Over 35 Years of Culinary Excellence
Enamored by a demonstration of a restaurant food preparation machine in France, Carl Sontheimer and his wife, Shirley, are convinced they can adapt this technology to a useful home appliance for Americans. Sontheimer, a retired MIT-trained physicist and accomplished cook, makes a daring decision to jump into the highly competitive housewares business with his own company called Cuisinart. The company would initially import an exclusive line of top-quality stainless steel cookware.
Sontheimer begins tinkering with the prototype of the food preparation machine, taking it apart and making refinements. He lengthens the feed tube, improves the cutting blade and discs, and adds safety features to meet American standards.
With great expectations, the Sontheimers unveil the "Food Processor" at the National Housewares Exposition in Chicago.
Determined to make the product a kitchen staple, Sontheimer starts improving the discs and blades. He mixes eggs into a puff shell dough in 15 seconds instead of 15 minutes, chops a pound of meat in less than 60 seconds, and creates flavored spreads, pastries and dough faster and with fewer cleanups than ever before.
Sontheimer takes his new techniques and machine to such food authorities as James Beard, Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, Jacques Pépin and Helen McCully. Their accolades and stories praising the machine in Gourmet, The New York Times, and other major publications, help establish Cuisinart as a worthwhile investment for serious home cooks.
Cuisinart's food processor business explodes, as sales soar from a few food processors a month to hundreds a month. At the same time, the overall food processor market dramatically expands to include more than a dozen brands of food processors, representing over 30 models. Prices range from $30 to almost $400.
To keep its leading edge, a new version of the Cuisinart® food processor debuts. Meaningful improvements include a work bowl with 46 percent more capacity than before, a considerably stronger and more efficient motor, and an even larger feed tube.
Cuisinart continues to raise culinary awareness by publishing several highly successful cookbooks. One book, American Southwest, by Anne Greer, receives the R.T. French company's "Tastemaker Award" for the best cookbook on American cuisine. Meanwhile, Cuisinart continues to roll out new, multi-faceted products.
Cuisinart keeps its commitment to culinary education alive with the introduction of a cooking videotape series for consumers.
The Mini-Mate chopper/grinder strengthens the Cuisinart line with high-performance features like a reversible, patented blade.
The Sontheimers, having made Cuisinart the premier housewares brand, decide to sell the company they founded to a group of investors.
Investors sell Cuisinart to Conair Corporation in Stamford, Connecticut, a leading nationwide manufacturer of consumer appliances, personal care products and consumer electronics.
Committed to maintaining its tradition of leadership, Cuisinart introduces The Food Preparation Center, with innovative features like a large feed tube that holds whole tomatoes. With the addition of a whisk attachment, the product performs all the functions of a standard mixer.
Drawing from the success of its full-size food prep machines, Cuisinart unveils a pint size replica called The Mini-Prep®. The product, which quickly chops foods in small amounts, is an instant hit.
Building on its quick start at energizing the Cuisinart brand, the company lays the foundation for products that go beyond the original cookware and food processor introductions with its first hand-held and countertop blenders.
Cuisinart enters the coffeemaker business.
The introduction of hand mixers and toasters gives breadth to an assortment considered among the best in the high-end appliance arena.
In March, Carl Sontheimer, Cuisinart's renowned founder, passes away at the age of 83. In May, Conair acquires the Waring Products Division of Dynamics Corporation of America. The Waring brand is well-known for commercial and high-end consumer blenders and drink mixers. Waring becomes a sister company to Cuisinart.
Cuisinart enters the toaster oven broiler category and introduces another innovation with the SmartPower Duet®, offering consumers the benefits of Cuisinart's SmartPower™ 7-Speed Electronic Blender and a 3-cup Food Processor in a single appliance.
Cuisinart once again revolutionizes the way America cooks, with the PowerPrep Plus®, the first major redesign of the company's food processor. The new machine features a Metal Dough Blade, Supreme™ Wide Mouth Feed Tube and sleek European styling.
Cuisinart expands its cookware and coffeemaker collections with the introduction of MultiClad Stainless Cookware and the Premier Series Coffeemakers. Both lines feature newly improved technology, while still retaining Cuisinart's high-performance features.
Cuisinart teams up with Lifetime Hoan to produce a high-end cutlery line.
