Looking for inspiration this Christmas season? Start having your daily bread with Jesus – on whole wheat or rye.
A Vermont man is retailing a toaster that burns an image of Christ into every slice of bread, for $39.95 through his company, Burnt Impressions. And, for Christmas, you can get the Nativity Toaster, which creates slices of Jesus and Mary toast.
"It's a great Christmas gift," said creator Galen Dively, III, in an interview with The Christian Post.
Owen Mercon, the vice president and co-owner of the company, said the idea started two years ago, when he and Dively were wrapping his niece’s Christmas presents in his home.
“There was this toaster with a cartoon character on the bread,” Mercon told CP. “Galen said, ‘Hey, we could put anything on this – a peace sign or a pot leaf.”
“I thought it was a pretty cool idea,” Dively said.
So the two created their own customized toasters, using Dively’s experience selling tie-dyed shirts and running a cyber café to offer the appliances on a small-scale basis, Mercon explained to CP.
“We only sold a couple hundred at a time – we were doing a peace sign and a pot leaf,” he said. “I remember when he (Dively) said, ‘Hey, let’s put Jesus on there.’ I was like, ‘Man, this is never gonna fly.’”
“I brought up the idea during a dinner conversation, and the majority of people just laughed, but didn’t think it would work,” said Dively. “That’s when I said, ‘Hey, this is going to be my new project. And people loved it.”
“Boy, was I wrong!” Mercon laughed.
When the idea took off, the two formed their business, Burnt Impressions. Mercon bought an old dairy barn near his home in the valley town of Danville, where they create and store the toasters, in addition to shipping them from Dively’s home. Dively lives close by on ‘the mountain’ – in the hilltop town of Walden. They now offer several different toasters – from an image of Barack Obama to a dog paw.
“Jesus is the most popular,” Mercon said. “Jesus and peace (the peace symbol) are pretty close.”
“It’s fitting actually,” Dively laughed. “Jesus is the Prince of Peace, you know.”
Mercon said that Burnt Impressions now offers toasters that have any image of the customer’s choice on the front of the toaster, and customers can choose which image is burned into the bread. They can also do custom toasters that burn any image or logo a customer sends in, though it takes more time and costs more.
“This time of year, we sell about a hundred (toasters) a day,” Mercon noted. “We sell to local mom and pop shops, on our site and on Amazon. We also offer one for auction every day on ebay, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the customer’s charity of choice.”
Both Dively and Mercon said there hasn’t been any negative feedback.
“In the year and a half since this took off, I’ve had one person that sent me a completely negative email,” Dively said. “Just that one.”
“I come from a pretty religious background – my great-grandfather was a reverend and I have a brother in Pennsylvania who is a minister. They (Dively’s family) all seem to like it,” he said.
“The fun part is, I talked to about 8,000 people alone that first summer. Not one time did I get anything but a smile and a compliment,” Mercon said.
“They’re always received with a grin.”