By 1924 the Utah Packing Corporation had become the largest operator of canning factories in the state. The basis for the company's operations were the five canneries operated by William J. (Jake) Parker, who has been called the father of Utah canning. In March 1917 he organized his five canneries as the Utah Packing Company.
Two other men, the father and son team of Nephi Preston Hardy and Nephi Edwin Hardy, were also important figures in Utah canning. Hardy and his son were responsible for the construction of four of the early commercial canning factories in Utah: the two early factories in Hooper and the first of four factories in Roy, and the factory in Spanish Fork. All of this construction had taken place by 1907 when his son, Nephi Edwin Hardy, died.
Nephi Preston Hardy taught the basics of food processing and canning to his son when he started the second canning enterprise in the state, by processing tomatoes on his own farm in Hooper as early as 1892. His first plant was destroyed by a fire, but Hardy started over again and by 1897 he and others, including Jake Parker, had built a larger factory in Hooper. This second factory also ended in a fire that consumed it in mid-season; but the factory was rebuilt and Hardy was able to finish out the season. Hardy and Parker then decided to build a more substantial, fireproof factory.