It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Ben Conrad Filmalter, founder of Mugg & Bean, passed away peacefully this morning after his battle with Leukaemia.
Filmalter was an industry legend; during his time he conceptualised and developed more than 50 unique restaurants. Among his many achievements was Mugg & Bean.
Filmalter and his wife, launched Mugg & Bean at the V&A Waterfront in 1996, after a visit to a coffee shop in Chicago, USA. The combination of great food, good coffee, quality service and generosity made a lasting impression on them, so much so that they brought the experience to the South African market. He also experimented with the first “On the Move” unit at OR Tambo International Airport.
Now, 20 years later, Mugg & Bean has over 200 outlets and is one of South Africa’s most loved brands. All testament to the solid beliefs and generous spirit Filmalter imbued in the brand.
Marketing Executive of Mugg & Bean, Lee-Ann Cullingworth has expressed the Mugg & Bean family’s sorrow. “Today is truly a sad day for every single Mugg & Bean’er. Ben Filmalter will be remembered for all the lives that he has touched and inspired, and his spirit of generosity will continue to live on at the core of every Mugg & Bean,” said Cullingworth, speaking on behalf of the team.
Having described himself as a dreamer speaking at a conference a few years ago, he said, “My dream got me through tough times and made me get up every day to find ways to do better. I dreamt of having the best restaurant in the country. So you should constantly dream.”
Ben Filmalter leaves behinds his wife, Judi and two sons, Anthony and Adam.
Rest in Peace – Ben Filmalter!
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