Hudson, B. (2020) The Problematic Past. Brand Heritage Review, Volume 2, Number 2.

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October 19, 2018

Brand Heritage Institute recently celebrated its first anniversary. The theme for the evening was A Celebration of Anniversaries: Two Centuries of Champagne. Our focal point was sparkling wine, but we actually observed several different types of anniversaries.

Among these was the founding of BHI itself in 2017. Our accomplishments during the past year include incorporation, designation as a 501c3 tax exempt organization, launch of our website, recruitment of an advisory board with leaders from academia and industry, and receipt of an archive with more than 1,000 historical items (including hundreds of brochures from the hotel and travel industry dating back to the nineteenth century). We also signed an important three-year contract with Historic Hotels of America (which is affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation) to provide executive education on the topic of heritage marketing for owners and managers of their member hotels.


Our celebration occurred at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston, the oldest hotel in continuous operation in the United States (founded 1855). Among the food and beverage selections were three items featured on a historic Parker House menu from 1858 (160th anniversary). These included Moët Imperial and two desserts, specifically macaroons and a variant of Washington Pie. The latter was named after the president rather than the city, and was made with alternating layers of sponge cake and pastry cream. The first chef at the Parker House subsequently added chocolate frosting to create Boston Cream Pie.


The Parker House is located within walking distance of the site where Samuel Cole was granted the first license for a public house (an establishment serving alcohol) in 1633 (385th anniversary). Our alcohol selections for the party included champagne from Moët et Chandon, which was founded in 1743 (275th anniversary). We also sampled Veuve Clicquot Rose, which was introduced in 1818 (200th anniversary). Both of these wines are now owned by the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, which has numerous historic brands in its portfolio.


Twenty-four people attended including eight BHI board members. The latter were Andrew Cabot, Michael Hickey, Bradford Hudson, Caroline Hudson, John Murtha, Betsy Powell, Juan Prieto, and Peter Szende. We were also joined by Stephen Greyser from Harvard Business School, who has been collaborating with BHI president Bradford Hudson for the past decade (10th anniversary).


The lead sponsor for the evening was Omni Hotels and the Parker House, which contributed generously to our event. Special thanks are extended to John Murtha, General Manager of the Parker House and a BHI board member. We also gratefully acknowledge our secondary sponsors LVMH and Martignetti Companies (the LVMH distributor for New England).

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