Caloric Caddies: American Functional Minimalism

Last night, Vanessa and I were lucky to catch a screening of the documentary Rams which profiles the career of the famed Braun and Vitsœ designer, his guiding philosophy towards design, and his late-life accomplishments. His strict rigor of stripping away the excess from his product design work (in the 1960’s!) feels ever more appropriate now in this modern world of being-constantly-distracted.

The Caloric Caddies, while having no known connection to Ram’s Bauhaus-inspired works, feels like they could be an American-made cousin of one of Dieter’s Braun TS 45-1 Control Units.

The Caloric Caddie, Wall Desk — Wood Version

Background on the Caloric Caddies

A three set series (the C1, C2, and C3) each was designed to be a built-in kitchen assistant—providing quick access to common kitchen and household items while taking up no counter space. For some additional background, the blog RetroRenovation provides a nice overview of the Caddies (stating they’ve identified four variations—not three and six different colors) and even has found a recent photo of one in-use still!

Like their across-the-Atlantic post-war contemporaries at Braun, there is a concerted effort in these designs to derive the aesthetic directly from the functionality. There’s no mystery on how to use these products—the clarity in the dials and handles provide the obvious clues on how a person should interact with them.

Our Set of Caloric Caddies; C1, C2, and C3

We were excited to find our set via an estate sale in summer of 2018. Not knowing anything about them, our goal was to document them in hopes of learning more while sharing them for any other Caddie enthusiasts out there. Remarkably, two of the three units look to be in mint (uninstalled) shape while the C2 Towels & Tissues unit has suffered some minor damage to the frame.

Caloric Caddie, C1 Kitchen Wrap Dispenser

Instructions, brochures, and even the included hardware all are in pristine condition. It was amazing to see the small brown paper bags of screws still taped shut, with the original manufacturing stamp untarnished.

The C2, Caloric Caddy Towels and Tissues

Our goal is to get these back to the market soon. They deserve to be put to use and not just be admired for the functional beauty alone. Stay tuned to our Instagram account for pricing information.