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In 1955, Continental Plastics, a small custom molding shop in Oklahoma, ventured into the field of foodservice supplies by creating the world's first plastic Bains Marie. This was actually quite an innovation at the time, as it ultimately started a process that completely changed the way people managed food storage and handling in the industry. A few years later, the first commercial-grade plastic Beverage Pitcher (sometimes today affectionately referred to as a “Beer Pitcher”) followed. This original design, down to the little nubs on the bottom, became an international standard. Today's VersaPour is it’s direct descendent, and it was the precursor of what has become the most extensive line of beverage transport and commercial service products in the world.
In 1978, Continental Plastics of Oklahoma became part of the Carlisle Companies. Thirteen years later Continental Carlisle merged with SiLite Incorporated - a 46-year-old manufacturer of plastic foodservice products, giftware, and decorative accessories - to form Continental/SiLite International. SiLite had grown out of a wartime factory that made, among other things, blankets for the U.S. Army. After the war, they used the same material expertise to pioneer the use of cotton rag as a reinforcement for commercial Melamine dinnerware. Later acquisitions including American Cup, Arrowhead, Kenro, and Brookpark brought some of the most famous lines of Melamine under the SiLite name.
In 1994, we acquired the Sparta Brush Company . The Sparta brand was and still is recognized around the world as the premier name in professional quality brushes for the foodservice and food processing industries. Together, CSI and Sparta now offered more than 6,000 professional tools.
In order to better capitalize on the combined strength of CSI and Sparta, and to reflect the increased value we represented as a supplier to the foodservice industry, we changed our name to Carlisle FoodService Products in March of 1996. The new name provided us with a more easily recognizable global identity and supported our vision of bringing real value to the markets we served in the form of a broad variety of quality products and services tailored to the needs of foodservice operators.
In February of 1997, we acquired the foodservice assets of Plastics Manufacturing Company (PMC), another historic U.S. Melamine manufacturer. PMC had introduced the first Melamine Compartment Tray, and their Texas-Ware® dinnerware is highly prized among collectors of 20th century tableware today. With the addition of the PMC lines, Carlisle became the largest commercial-grade Melamine dinnerware maker based in America.
A complete line of vinyl and fabric Table coverings and accessories followed in December of 1999 with Marko International. Then, in April 2000, the Dura-Ware Company of America joined Carlisle. For over 50 years, Dura-Ware was the first choice of foodservice and hospitality professionals for industrial-strength Cookware and fashionable Buffetware. January 2001 saw Toppo Manufacturing's line of Pumps, Dispensers, and Organizers (including the original Speed-Rak® bar organizer and first Condiment Caddy) added to our unmatched portfolio of time-tested and uniquely designed products for virtually every aspect of any foodservice operation.
Over the decades, the companies that make up today's Carlisle FoodService Products led the industry in many “firsts”. And, while some of the products we've made are now considered collectable, have won industry and design awards, and even made it into the Museum of Modern Art - we've never taken our focus off of the kitchens, dining rooms, and banquet halls of the world. Because, if a product doesn't work for you there, than it doesn't matter how “good” a design it is.
We take inspiration from our past, a unique curiosity about the way things have to function, a fundamental understanding of what people in the industry we serve have to face every day, and a deep commitment to honoring our many traditions of excellence and put it all into the products we build today. And, while we hope to continue to win awards in the future, the best reward we have is when you pick-up one of our now over 20,000 tools and it does what you need it to do effortlessly the first time, and for years to come. In fact, we want the products we make to work for you so you never have to even think about them - because we already did for you. You can just stick to doing what you do best, running your business.
At Carlisle, we are dedicated to designing and making professional grade products with the people who have to use them every day in mind. Products that have real value and that can help make your operation run smoother, more efficiently, more profitably. It is our constant goal to give you exactly what you need - products that make your work easier.