Cuisinart continues to diversify with the company's first citrus juicer and a select group of specialty appliances, such as the Pizzelle Press and the Cordless Electric Jug Kettle.
Cuisinart launches its new countertop cooking appliances that include the Cuisinart Griddler™, Grill & Griddle, two Rice Cookers and the Slow Cooker. The products take Cuisinart beyond food prep to countertop cooking, while combining the legacy of professional performance with countertop convenience.
Cuisinart garners top honors from the Communicator Awards for its first cookbook - Simple & Enticing Recipes, a collection of Cuisinart Executive Chef Fabrizio Bottero's favorite recipes. Cuisinart also enters several first-time categories for the company, including wine cellars, a single-serve coffeemaker, bread maker and popcorn maker.
The company signs a licensing agreement with Acme International to produce a line of kitchen tools and gadgets that run the gamut, from ladles and spatulas to corkscrews and zesters.
Cuisinart expands its bridal registry program with more events throughout the U.S., increased consumer print advertising, and new online resources. In addition, the company launches a new website, www.cuisinart.com/baby, providing a concrete resource for expectant mothers and parents.
Building on the strength of its signature food processor line, Cuisinart introduces the PrepExpress™ Handheld Food Processor, an industry first in the food prep market that allows home chefs to grate, slice or shred ingredients directly into a bowl or baking pan. The company also broadens its kitchen electrics line with new products in the brick oven, pizza oven, and espresso maker business.
Continuing its commitment to culinary education, Cuisinart sponsors the premier public television series featuring award-winning chef Hubert Keller, of San Francisco's famed Fleur de Lys restaurant.
In its first major launch since the redesign of its food processor, Cuisinart enters the stand mixer business with a 7-quart and a 5.5-quart model. The products deliver more power, capacity and precision than any other stand mixer on the market. As part of the product launch, the company also unveils a new website - www.cuisinartstandmixer.com.
Cuisinart enters the green market with the industry's first eco-friendly GreenGourmet™ Nonstick Cookware, which was developed using manufacturing techniques that reduce harmful carbon emissions by consuming less energy.
The company also launches an online recipe widget that consumers can download directly onto any Mac or Windows-based computer desktop for easy and ready access to Cuisinart's recipe database and video recipes. This widget and the various applications it accesses can then be emailed to friends and shared.
Cuisinart brings food processing to a whole new level with the Elite Collection™ of food processors, which features multiple nested work bowls, an exclusive BladeLock™ System and SealTight™ technology. The company also enters a new product category with the Vertical Rotisserie, while expanding other categories with the introduction of the Rice Plus™ Multi-Cooker and the CleanWater® Countertop Filtration System, which also has a dedicated website, www.cuisinartcleanwater.com.
Cuisinart sponsors Four-Star Chef Eric Ripert's American Public Television series, Avec Eric, that will air in September. Ripert is best known for his acclaimed restaurants, Le Bernardin in New York City and 10 Arts in Philadelphia.
As part of its ongoing new media marketing campaign, Cuisinart establishes a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The company also creates the "My Pantry" application for its website, which allows home cooks to enter ingredients they have in their kitchen to learn what recipes they can then make.
Cuisinart expands its signature Griddler® line with the new Centro, which allows home cooks to grill or griddle food on the top tier and cook kebabs or hot dogs on the bottom tier simultaneously. The company also introduces its first Single Serve Brewing System (in partnership with Keurig), a new Ice Cream Maker that can prepare frozen desserts faster than ever before and a PerfecTemp™ Cordless Programmable Kettle that offers preset settings for six different types of tea. Additionally, the company wins a Gold Summit International Award for an Eco-Friendly Press Kit, as well as a Bronze Telly Award for the CleanWater® Countertop Filtration System Online Video Series.
Cuisinart introduces the innovative Soup Maker & Blender, which is not only adept at traditional blending tasks, but can perfectly sauté, simmer and boil ingredients as well. Other new products include coffeemakers, the Metallic Red Series and a popcorn maker that can incorporate flavors and toppings. The company also debuts an iPhone app called Cuisinart KitchenSync that allows consumers to search hundreds of recipes, which can be saved, shared and cross-referenced with “My Pantry.” Johnson & Wales University unveils the LEED certified 82,000 sq. ft. Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence facility in Providence, Rhode Island, and Cuisinart publishes the second edition of its test kitchen cookbook, Simple & Enticing Recipes.