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Over next few years two worked on finding perfect blend and in 1892 Cheek believed they had found it. He approached food buyer for Maxwell House and gave him twenty pounds of his special blend for free. After a few days coffee was gone and hotel returned to its usual brand. After hearing of complaints from patrons, who liked Cheeks coffee better, hotel bought Cheeks blend exclusively.
Inspired by his success Cheek quit his job and formed a wholesale grocery distributor with partner John Neal, The Nashville Coffee and Manufacturing Company, specializing in coffee with Maxwell House Coffee, as it came to be known, as central brand.
Later Nashville Coffee and Manufacturing Company was renamed Cheek-Neal Coffee Company. Over next several years Maxwell House Coffee brand became a well respected name noted for its high-brow snob appeal that set it apart from competition.
Like most coffee companies, Cheek-Neal Coffee Company marketed many lower-grade brands of coffee keeping Maxwell House Coffee as its flagship. In 1910 company was fined for ‘adulteration and misbranding’ of one of its lower grade coffees containing 10 percent chicory. There was a strip label across lid indicating use of chicory but print was tiny and main label read big and bold "Cheek & Neal Cup Quality Coffee."
The legal mess that resulted had little effect on company or reputation of Maxwell House Coffee and by 1920’s Maxwell House was a household name. In 1928 General Foods bought Maxwell House Coffee. Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit of Maxwell House Coffee History.
© Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved.
Randy works with his son on Ultimate Coffees Info. Randy owned and operated a very successful storefront/mailorder business from 1988 to 2003.