Monday, June 18, 2012

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Celebrates 100 Year by Raising $1,000,000 for Alzheimer's Research

Owners put 1924 private rail car with a Royal heritage back on the tracks to commemorate anniversary and help raise funds for a cure

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, June 14, 2012 - One of Canada's most successful family-owned companies is putting one of Canada's last private rail cars on the tracks to help raise $1 million dollars for research into finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Inc. has launched the Mother Parkers Remembers Campaign to commemorate the company's 100th anniversary. As part of the campaign, the company's owners have put their family's historic 1924 rail car back into service to help raise awareness of the need for more research into finding a cure. Today, more than 500,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and hundreds of thousands of family members who care for them are also impacted by the devastating illness.

"Very few family-owned companies in Canada last for 100 years," noted Paul Higgins Jr., Co-Chief Executive Officer. "Much of the success of Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee can be attributed to our father, Paul Higgins Sr., who led the business throughts greatest period of growth. Using our centennial anniversary to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease that afflicted him in his later years is a fitting tribute to our father's courage and the success of the company that he was so passionate about."

Mother Parkers traces its humble beginnings to 1912 as Higgins & Burke Ltd., a wholesale grocery distributor located on Front St. in Toronto. In 1972, Paul Higgins Sr. purchased the Pacific, one of the last private rail cars in Canada built by Canadian National Railway in 1924. The Pacific is a spectacular piece of our Canadian heritage. It was used by King George VI and the Queen Mother during the 1939 Royal Tour of Canada and again in 1951 when Queen Elizabeth (then a Princess) graced our country for the first time. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker toured in with the Pacific during his successful 1957 election campaign. Over the years, the rail car was used by Mother Parkers for business travel and hosting customers. Although it has been restored and upgraded, the Pacific retains the original layout and design and many of the original fixtures.

“The Pacific rail car is a part of Canadian history and the history of our family business,” added Michael Higgins, Co-Chief Executive Officer. “We are very proud of our company’s achievements and of the many Mother Parkers employees, customers and suppliers who have helped us reach 100 years in business. Now it is our turn to give back. We hope that our fundraising for the Alzheimer Society will have a lasting benefit for the next generation of Canadians.”

As part of the Mother Parkers Remembers Campaign, trips and catered meals on the Pacific rail car will be offered to individuals and groups that make a significant donation to the Alzheimer Society between June and October, 2012. Contributions will directly benefit the Society’s national research program.

“An additional $1 million in research funding from the Mother Parkers Remembers Campaign will help the Alzheimer Society directly fund up to eight research projects that are breaking new ground in the causes, treatment and prevention of dementia. This funding will help fast track a cure and give greater hope to Canadians living with this disease” said Naguib Gouda, Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer Society of Canada.

More information about Alzheimer’s research, the Mother Parkers Remembers fundraising campaign, and the Pacific’s planned itinerary to cities in Ontario and Quebec can be found at

About Mother Parkers:

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee is a family-owned Canadian company and one of the largest private label coffee and tea manufacturers in North America. The Company also manufactures and markets its own brands under the Higgins & Burke, Mother Parkers, Brown Gold, and Martinson labels and has recently entered the single-serve market with their RealCup brand of hot beverage capsules. Established in 1912, Mother Parkers combines technology and new product innovation with years of experience to deliver a better beverage experience in mainstream and specialty coffee, tea and complimentary beverages.

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