David Stone and Morris Maib were partners in a retail grocery business in 1910. Newspaper articles give 1912 as the year when the partners established a coffee company serving Emporia and a small surrounding territory. In 1915, C.J. “Mose” Neill purchased the plant, even then known as Emporia Wholesale Coffee Company.
In 1945, the business was handling teas, coffees, spices, extracts, candies, restaurant and fountain supplies and equipment, with a payroll of 22 employees. The end of an era: Mose Neill died in February, 1955, at 70 years of age. His interest in the company was purchased by W.J. “Wally” Evans from neighboring Chase County. (Pictures and text courtesy of EVCO Wholesale Food Corp.)
Wally and his wife had two children: a daughter, Theresa Ann, and a son Charles “Skip” Evans, to whom both worked in the family business. In 1956, Jim Muckenthaler moved to Emporia and attended, now, Emporia State University, where he met Theresa Ann. He went to work for EWCC (Emporia Wholesale Coffee Company), as a substitute driver. In the summer of 1959, another salesman had been involved in an accident on the route after which Wally met Jim at the end of his day and told him he better wear a tie tomorrow – he was going out as a salesman. Jim was called to active duty in the Army and later returned to Emporia the Spring of 1961, where he continued as a salesman for EWCC. He and Theresa Ann married in the fall of 1961. As the industry expanded, so did the equipment division – in 1970, it was split from EWCC and sold to the Muckenthaler family in 1971. It was moved to its’ current location on Commercial Street, the former site of Emporia Wholesale Coffee Company.
Jim and Theresa have three children, John, Jay and Joe to which they raised with the strong work ethic of their generation, helping out when needed and having an ice delivery business during their high school years. In 1984, a branch location was opened in Topeka and managed by Jim’s brother, Roy Muckenthaler, until his retirement in 2002.
John and Joe eventually signed on to work at Muckenthaler Incorporated after each having graduated from Emporia State University. John has held many hats during his 30+ years with the company, from service to sales and officially becoming President in 2009. Joe has likewise worked many positions within the company, however, he truly enjoys working directly with customers for equipment sales.
Jim and Theresa, although retired, continue to be active in operations at Muckenthaler Incorporated. Theresa’s brother took over as President of EWCC in 1975, expanded and created the company as it is known today, EVCO Wholesale Food corporation. The two corporations, MI and EVCO, continue to work together to serve their customer base and offer the concept of a full service grocery house, while maintaining their individual identities.
Muckenthaler Incorporated customer base includes schools, nursing homes, hospitals, restaurants, bars and clubs as well as all other food service vendors. In late 2018, the company began a rebranding effort to push towards the future. While still maintaining the traditions and the corporation of Muckenthaler Incorporated, you will notice the name change to MI Restaurant Equipment Supply. As a company, we feel this new look clarifies who we are and what we do. We want happy and satisfied customers and a continued partnership for the future. We want our customers to feel that they can rely on MI for sound advice and the product they want at the right price. We want to be your equipment supplier!