Mitchell & Cooper has announced that Tony Cooper, the man who designed and produced the first ever Bonzer Can opener, has passed away after a long term illness.
The Bonzer can opener is estimated to have sold over 25 million units since it was launched more than 70 years ago and helped to catapult his grandfather’s company, Mitchell & Cooper, into the catering limelight.
Tony is the father of Guy Cooper, the current managing director of Mitchell & Cooper.
He paid tribute to his father in a statement released today: “Although Mitchell & Cooper was founded back in 1879 by my Great Grandfather, it wasn’t until my father designed and produced the first industrial Bonzer can opener that the company was firmly placed on the map as a professional catering equipment supplier. Prior to his retirement in 2002, he helped to grow Mitchell & Cooper and the Bonzer brand into a well-known and respected company and brand within the industry.”
Although the Bonzer name is now also associated with many other products including barware, portioners and dispensers, it is the design of the can opener that many will best remember Tony Cooper for.
The company said it was fitting that one of the last projects Tony undertook was to refurbish an original 60-year-old Bonzer can opener which was returned from the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula, after being part of the UK Antarctic Base at Port Lockroy.