Sunday, July 30, 2023

Maxwell House History

In 1892, a unique coffee blend specially crafted for the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, swiftly gained renown as Maxwell House™ coffee.

Back in 1884, Joel Owsley Cheek relocated to Nashville and serendipitously met Roger Nolley Smith, a celebrated British coffee broker known for his extraordinary ability to discern a coffee's origin merely by sniffing the green beans. Together, they collaborated over the following years to perfect the blend.

By 1892, Cheek approached the food buyer of the Maxwell House Hotel and generously offered him 20 pounds of his special blend without charge. The Maxwell House Hotel, constructed by Colonel John Overton Jr and named after his wife, Harriet Maxwell Overton, commenced construction in 1859 using slave labor and opened in the fall of 1869, at a cost of five hundred thousand dollars for the impressive five-story, 240-room establishment.

Within a few days, the hotel ran out of Cheek's coffee, prompting discontent among patrons when the hotel reverted to its previous coffee. The patrons unmistakably preferred Cheek's blend, prompting the hotel to decide on exclusively procuring Cheek's blend. After six months, the hotel agreed to allow Cheek to name his coffee after this momentous achievement.

Empowered by this triumph, Joel Cheek resigned from his position as a coffee broker and, in partnership with Maxwell Colbourne, founded the Nashville Coffee and Manufacturing Company. As one of the few individuals selling freshly roasted coffee, Cheek staunchly believed that his product surpassed other alternatives in terms of quality. To ensure its freshness and delightful flavor, he made sure the coffee reached customers within a week of being made.

As a result, the Nashville Coffee and Manufacturing Company underwent a name change and became known as the "Cheek-Neal Coffee Company."

In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the Maxwell House and reportedly praised the coffee as "good to the last drop."

During the era of World War II, the company expanded into producing instant coffee, rapidly becoming a significant supplier to soldiers and households across America.

In 1963, Maxwell House introduced a groundbreaking freeze-drying process that revolutionized the market, delivering a taste comparable to freshly brewed coffee, setting it apart from other instant coffee products.

Maxwell House coffee has changed ownership and been produced by several companies, beginning with Cheek's very own Nashville Coffee and Manufacturing Company, followed by General Foods, and Kraft Foods Inc.
Maxwell House History