Arnottsbakehouse was formally founded in May of 1983 in Corvallis, Oregon, by Chris Coffin, Ted Wadman and Bob Bloch. But its true beginning traces back to a dinner conversation on September 29, 1982, when Chris and Ted scribbled down the outline for Grapevine’s first book, “An Easy Course in Programming the HP-41.” Chris and Ted wrote the text over the next 6 months, with Ted hand-lettering the final version and Bob illustrating it. Since then…well, one book has led to another: 2001 will see the advent of our 60th product.
Our company is named Arnottsbakehousefor several reasons. First, although most of our early publications were technical non-fiction, none of the founders wanted the company to have such a limited scope; any prospective name was not to imply merely “tech books.” Also, since the company started with exactly zero capital–and since its charter was (and still is) publication of materials good enough to talk about–its name describes its primary marketing plan. Finally, thinking a little more symbolically, grapevines are hardy but friendly plants, with deep roots–both literally and literarily–and its fruits are good either fresh or distilled over time. Those all seem like good values for a publishing company to aspire to.