On 31 January 2023, Melitta Bentz, the inventor of the coffee filter, would have become 150 years old. To this day, she remains a role model and inspiration for the company she founded: the Melitta Group.
Her love of coffee made Melitta Bentz world famous. In 1908, she invented the coffee filter - using four simple utensils: a brass mug, a sheet of blotting paper, a hammer and a nail. She pierced the bottom of the brass mug and then placed a sheet of blotting paper from her son's exercise book inside. As she carefully let the coffee run through the brass mug, she realised that this simple idea would get rid of the annoying coffee grounds and bitter taste - and make drinking coffee much more enjoyable.
This simple but ingenious invention led to the founding of a small company in Dresden and revolutionised coffee drinking around the world in the years that followed. Today, that small company has grown into an internationally active group of companies - with around 6,000 employees and an extensive product portfolio for the preparation of coffee and tea as well as for freshness, cleanliness and hygiene.
“My great-grandmother not only laid the foundation for today’s Melitta Group,” said Jero Bentz, a member of the Melitta Group’s Chief Corporate Management. “Her pioneering spirit, her innovativeness and her consistent focus on customer needs continue to inform our company to this day and are the benchmark and inspiration behind our thoughts and actions.”
A role model of her time
With her wealth of ideas, her courage and her perseverance, she was not only a successful inventor and entrepreneur but also a pioneer of her time. She combined her role as mother of three and housewife with that of a successful businesswoman - and therefore she still stands as a role model for balancing career and family life today.
For her, entrepreneurial activity was always inextricably linked with responsibility. Throughout her life, she dedicated herself to improving existing conditions and shaping the future. “Melitta Bentz wanted to create very special moments in people's everyday lives with her inventions,” remarked Volker Stühmeier, a member of the Melitta Group's Chief Corporate Management. “To this day nothing has changed in this regard: Enjoyment, comfort, trust and safety are still at the heart of our products today - whether at home, on the go or in the food service industry.”
It was important to Melitta Bentz that her employees and their families were also well looked after. She had a strong sense of family, and the well-being of her employees and their families was close to her heart. Therefore, she insisted on above-average salaries, annual leave that exceeded the industry standard, and special benefits for employees. She established numerous additional social benefits that financially supported people in special circumstances and in challenging life situations.
“This appreciation of each and every employee is still the foundation of our corporate culture today. A sense of togetherness and the ‘joint impact’ between employees, are key success factors - especially in challenging times,” said Jero Bentz.
The Melitta Group
Melitta is an internationally operating group of companies and is one of the leading independent family businesses, both in Germany and abroad. Its main activities are the development, manufacture and sale of branded products for the enjoyment of coffee, for the storage and preparation of food, and for cleanliness in the home. As a company with a history spanning more than 110 years, the Melitta Group thinks long term and sees the pursuit of sustainable development as an integral part of all its business activities. More information can be found at www.melitta-group.com.
Director Internal & External Communication
Corporate Communications & Sustainability
Melitta Group Management GmbH & Co. KG
Tel: +49 571 4046-281
E-mail: tanja.wucherpfennig (at) melitta.de