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Chock full o'Nuts Partnership with PDF

Chock full o'Nuts Joins PDF in the Fight Against Parkinson's

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) partnered on several awareness initiatives with Chock full o‘Nuts, maker of the well-known “heavenly coffee” and founders of the restaurant chain.

PDF and Chock full o’Nuts share a common history, having both been founded by the late William Black (see the PDF/Chock story below). The two joined forces on several initiatives to fight Parkinson’s disease (PD), including nationwide promotions to raise awareness around the country about the disease, the need to fund research for new treatments and a cure, and the availability of educational resources from PDF to help people manage their Parkinson’s.

This partnership often centers around Parkinson's Awareness Month (April). Here are a few highlights

  • In 2012, Chock full o'Nuts donated 5 percent from all online sales between April 1 and April to PDF!
  • During 2011 to 2012, you may have seen Chock full o’Nuts coffee cans in your local grocery store. All new cans featured information about PDF’s mission to fight Parkinson’s disease.
  • If you live or work in New York City, you may have noticed Chock full o’Nuts trucks promoting the fight against Parkinson’s and distributing free coffee. Chock’s coffee shops, such as Chock 23 on West 23rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, have featured cups and other items with information inviting people to join the fight against PD.
  • If you browsed your Sunday circulars on the weekend of March 2011, you may have seen the special Chock coupon and advertisement promoting Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
  • In the fall of 2013, new monthly donors to PDF received a free package of Chock full o'Nuts original blend coffee.

Robin Elliott, PDF’s Executive Director, said of the partnership, “PDF has been singularly committed to finding the cause(s) of and a cure for Parkinson’s disease since that day back in 1957 when Mr. Black first found out that his close friend and associate had developed Parkinson’s and realized to his amazement that there were no effective treatments for the condition. We are certain that Mr. Black would be happy to know that the two businesses he founded are now partnering to push forward progress toward these goals and we thank Chock full o’Nuts for their support.”

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The Story of PDF, Chock and William Black


William and Page Black1926
William Black opens his first Chock full o’Nuts Shop in New York City. He eventually opens more than 40 shops and switches his focus from nuts to coffee, but keeps the original name.

1952-1961
Mr. Black begins distributing Chock full o’Nuts brand of coffee in grocery stores.

1957
Mr. Black’s controller and close friend is diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Mr. Black is appalled to learn that no truly effective therapy is available, nor is any basic research being conducted on the disease.

1957
Mr. Black sets up PDF to establish a research program aimed at finding effective drug treatment for the disease. He makes two major gifts: one to Columbia University to help build the research laboratory with a floor dedicated to Parkinson’s research; the other to endow PDF.

1983
Page Morton Black, Mr. Black’s widow and the well-known singer of the Chock full o’Nuts jingle, becomes Chairman of PDF.

2011
PDF partners with the coffee company founded by Mr. Black to raise awareness of Parkinson’s. 

2012
Mrs. Black resigns as Chairman of PDF and becomes Chairman Emeritus.

2013
Mrs. Black, who dedicated the second varied career to the Parkinson’s disease community, dies at the age of 97.  Robin Elliott, President of PDF says of her passing, “We have lost a much-loved, deeply admired and great ambassador for all those who live with Parkinson’s disease. Her indomitable spirit shall continue to be our inspiration in our quest for a cure for this terrible disease."

PDF continues to fund a major research program at Columbia University and also supports research programs at Weill Cornell Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center and the projects of individual investigators and fellows around the world, as well as runs print and online educational programs and research advocacy initiatives.