SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- Sidney S. Rudin, a pioneer coffee vending operator and OCS equipment manufacturer, died here early in December. He was 87.
Rudin served in the U.S. Army during World War II and saw action in southern France, where he was severely wounded. He received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart medals.
After separating from the service, he joined his brothers in the supermarket business in Dayton, OH. They had invested in Rudd-Melikian, then a startup company marketing innovative coffee vending machines. Sid and his wife Mary left the family grocery business to open one of the nation's first coffee vending operations in Cincinnati. He later renamed the business Industrial Vendors Inc. and relocated it to Hammond, IN, in order to serve the greater Chicagoland area.
After merging IVI into Automatic Retailers of America (now Aramark) in 1960, the Rudins moved to Phoenix, where Sid launched Coffee-Inns of America, later Coffee-Inns/AMI, to manufacture and distribute coffee and foodservice equipment. The company is well-remembered for its coin-controlled office coffee brewers and other equipment designed for operators by someone who understood their situation. He was a regular presenter at coffee service industry conventions in the 1970s and '80s.
In 1970, Rudin purchased Harco Industries, one of the developers of debit card systems for colleges and universities. Harco ultimately was acquired by AT&T.
In 1995, Coffee-Inns became the distributor of China Mist Teas of Central Arizona, servicing some 600 restaurant accounts in the greater Phoenix market area.
Sid's wife of 40 years, Mary, predeceased him. He then met and married Carol, with whom he shared 19-1/2 years of marriage, as well as enjoyment of friends and family, travel, and symphonic and operatic music. He is survived by Carol, children Jennifer, Deborah, Gregory and Lee, and four grandchildren, as well as Carol's children Lynn, Charles Jr., John and David and eight grandchildren.
Donations in memory of Sidney S. Rudin may be made to Phoenix's Hospice of the Valley Eckstein Center.