The Brooklyn Roasting Company’s Emily Sheppard is certainly in the running for the 2011-2012 Mose Drachman Award
Quoted from the SCAA website:
About The Mose Drachman Sales & Service Award
The Specialty Coffee Association of America has established an award to recognize sales and service excellence in the specialty coffee industry and named the award after Mose Drachman, a coffee salesman based in Tucson, Arizona 100 years ago.
Born in 1870 and raised in Tucson, Mose Drachman became at age 22 the Arizona sales representative for Arbuckle Brothers Coffee Company, which was headquartered in New York. He was awarded the Arizona territory based solely on a letter he wrote to Arbuckle Brothers. He remained a “coffee jobber” until 1910 when his success in a variety of Arizona business ventures ensured he no longer needed to travel by train for weeks at a time on “coffee-selling tours” to cover his territory, which eventually included parts of New Mexico. His first months’ commission check amounted to $8.00. When he left Arbuckle Brothers, his commissions checks were averaging $250 a month.
At the time, Arbuckle Brothers was a coffee giant and it’s Ariosa brand had a virtual monopoly in the West. An “Arbuckle Cowboy” was a tenderfoot, someone considered so green he’d bought his outfit with Arbuckle coffee coupons. The competition, primarily from Lion Coffee for most of Drachman’s tenure, was fierce. Rivals were known to bribe warehousemen to have onions stored next to Arbuckle Brothers’ coffee. In one incident often cited, Lion Coffee salesmen are said to have persuaded a Native American tribe to switch to Lion Coffee because they could thereby obtain the strength of the lion that appeared on the package. Drachman quickly brought them back to Arbuckle’s, however, when he explained that the angel that appeared on the Ariosa package was “stronger than ten thousand lions.” He reportedly boasted to his wife, “If Lion wants to beat my angel, they’ll have to put on their label a picture of God himself.”
According to a biography written by his daughter Rosemary, Drachman sometimes sold enough coffee to fill twenty carloads. That’s an entire train! When Arbuckle Brothers added half of New Mexico to his territory, they cut his commission from 25 to 20 cents a case because they were afraid he would now sell more coffee than they could afford in commission. Apparently, Mose was so excited by the addition to his territory that he didn’t mind the decrease in commission. “You can’t figure up everything in dollars and cents,” he said. Mose Drachman died in 1935.
It is in the spirit of Mose Drachman’s enthusiasm for both selling and serving his customers that the Mose Drachman Sales & Service Award has been created by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. The award includes the following inscription:
“Whereas Mose Drachman was a highly successful coffee salesman for Arbuckle Brothers, well regarded in his community and by his customers, the Specialty Coffee Association of America has established the Mose Drachman Sales & Service Award to recognize those who provide exceptional sales and service within the specialty coffee industry. The aforementioned company or individual has been identified by their customers as deserving recognition for a high degree of professionalism in providing proactive customer service, complete product information and education, and a devotion to quality.”