On the Road: Tuppen’s

A now and then of one of the oldest tackle shops in Florida.

May 28, 2015
Tuppen’s Marine and Tackle Store is one of the oldest tackle stores in South Florida. A historic landmark that hasn’t changed much — on purpose. “My partner, Steve Sprague, and I bought the store in 1999. We wanted to make sure it kept its old heritage,” says co-owner Bill Bachman. “We had some old pictures from 1956 and we matched the original floors.” The store that sits on North Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, Florida, opened in 1956, but first started as a wood working shop in the 1940s. Sherman and Mildred Tuppen emigrated from Finland and sold wood molding and cabinets. Later, the Tuppens expanded the business to building wooden boats. Courtesy of Tuppen’s
When walking into Tuppen’s now, it feels like you’re transported to the 1950s with its checkered linoleum floor and barbershop-hangout vibe. The store captures a moment in time where you can walk in and just browse without being hassled or forced to buy. At Tuppen’s, you know their names and they’re glad to see you. It’s not exactly Mayberry, but it’s close enough. Christopher Balogh
Buddy Tuppen, son of Sherman and Mildred, attended University of Florida and soon went to mechanics school to learn to work on Evinrude outboard motors. In addition to being a boat sales outlet and tackle store, wooden and aluminium boats were made inside the shop. Courtesy of Tuppen’s
Tuppen’s has all sorts of customers, from old-timers to passersby to floppy-eared friends, that all enjoy the easygoing atmosphere. Christopher Balogh
It’s hard not to admire the amount of tackle that fits in this one-stop shop. Christopher Balogh
Tuppen’s also offers its customers reel spooling and reel-repair service. Christopher Balogh

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