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OP: Coffee and Waffles

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by Alice Foote MacDougall

Alice Foote Macdougall (1867–1945) was born to a well-to-do New York City family and had no particular background in food. However, in 1907, following the breakup of her marriage, she determined that she would need to make her own money and started a coffee roasting company.

MacDougall’s business savvy and marketing acumen proved profitable, and in 1919 she opened the Little Coffee Shop in Grand Central Station, selling hot coffee and beans, later adding waffles to the menu. By the 1930s she owned and operated nine coffee shops and restaurants throughout the state.

This appealing little book, her first of four, was published in 1926. It is a collection of essays, observations, recipes, and menus presented with a warm but authoritative sensibility. Of her decision to hand out waffles one rainy day she says, “How unexpectedly success came! Who would have imagined that from a quart of batter and an electric waffle iron, a million-dollar business would arrive?”

Ours is a Very Good Minus stated first printing—clean, save for a stain where a receipt was laid in and a few penned notes, which appear to be errata corrections, rather than personal commentary. The edges and corners are rubbed and rounded, and some minor staining affects the spine, but an attractive case overall.

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