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January 29, 2010

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Thanks for posting this. I was the last brand manager on MJB at Nestle before we sold the business to Sara Lee.

The combined effect of strong category competition (P&G w. Folgers and Kraft w. Maxwell House) and the impact that Starbucks had on the whole category has not been kind to MJB. It's still hanging on in some of its historically strong markets but you have to be quite determined to find it on the shelves these days.

I always had a particular affinity for MJB because its initials are also my initials. In fact, when I was the brand manager on MJB, I ordered plenty of promotional items with the MJB logo! (I'm drinking out of a MJB coffee cup as I write.)

So, it was good to read about MJB when it was in its heyday and to see that there are still some signs of it around the Bay Area.

Thanks for the coffee history lesson! I love those old signs painted on brick buildings.

Thanks Nancy for such a great post. I, too, am a Bransten descendant. For a really great flavor of early San Francisco and MJB coffee, read "Under Mannie's Hat," by Ruth Bransten McDougall. Her father, Manfred, was Max Brandenstein's brother. She is also Rena Bransten's aunt.
The book opens with the SF earthquake in 1906 when Mannie rushes out of the house to check on MJB and his very proper wife yells after him not to forget his hat! It's a romp through the world of SF.

Delightful, Nancy. Reminds me of an early Gold Medal flour slogan: "Eventually" (or its longer version, "Eventually--Why Not Now?).

Don't you know? There's 17 Reasons Why.

http://wexfordgirl.typepad.com/wexford_girl/2008/09/17-reasons-why.html

(as long as that sign was up, there was always a San Francisco band named 17 Reasons Why. None of them ever took off, so there was a new one every couple of years. But the sign's gone now, so that one will probably not come up again...)

Delightful, Nancy.

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