Remembering Continental Coffee Company

The following letter came via email to Nancy Winship, P’10, P’13, senior vice president institutional advancement, in response to the Cohn family’s bequest of $50 million for scholarships at Brandeis.

Dear Ms. Winship,

The Globe's article about the $50m donation caused me to tear up when I read the second to last paragraph identifying Jacob Cohn's estate as the one which made this generous gift. My dad worked for Continental Coffee Company in New Jersey for close to fifty years, and I can attest to the care and concern and generosity the company bestowed on each employee. The idea of reward for hard work was deeply felt by each member of the Cohn family and the importance of education was demonstrated by the establishment of the Jacob Cohn Scholarship Awards given to employees' children to attend college. My brother was an early recipient of the award and used the money toward his tuition at MIT.

My dad, a route sales manager, would always have coffee at the house, and family lore has it that coffee was added to my bottle when I was a baby. And no coffee tasted any better than Continental. When I set up my own home, I always had a supply of the coffee given to me by my dad. After the company was sold and my dad retired from CCC, I kept two packets of the coffee and still have them to this day. About 10 years ago, my daughter found a CCC empty bag on eBay and gave it to me as a gift (of course I still own it).

If you want to learn more about Jacob Cohn and the company, please read "More Than A Coffee Company: The Story of CFS Continental." Filled with people who I remember and a couple of lovely pictures, I cherish the copy that was given to my dad in 1986.

I hope you enjoyed reading more about the wonderful Cohn family and their company.  Their legacy is heart warming, real, but not unexpected.

Sue Rodburg

Categories: General, Student Life

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