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The Impact of Mr Coffee

I admit it. I must have my coffee in the morning. In fact, we have several pots brewing at the firm every morning. That’s why a recent obituary in the New York Times especially caught my attention.

It was in article form titled Vincent Marotta Sr., a Creator of Mr. Coffee, Dies at 91 – The New York Times.

Where do we get some of our best ideas? They say that necessity is the mother of invention. In fact, my morning coffee is more of a product of someone finding a better way.

Mr. Marotta was a real estate developer who was tired of the old household percolator coffee-maker. That, and he did not like his wife’s coffee. So, he decided it was time to do something.

He invented the first automatic drip coffee maker. Then, he named it Mr. Coffee and teamed with baseball great Joe DiMaggio.  DiMaggio was known as the Yankee Clipper but he began doing TV ads for this new coffee maker. Soon, Forbes reported that Mr. Coffee was responsible for 150 million dollars in annual sales and DiMaggio was more known as a coffee appliance salesman.

The percolator operated on the premise of circulating hot water through the coffee multiple times, until the coffee was ready. Unfortunately, many times it produced a bitter cup of coffee. Now, it has been replaced by the automatic drip coffee maker that comes in many brands.

Today, we can look at our morning coffee and be thankful that Marotta knew that there was a better way. A good reminder that we should always be looking for a better way.

The caveat to the marketing story is that Joe DiMaggio rarely drank coffee because of stomach problems. Instead, he would make an instant cup of coffee. A far cry from that good Mr. Coffee cup of coffee.

And a cartoon for our pic o’ day.

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