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Our History in St. Louis | Nestlé Purina Careers

130+ Years of Nestlé Purina History in St. Louis

Nestlé Purina is supported by a rich and robust history dating back more than a century. Despite a series of challenging events—World Wars, recessions, rising competition, and mergers—the organization has uniquely shaped itself into a longstanding leader within the pet care category. Even beyond its reputation of developing some of the best pet foods in the market, Nestlé Purina is known as one of the best places to work both locally and nationally.

For those St. Louisans who have spent decades in the city, most know us by our former name, Ralston Purina. Prior to the Ralston days, Purina was known as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company—a manufacturer of horse and mule feed. Having gained much exposure during the 1904 World's Fair held right here in St. Louis, Purina was on a steady climb to success. Ralston stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1962 and reached its first $1 billion sales year by '66. After one of the worst recessions of the post-war era, a record-high unemployment rate, and inflation at its peak in the ‘80's, Purina managed to continue its growth by acquiring the Continental Baking Company, the largest wholesale baker of fresh bakery products in the U.S. Ralston also purchased the battery products operations of the Union Carbide Corporation and sold Purina Mills to a subsidiary of The British Petroleum Company. When Nestlé purchased Ralston Purina Company in 2001 to form Nestlé Purina, a new era began. Present day, our global connection through Nestle connects us to a vast network of resources. Our partnership has pushed us to continue exploring new and innovative ways to improve petcare.

Throughout our remarkable 130-year journey in St. Louis, we have remained deeply committed to investing in and supporting our local community. We take great pride in our annual Pet Care Pride Day, when associates are encouraged to step away from their desks and off the production floor to divide into teams to perform a variety of service activities for the community. Additionally, we consistently partner with various non-profit organizations, ensuring that those in need have access to quality pet care. Our dedication to making a positive impact extends beyond traditional initiatives as well. Through our Purple Leash Project, we are actively working to raise awareness and support for domestic violence survivors and their pets, providing them with safe spaces and resources to rebuild their lives. At Nestle Purina, we firmly believe in showing up for our communities and making a lasting difference in the lives of both pets and people.

As one of our employees said, “We’re deeply connected to all the communities in which we work, and Saint Louis is no exception. You’ll find that giving back to our communities is one of the ways we associates find meaning and purpose in our careers.”

If you can picture yourself at Nestlé Purina—a company with a long line of innovation, renovation, research, science, and passion—visit our careers site, or join our talent network to be among the first to hear about our open opportunities.