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Cuisinart is an American home appliance brand owned by Conair Corporation. The company was started in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer to bring a food processor to the US market. The "Food Processor" was the first model, introduced at the National Housewares Exposition in Chicago in 1973 and released in Canada in 1975. In 1986, Cuisinart introduced a chopper/grinder (the Mini-Mate) and has since expanded to include a wide variety of products. A partial list of Cuisinart products includes:
- Handheld Blenders and Countertop Blenders
- Brick Ovens
- Cutlery and Cutting boards
- Espresso Maker
- Food Processors
- Frozen yogurt-ice cream and sorbet makers
- Grills, Griddles, and Raclettes
- Hand Mixers
- Kitchen tools and gadgets
- Rice Cookers
- Slow Cookers
- Speciality Appliances
- Stand Mixers with five attachments
- Toasters and Toaster oven broilers
- Waffle Makers
Cuisinart products are available in upscale department and specialty stores nationwide.
The Cuisinart line was started by Carl Sontheimer and his wife Shirley Sontheimer. The idea of starting Cuisinart came from seeing a food preparation machine while traveling in France in 1971. Sontheimer, with his engineering knowledge and passion for cooking, decided to design similar technology for the American market. Sontheimer started by taking apart the prototype machine and making refinements to parts such as the feeding tube, cutting blade, and discs. In 1973 Sontheimer introduced "The Food Processor" at the National Housewares Exposition in Chicago.
By 1975, culinary authorities such as James Beard, Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, Jacques Pepin and Helen McCully were using Cuisinart products publicly, causing a sharp rise in the popularity of the Food Processor, and two years later in 1977, Cuisinart experienced a sharp rise in sales from a few units per month to several hundred.
By 1988, the Cuisinart brand had established itself as North America's premier houseware brand; the introduction of the Mini-Mate chopper-grinder (the first Cuisinart product that was not a food-processor) helped maintain that position. In 1989, the Sontheimers sold the company to a group of investors for $60 million. The company was eventually renamed to 'Cuisinart, Inc' and sold again, this time to Conair Corporation in 1989. Cuisinart remains a Conair brand to this day.
Cuisinart provides knowledge for consumers of how to use their products and for food preparation. This is done through:
- Selling cookbooks
- Provide recipes on their website
- Partnering with schools such as George Brown College and providing students with tools they need to succeed in cooking
- Provide informative materials
- Supporting bridal initiatives
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