Our Story | Nation’s Giant Hamburgers
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A man, a buick, & a hot dog stand

Yes, we did say “hot dog stand.” It’s certainly an odd way to begin telling the story of a company that’s famous for hamburgers.

Surprisingly, hot dogs are how Nation’s Giant Hamburgers got its start back in 1952. In San Pablo, California, Russ Harvey decided to trade in his 1948 Buick for the chance to make hot dogs at a 10-foot-wide counter with six stools. It turned out to be the best move he ever made. Well, that and the decision to expand his menu beyond hot dogs, of course.

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Our story hero
  • 1952

    In his travels, Russ would always look for a good hamburger place. “There was this one place...where they made a hamburger how I liked them. It had nice thick slices of onions in it, tomatoes and lettuce, the whole thing was pretty good.”

  • 1952

    Since 1952, our patties have been made of beef that’s specifically ground for Nation’s. We still use two local butchers for ⅓ lb. hamburgers made to our specifications from meat delivered fresh three times a week.

  • 1960

    Dale is “ready to have a car and a license.” So, he went to Russ for a job. For the next 10 years, Dale was a maintenance person, a janitor, and a manager.

  • 1970

    Dale purchased an unnamed restaurant in Oakland, and suggested to Russ, “Why don’t we build a little chain together?” They chose to call it Nation’s, now trademarked. Oakland was first to display the new signage as Nation’s Giant Hamburgers.

  • 1974

    Pies were on the menu from the beginning. When a bakery became available in Fremont, Dale brought fresh, homemade pies in-house as a daily menu item. Popular as ever, today there are 14 delicious flavors of quality pies.

  • 1978

    Breakfast was offered for the first time at the San Pablo and Newark stores. By 1978, every store offered breakfast and most locations offer breakfast all day.

  • 1980

    For many years our workers made their own uniforms. It’s great to look back and see how the styles are so representative of the times.

  • 1984

    As our growth continued, Nation’s built a new home office and another pie shop in El Cerrito on a site that was originally the Golden Jersey Dairy that closed in the early 1970s when a BART station was built.

  • 1986

    The Power family: Dale, Danielle, Cara and Grant.

  • 1991

    We introduced the ever-popular Harvester sandwich.

  • 2002

    We celebrated the opening of the Coffee Museum at Peerless Coffee’s home office. Peerless Coffee is our oldest vendor and we are their oldest customer.

  • 2015

    Grant Power became the new president of Nation’s Foodservice Inc., while Dale Power transitioned to chairman of the board.

  • 2022

    Our 70th birthday is here, the legacy continues.

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