Tupperware Home Parties was the first large corporation to call the Orlando-Kissimmee area home, and due to its business model, it quickly became one the area’s tourist attractions.
Tupperware World Headquarters may appear to be an unusual place to call an attraction, but since it’s opening Tupperware associates from around the US (and eventually the world) have visited the headquarters for training, recognition events and out of loyalty. It wasn’t unusual for these visitors to send postcards to friends, some of which can be seen below.
Earl Tupper founded the company in 1946 with the development of Tupperware – an airtight food storage system. With its direct marketing system, known as the Tupperware Home Party, it found success around the US. Brownie Mae Wise saw the potential of the company and her concept of the home party propelled her to become vice president of marketing in 1951. With that, Tupperware was on its way to becoming a highly profitable company.
In 1953, Earl Tupper purchased 1300 acres on the southern side of the Osceola-Orange County line, just north of the city of Kissimmee. Directly across the border was Gatorland, one of Orange County’s most popular attractions. By 1954, the Tupperware Headquarters’ initial building was completed.
1954 also saw Brownie Wise on the cover of Business Week magazine, the first woman so honored. She used the Florida headquarters as an incentive to the most successful sales women in the company. Yearly “Jubilees” were held with motivational meetings and social events. She established rituals, including creating a wishing well on the property for sellers to toss in their wishes.
As successful as her ideas were, She and Earl Tupper clashed and possibly due to her fame, Tupper fired her in 1958. Wise never again had the success she had at Tupperware. She lived quietly in the Kissimmee area, dying there in 1992.
Earl Tupper himself would end his connection with the company in 1958 when he sold it to Dart industries.
The Tupperware headquarters would become its international headquarters as the company expanded outside the US market. The property continued to expand with newer office buildings. Art was also added on the campus and a large auditorium was built – one that was also used for non-corporate concerts.
From early on, general visitors were also welcome at the facility with the creation of a museum and product center.
An Orange Blossom Trail Association brochure from 1955 states: “See the famous “Evolution of Dishes” mural and the Tupperware Museum of Dishes, only museum of it’s kind in the world. Visit the Exhibit Home, the Western Village, the Tupperware Scientific Kitchen and the beautiful Garden of the Palms.”
An Orange County Chamber of Commerce Brochure from 1975 states: “Tupperware Dish Museum – Take a guided tour of exhibits of home settings and antique food containers. Then enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens, sparkling Friendship Fountain and modernistic architecture.”
More recently, Tupperware contracted with Pier Productions to create an “immersive experience” known as the Tupperware Confidence Center. The center tells the story of the company, including the significant role of Brownie Wise. It’s a much smaller facility than in the past, though it has several interactive elements. There is also a shop with current Tupperware products, but unfortunately, no postcards.
Renamed Tupperware Brands Corporation in 2005, the international headquarters continues to operate on its original property between Kissimmee and Orlando. It welcomes the occasional visitor while it’s neighbor Gatorland continues to get the gator’s share of tourists.
Tupperware Museum is mentioned in “Weird” Al Yankovic’s song The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.