In 1994, Caroline was in the middle of creating the first labels for Teeccino. Inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean, the labels were designed to picture scenes from different countries where the ingredients in Teeccino grow.
While in a New York café enjoying a cup of Teeccino with a friend who wanted to hear all about this new venture, Caroline reminisced that her great grandmother, Alice Foote MacDougall, had had a chain of coffee and waffle restaurants in New York during the early 1900’s. She then remembered that Alice had decorated each of her restaurants after a different Mediterranean scene. Suddenly, Caroline had a startling feeling that Alice was somehow inspiring this new venture!
Back home, Caroline began reading Alice Foote MacDougall’s Autobiography of A Businesswoman. Caroline was overcome by the similarities between their lives and the struggles they had both endured as businesswomen and single mothers. Caroline decided to honor her grandmother’s genius by placing her philosophical quotations on Teeccino marketing materials. You will find these quotes sprinkled throughout the Teeccino web site
When time allows, Caroline plans to republish Alice’s unique book along with a memoir of her own entrepreneurial endeavors under the title “Coffee & Tea, Great Granny & Me.”
Alice Foote MacDougall was the inspiration for the best selling book, Imitation of Life, by popular novelist Fanny Hurst. A film of the same name based on the book starring Claudette Colbert was made in the 1930’s.
The beauty of the internet is that a number of people who were connected to Alice Foote MacDougall including distant relatives, a 101 year old former hostess at her restaurants, researchers on women in business and people who own collections of Alice’s pottery have all been able to connect with Caroline through internet searches. Alice continues to intrigue us as we look back and try to understand the mindset of a woman in business in the 1920’s.
“It is not easy to create calm in the turmoil of an electrically driven city – and we run so fast toward our commercial goal that we do not even glimpse the beauty by the way.”
Alice Foote MacDougall, 1928