Via CHRIS MORRIS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE August 31, 2015, 7:52 p.m.: If you’re going to take on some of the biggest companies in the coffee business, it helps to have a TV star at your side.
Colombian-American actress Sofia Vergara will play a crucial role as Newton-based SharkNinja expands into a new product line, home coffee makers, with the creation of its “Ninja Coffee Bar.”
The move represents a major evolution for a company known for its vacuum cleaners and blenders. (The firm recently changed its name from Euro-Pro to SharkNinja.)
Vergara is scheduled to appear in 30-second TV ads that will run nationwide, starting in November. And she’ll appear with SharkNinja chief executive Mark Rosenzweig in 30-minute infomercials.
“Early on in the development process, we reached out to her,” SharkNinja president Mark Barrocas said. “Sofia definitely had input on what she liked, [including] recipe development and in brainstorming what coffee means to her and how we can take some of those elements and bring them to the consumer.”
Barrocas said the goal behind the Ninja Coffee Bar was to create an appliance that could brew up a variety of coffee drinks in any size, including iced coffees and cappuccinos. The Coffee Bar will arrive in major retail chains this month, with prices starting at $140.
The company had an engineering team in Newton that toiled away in secret on the Coffee Bar for more than two years, Barrocas said. This launch is one reason why SharkNinja expects to expand its Boston-area workforce from about 400 today to more than 500 by the end of 2016, when it plans to relocate its headquarters to Needham.