Sweetheart Cup Company
1911: Predecessor to Maryland Cup founded in Boston by Joseph Shapiro and his three brothers. Company sells ice cream, then expands to bake ice cream cones. Headquarters moves to Baltimore.
1932–1936: Company diversifies, making matches and straws. Sweetheart, the name used on products, is inspired by picture of two children using straws to drink a milkshake from the same glass.
1947: Company executives vote, 14-to-1, against entering the cup business. But Joseph Shapiro votes yes - and the cup business is born.
1961: Maryland Cup goes public, consolidating 32 companies controlled by Shapiro family members.
1968: Joseph Shapiro dies.
1983: Maryland Cup bought by Fort Howard Paper Company, a Wisconsin-based paper manufacturer. At the time, Maryland Cup has 33 plants, more than 10,000 employees and a net worth of $250 million.
1983–1985: Fort Howard boosts capital spending in cup business, while cutting costs through layoffs.
1986: Customer service deteriorates and cup sales start to slide. Fort Howard acquires Lily-Tulip, cup-maker with net worth of $108 million.
1988: Fort Howard itself acquired in leveraged buyout by Morgan Stanley for $3.9 billion.
1989: Fort Howard spins off cup business as Sweetheart Holdings. Business has 15 U.S. factories and more than 8,000 employees.
1991: Sweetheart turns a profit on operations, but saddled by debt, net worth falls to −$95 million.
- Lily-Tulip Cup Corporation, Springfield-Greene County Library, Springfield, Missouri
- http://www.sweetheart.com (Sweetheart's official web page - now redirected to Solo Cup)