That name again is Mr. Coffee

Another contributor to late 20th-century technology is whisked away from us:

Vincent Marotta, one of the co-founders of the iconic Mr. Coffee brand that helped revolutionize how Americans make their morning brew, died Saturday at his home in suburban Cleveland. He was 91.

Marotta and his business partner and high school friend Samuel Glazer turned Mr. Coffee into a household name after asking two engineers to create a drip brewing system like those found in restaurants. Marotta came up with the idea after his and Glazer’s construction and shopping center development business were hurt by a slowdown in the real estate market.

Ah, diversification. Marotta and Glazer sold North American Systems, Inc., the company they formed to manufacture Mr. Coffee, for $182 million in 1987, fifteen years after its inception. And there’s one corporate secret to be told:

The brand’s fortunes received a boost when Marotta persuaded retired New York Yankees star Joe DiMaggio to become the Mr. Coffee spokesman. Ironically, DiMaggio only drank instant decaffeinated coffee because of stomach problems.

Joltin’ Joe wouldn’t let that bother him, though:

The Mr. Coffee brand is now owned by Jarden Corporation.





4 comments

  1. Bill Peschel »

    4 August 2015 · 6:33 pm

    So he came up with the idea, but didn’t actually invent it, and profited off it anyway? Sounds like … let’s see, what am I pissed at today … America? Capitalism? Republicans? That box of chocolate-chip ice cream that made me eat two bowls of and now I feel urphy?

    Yeah, that’ll do. That fuckin’ ice cream.

  2. McGehee »

    4 August 2015 · 8:32 pm

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a percolator on a store shelf. But I think Joe D could still find instant decaf if he wants any — not that being stared at by the nation’s lonely eyes in the coffee aisle at Kroger would be a better gig than he has right now…

  3. ms7168 »

    5 August 2015 · 5:25 am

    I have had several Mr. Coffee machines through the years. One thing about them at least they were (are) affordable enough that when they succumb you can simply pitch and buy another one. I was a little more miffed when the well over $100 Braun that I bought died a horrible death before even being 18 months old.

  4. McGehee »

    5 August 2015 · 6:48 am

    Among the members of our household there are three Keurig coffeemakers to our various names. The one not currently in use was the first acquired, many years ago — but the reason it’s not in use is, we can’t find it in all the clutter that has been moved down here from Chattanooga over the last couple of years. The last time it was used, it did fine.

RSS feed for comments on this post