A Civil War veteran, Woolson moved to Toledo in 1875 with his family, and started a grocery business. Woolson’s eventual goal was to start his own coffee and spice company but he lacked the capital to do so. Woolson would eventually buy out the C.C. Warren & Company, and rename it Woolson Spice Company. The Woolson Spice Company prospered, becoming the second largest coffee company in the world.