Some of the biggest and most popular brands that you know and love today, actually started right here in Washington State. Everyone knows about Microsoft and Starbucks, but here are 5 more huge companies that got their start right here in the Pacific Northwest that might surprise you.
In 1907, a man named James Casey borrowed $100 so he could start a company. That company was called the “American Messager Company” but you know the company today as UPS. The company started in a small office in Seattle sending notes, letters, baggage, or food trays from restaurants. The company even tried air-delivery back in 1926, even though they canceled it shortly after. They later mastered the art of air-delivery and grew to one of the largest shipping companies in the world.
The first Cinnabon was built inside the Sea Tac Mall in Seattle around the end of 1985. A father and son came up with the recipe of fresh-backed dough, Makara cinnamon, and lots of frosting. Now Cinnabon is one of the most recognized cinnamon rolls in the world. The first franchise location was opened in Philadelphia by 1986 and then all over the world in high traffic areas. Now you can even get them in your local grocery store.
Costco is one place my family has been shopping at for years. The first Costco was a warehouse in Seattle with a second in Portland and a third in Spokane that all opened in 1983. By 1985 Costco was a public company and then in 1993 merged with Pirce Club and officially changed the name to PriceCostco. After the merger, the company had over 200 locations and had $16 billion in annual sales according to Wikipedia. Costco now employs over 300,000 people and has almost 90 million members.
Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world. Jeff Bezos started Amazon out of a two-car garage in Bellevue so people would have a place online to buy and talk about books. Amazon was even called the “Earth’s Biggest Book Store” when the website was created in 1995. The company rose to aver $500 million is sales within the first 3 years, and the legend known as Amazon was born.
The idea behind the company Tommy Bahama was created by the founders and their wives after vacationing in Florida. The idea was to create a lifestyle of “never leaving the beach.” They created this imaginary character “Tommy Bahama” including an entire history. Both founders had worked in clothing before and designed shirts, shorts, and pants based on that idea of what “Tommy Bahama” would wear. They founded the company in 1993 and are now available in Macy’s, Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Belk and Von Maur. There are also 160 company-owned Tommy Bahama retail stores worldwide. They even have their own brand of liquor.
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