In 1961, two ingenious personalities who were affiliated with major film studios in Los Angeles, California, were pondering the fact that too many drinks "made a monkey" out of them. The idea was conceived to make a monkey glass-hanger. From that point, their next thought was of pink elephants, a natural consequence of excess libations, the Zoo Piks Company was born!
Today, Spirit Foodservice Products, Inc. continues to build on its deep history of serving customers through innovation, creativity and good old-fashioned entrepreneurial effort. Our company remains dedicated to helping our customers serve theirs - while having some fun at the same time!
- February 1934 - Jay Sindler invents the "Swizzle Stick", founds Spir-it, Inc., places his first advertisement in The New Yorker magazine, and begins selling to the foodservice trade in New England and New York.
- Late 1934 - The US Patent office approves serial no. 715,911 for Sindler's Swizzle Stick. Spir-it grows out of Jack's apartment and moves to Malden, Massachusetts.
- 1937 - Jack Sindler hires two people and leaves his day job at the Converse Rubber Company.
- 1940 - Mass produced plastic products are manufactured in the US and Spir-it begins to produce plastic picks, stirrers and foodservice cutlery. Also in this year Spir-it begins exporting products to Canada and Europe and develops a reputation for high quality products and exceptional customer service.
- 1947 - Spir-it leads the plastics industry with the introduction of multi-cavity molds and hires employee number fifteen.
- 1950 - Spir-it invents the "Steak Marker" to label the temperature condition of steaks when delivered to a restaurant patron's table.
- 1950s - Spir-it grows to 60 employees and begins serving the fledgling airline industry.
- 1952 - MIT and Harvard Business School graduate, Herbert Oedel joins Spir-it to assist Jack Sindler in the rapid expansion of the business.
- 1960s - Spir-it outgrows its original 30,000 square foot facility in Malden, MA and invests in a significant plant and warehouse expansion.
- 1961 - Two Hollywood executives make and sell "Pink Elephants" to bars and restaurants in Los Angeles.
- 1962 - The Zoo Piks Company is formed and Zoo Piks brand of stirrers, picks and novelty items are introduced to the foodservice marketplace.
- Early 1967 - A small, but rapidly expanding restaurant chain named McDonald's decides to introduce a breakfast menu and Spir-it is called upon to manufacture the plastic utensils and stirrers for the new menu offerings.
- Late 1967 - Spir-it begins using computers.
- 1968 - Spir-it sales break the $1 million mark for the year; however, Jack Sindler dies unexpectedly this same year. Herb Oedel purchases Spir-it from the Sindler estate.
- 1970 - Spir-it invents the Sword and Arrow Picks, which quickly become foodservice industry standards.
- 1972 - Spir-it is one of the first IBM clients to set up an in-house system for accounting, order entry, invoice creation and sales tracking.
- 1974 - Spir-it's Malden facility is taken by the state for urban renewal purposes and Spir-it moves to the former Revere Knitting Mills building in Wakefield, MA.
- 1977 - Alpha Holdings acquires the Zoo Piks Company.
- 1978 - Spir-it's sales break the $4 million mark.
- 1980 - Employee number 100 is hired and Spir-it enters the straw category through the acquisition of the extrusion business of the Diffenbach Brothers.
- 1987 - Herb Oedel sells Spir-it to Metapoint Partners, a newly formed venture capital group. Metapoint retains Dick Oedel - one of Herb's sons - to run the business. Separately, the Zoo Piks Company acquires straw manufacturer - Phoenix Plastics, Inc.
- January 2, 1992 - Metapoint sells Spir-it to Dick Oedel for a compound return of 40%.
- 1996 - Spir-it acquires cutlery manufacturer Oak Hill. Sales break $10 million and employee number 200 is hired.
- 1997 - Spir-it introduces the Sea-Sheller. A patented product for easily opening cooked shellfish.
- 1998 - Dick Oedel sells Spir-it to Capital Resource Partners in Boston.
- 1999 - Spir-it acquires the Zoo Piks company from Alpha Holdings and begins operating as the Spir-it / Zoo Piks company.
- 2003 - Spir-it /Zoo Piks changes its name to Spirit Brands to better reflect the strategy of the company and fully integrate the two businesses.
- 2006 – Spirit Brands is acquired by Prospect Partners, LLC and the corporate name is changed to Spirit Foodservice Products, Inc.
- 2007 - Spirit Foodservice Products, Inc. acquires Master Containers, Inc; a foam cup and container manufacturer located in Mulberry, Florida.