a family garage on Division Street on the Far West Side of Chicago.  Home Juice was in the business of selling “bellywash,” which is industry vernacular for drinks that are made by combining water, sugar, small amounts of fruit juice, and various additives and preservatives.

After World War II Jim Haddad’s son, Leonard, joined the company, helping it expand.  During the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, Leonard organized or acquired nearly two dozen businesses in the United States, Canada and Europe.  Most of these businesses specialized in the home delivery of bellywash. They also produced and distributed beverages that purported to be pure fruit juice, including orange juice.  Almost all of the businesses organized by Haddad included the name “Home Juice." 

B. Home Juice alumni who made and sold adulterated orange juice.

For 25 years—from 1976 to 2000—the orange juice industry in the Midwest was beset by state and federal investigations and civil and criminal litigation over the adulteration of orange juice products.  Seven of the corporations ensnared in those cases were owned by individuals who got their start at Home Juice Co. of Chicago, Illinois

1. Ever Fresh, Albert "Ace" Allen, and Michael Allen.

From the late 1950s to the early 1970s, the Allen brothers were shareholders, officers, and/or directors of Ever Fresh, a Detroit-based franchisee of Home Juice.  In the early 1970s the Allens traded their shares in Ever Fresh for shares in Home Juice, and Ever Fresh became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Home Juice.

In 1978 the Allens separated from Home Juice and again became sole owners of Ever Fresh.  In December 1986 they sold the company to Labatt, which changed the format of the company’s name from “Ever Fresh to “Everfresh.” (These essays use “Ever Fresh” when referring to that firm’s operations prior to December 1986 and “Everfresh” when referring to operations after the change in ownership.)

Ever Fresh was sued on adulteration claims at least six times—for unfair competition in 1976, 1982, 1986, 1989, and 1990, and for consumer fraud in 1993.

2. Holiday Juice Ltd. and Daniel Kotwicki.

Kotwicki[1] was Home Juice’s chief financial officer during the 1970s.  From 1972-77, he was also an officer of several Home Juice affiliates, including Ever Fresh and Holiday Juice, a Windsor, Ontario, firm that sold orange juice products throughout Canada and in Illinois and Michigan.  From 1977 to 1983 Kotwicki was Holiday Juice’s president and also a minority shareholder.  After Labatt acquired the company in 1983, Kotwicki continued as its president through 1988.  He also served as an Everfresh officer after Labatt acquired that company in 1986.

Holiday Juice was sued on adulteration claims at least four times—for unfair competition in 1988 (twice) and 1990, and for consumer fraud in 1993. 

3. Flavor Fresh Foods Corp., James Marshall, and James Benton.

Flavor Fresh, Marshall, and Benton are discussed separately. See Marshall/Flavor Fresh.

4. American Citrus Products Corp. and Henry Lang. 

Lang is married to Caroline Haddad, a daughter of Leonard Haddad.  Lang was employed in various capacities at Home Juice from the early 1970s onward.  He became Home Juice’s president in 1978, after his father-in-law’s death.  In 1982 he formed American Citrus for the purpose of acquiring 100% of the shares in Home Juice, which were owned by his father-in-law’s estate.  Lang has been American Citrus’s chief executive officer and principal shareholder ever since.

From 1982 to 1998, American Citrus conducted its business as the Home Juice Company.  In 1998, Lang sold American Citrus’s assets, including the Home Juice trade name, to National Beverage Company.

American Citrus was sued on adulteration claims at least four times—for unfair competition in 1988, 1989 and 1990, and for consumer fraud in 1993. 

5. Bodine’s, Inc. and Ed Boden. 

Ed is a brother of Marie Boden, Leonard Haddad’s wife.  He worked at Home Juice from the 1950s through the early 1960s, when he left to form Bodine’s, a Chicago-based orange juice processor.

In 1989 Ed and two other Bodine’s executives were indicted on felony charges for making and selling adulterated and misbranded orange juice.  He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison, a $250,000 fine, 1,000 hours of community service, and five years' probation.

Ed Boden and Bodine’s were sued for consumer fraud in 1989. See Other Litigation,§H.

6. Boden Products Inc., Joe Boden, and George Boden. 

Joe and George were also brothers of Marie Boden.  They worked for their brother-in-law from the 1950s through the early 1960s, when they formed Boden Products.  In 1980, the Jewel Tea supermarket chain discontinued Boden Products as an orange juice supplier after receiving independent test reports showing that the firm’s orange juice was adulterated. This episode became notorious in the industry and led to a trade libel suit, Boden Products, Inc. v. HMFD Liquidating Co., No. 81 C 4149 (N.D. Ill.), that was settled in June 1983.

7. Home Juice International, IDEA, Ltd., and Friedrich Kohlbach. 

Home Juice International was a Home Juice affiliate organized under the laws of Switzerland in 1969.  The shareholders were IDEA, Inter Development and Engineering, Ltd.,[2] also a Swiss entity (47.5% interest); Leonard Haddad (47.5%); and Marshall (5%).  Kohlbach, a German citizen, was the controlling shareholder in IDEA.

In 1993 Kohlbach was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Michigan for his role in supplying Oleum 320/IDEA to Flavor Fresh and Peninsular. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to to eight months of home confinement, one year of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine. The judge further ordered Kohlbach to leave the United States after serving his sentence and paying his fine, and recommended that Kohlbach be barred from future entry.

[2] In about July 1987, IDEA changed its name to Bio Trade Ltd.