See Our Cafés. Chock full o’Nuts got its start in 1926, when its founder, William Black, opened up a small shop in Manhattan’s Times Square district. (remember their jingle, “nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee). Copyright © 2020 Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA. In time, the brand grew popular, being introduced to the consumer market through grocery stores starting in 1953. Better coffee Rockefeller's money can't buy.[8]. Those were the places that stood out immediately. Waiting for them was Macy’s, Woolworth’s and Chock full o’Nuts. Chock full o’ Nuts was sold to the Sara Lee Corporation. “1920s — we sold nuts. The company was compelled to alter the lyrics from "Rockefeller's money" to "a millionaire's money" after being sued by New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, who owned coffee interests in Latin America. Over the years one could fine a Chuck full o’ Nuts store open just selling coffee and donuts in the same fashion as a Dunkin Donuts because they had opened Chock full o’ Nuts express stores in 1993. In 1926, he opened a store on Broadway and 43rd Street, eventually adding 17 more. It’s where it all began. Chock full o'Nuts is that heavenly coffee, But did we change? After the Great Depression, fancy nuts are a luxury, William Black switches from roasting nuts to roasting coffee beans, and the New York Roasted coffee shops are born. Coffee got all fancy pants. I loved their coffee and donuts. Better coffee Rockefeller’s money can’t buy,”, “Chock full o’Nuts is that heavenly coffee, [6] In 1993, Chock Express stores were introduced. [7][8] In May 2006, it was purchased from Sara Lee by Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, along with the MJB, Hills Bros., and Chase & Sanborn coffee brands. When coffee prices went up in the 1950s, Black, like other restaurateurs, held to a 5-cent cup of coffee by watering it down. Chock full o'Nuts is a brand of coffee originating from a chain of New York City coffee shops. The jingle was based on the 1940s song “Heavenly Feeling” that was a minor hit song by The McGuire Sisters. Six  years after the Chock full o’ Nuts brand was sold to Sara Lee, it was then sold by Sara Lee to Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA. [10] The 23rd Street store closed in 2012. degrees from Stony Brook University, New York. However, Chock full o’ Nuts were forced to eventually change the lyrics from………. - ClassicRockHistory.com. Buy Online Well, your friends. Farewell Regis Philbin: New York Just Lost A Great One! As of 2019, six stores branded as Chock full o'Nuts Cafés were in operation, including two locations in Brooklyn, and one in each of Elizabeth and Fort Lee, New Jersey; Middletown, New York; and Miami, Florida. Our online stores open 76 years after the very first Chock full o’Nuts store in NYC. But for those of us 40 and older or at least living in Brooklyn(more on that later), the name Chock full o’Nuts brings back memories of coffee shops built around twisting lunch counters and date nut bread cream cheese sandwiches that were to die for. 1932 THEN SWITCHED TO COFFEE After the Great Depression, fancy nuts are a luxury, William Black switches from roasting nuts to roasting coffee beans, and the New York Roasted coffee shops are born. The company stayed in business but their main revenue was from the sale of their coffee on the market. William Black opens his first nut roasting shop, “Chock full o’Nuts®,” on Broadway on 43rd. In 1953, the coffee brand was introduced to supermarkets. Subscribe, Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Contact. We started as a New York nut shop in 1926, began roasting coffee during the Great Depression, and before you could say, “Chock full o’Nuts® is the Heavenly Coffee,” we were the coffee on everyone’s lips. Brian Kachejian is the founder and Editor in Chief of ClassicNewYorkHistory.com. See Our Products, If you can’t make fun of yourself, who can make fun of you? Like now, Times Square was frequented by a lot of theatergoers, and they probably liked snacks. Several years later baseball star Jackie Robinson became the company's vice president and director of personnel, after retiring from the game. Better coffee than a millionaire’s money can’t buy.”. Chock full o’ Nuts also made history in the hiring of Jackie Robinson in 1957. Sung by company founder William Black's wife, cabaret singer Page Morton Black, it received extensive airplay on both radio and television in the 1950s and 1960s. What do nuts, the Great Depression, even greater coffee and a wicked sense of humor have in common? Chock full o'Nuts coffee cans serve as a plot element in the 2007 film The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, and Sean Hayes.[13]. [11], To assure those with allergies to nuts, the company began adding the slogan "NO NUTS! Coffee served as a way to battle those hunger pains. The relevant line is “Better coffee a millionaire’s money can’t buy.” Thanks for writing this! Get Roasted, Still roasting a great cup of coffee at a good price for New York and true coffee lovers everywhere. Their signature "nutted cheese" sandwich, made of cream cheese and chopped nuts on dark raisin bread, cost a nickel with a cup of coffee when the company was founded. William Black opens his first nut roasting shop, “Chock full o’Nuts®,” on Broadway on 43rd. William Black began roasting coffee beans instead of peanuts. Currently, in 2020 there are two open Chock full o’ Nuts stores severing those sandwiches and many other items at their lunch counters in their stores in the borough of Brooklyn. William Black’s roasted nuts weren’t cheap and seen as more of a luxury item at the time. It was a small nut roasting shop located on Broadway and 43rd street that he called Chock full o’Nuts. Baseball legend Jackie Robinson joins Chock full o’Nuts as Vice President of Personnel. [3][4] In 1961, Chock full o'Nuts introduced a brand of instant coffee. The famous Heavenly Coffee jingle begins its run as Chock’s longtime advertising campaign. In 1953, the company introduced its Chock Full o'Nuts brand of vacuum-packed coffee into New York area stores. In the twentieth century, Chock full o’Nuts stores were as New York as it got. In 1988, investor Martin D. Gruss and the companies he controlled purchased a 10-percent stake in the Chock full o'Nuts Corporation, saying he might seek control of the company. [5] In the 1970s, the lunch counters gradually closed. The youngest franchise owner in the years after the comeback was Corey Torjesen of Staten Island, New York, who opened a Chock full O'Nuts franchise, at the age of 19, with money he had earned from a newspaper route. In 2010, it was announced that the old school Chock Full o’ Nuts lunch counters complete with their legendary date nut raisin bread cream cheese sandwhichs would be returning to New York City. Photo: It1224 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0). He names it after his original shop – Chock full o’Nuts. Especially the one on 34th street near Penn Station. Chock full o’ Nuts also made history in the hiring of Jackie Robinson in 1957. Cooks used tongs to assemble them. Chock full o’Nuts instant coffee is introduced. By 1955 Chock full o’ Nuts would become the biggest selling brand of coffee in New York. [2] But he soon broke ranks and raised the price, announcing that he refused to compromise on quality. In the 1970s, all the Chock full o’ Nuts lunch counters closed down. Chock full o’Nuts becomes the #1 coffee in New York City. Not only was the coffee being served at Black’s coffee shops, it was also being sold in cans at supermarkets all over the city. Brian Kachejian is an award winning writer and Certified New York State Social Studies and Music teacher.