Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jackie Robinson: VP of Chock full o' Nuts

I honestly did know the following. Maybe I read about it before but didn't really dig for more information. I thought I knew everything about Jackie Robinson.

How cool would it be if back in the 50's or 60's, Jackie Robinson gives you his business card? Apparently, a eBay auction has a old business card of Robinson. {linked here}

The auction has it at $1,195.00

This is when retired players actually had jobs after retiring from this game. Now, players make so much money that they are set for life.

Robinson became Vice President of Chock full o' Nuts after retiring from the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the director of personnel.

So what the heck is Chock full o' Nuts?

From their website {linked here}

Chock Full o'Nuts Corp. roasts, packages and distributes a variety of regular, decaffeinated, instant, iced, and specialty coffees to retail groceries and foodservice operations.

Robinson went on to work at Chock full o' Nuts for about seven years. Chock was one of the first companies to emphasize hiring black employees, in fact almost three-fourths of the workers in the chain were black. Jackie's job was to work on the problems of absenteeism and quick turnover. 

He would be a role model, and would attempt to improve employee satisfaction. Jackie was pleased with this job, because he did not want to merely be a figurehead, but wanted challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities to have an influence on actions. 

Thus in his new position as a businessman, he went into the office in the morning, and then out to different Chock restaurants in the afternoon to talk to the employees. Robinson was able to relate to most of the employees because they were low-income workers with large families, the same situation out of which he had pulled himself. He encouraged them to work hard and succeed, because they all had the ability to improve their own lives.

Cool huh? Did a search and found this picture of Robinson working at Chock full o' Nuts:

Robinson wrote to President Eisenhower with a Chock full o' Nuts letterhead. {linked here}

Thanks to Fredy for the eBay link!