Burlington’s Maltex Company

IN 1900, BREAKFAST CEREAL WAS BIG BUSINESS. Quaker Oats, Wheatena, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and Grape-nuts were all new inventions, capitalizing on American consumers’ desire for packaged breakfast foods that were easy to prepare. Looking for a new investment, Burlington businessman William J. Van Patten acquired the rights to a hot cereal recipe made from wheat and barley, now known as Maltex cereal, and built a four-story brick factory at 431 Pine Street.  A new exhibition at Champlain College’s Roger H. Perry Hall, on display during the fall semester, showcases the company, its cereal products, and its advertising methods.


Maltex Promotional Ink Blotter, c. 1915-1925, Champlain College Special Collections, 2015.9.1

This promotional ink blotter riffed on the image of boxers in the popular imagination, advertising Maltex as a “nourishing” and “delicious” product that would turn a toddler into a beefy “One-Round McCarthy.”

The Maltex family of cereals were made in Burlington through 1969, when the firm’s fourth owners moved production out of state. Maltex is currently produced by the Homestat Farm Company of Ohio, and the Maltex Building is now an incubator for small businesses.