You Probably Never Knew These States Are Home to Your Favorite Brands

With some brands, you are very aware of what state they’re from. Starbucks is from Washington, Nike is from Oregon, Hawaiian Airlines is from Hawaii … you get the idea. But other brands hail from homes less expected. With help from Insider, we take a look at 15 states you probably never knew are home to your favorite brands. (Sports fans may have already known where the brand on page 9 comes from.)

1. Coca-Cola: Georgia

Bottles of Coca Cola | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With Coca-Cola being such a well-known brand, you probably never stopped to wonder just where the soft drink’s home base is. As it turns out, Coca-Cola is based out of Atlanta, Georgia, where the interactive “World of Coca-Cola” exhibit is located.

Next: Even mail has humble beginnings …

2. FedEx: Tennessee

FedEx logo is displayed on the front of a truck | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Actually, Federal Express first got its start in the state of Arkansas in 1971, before moving its headquarters to Memphis two years later where it has stayed. Insider tells us the location change has to do with Tennessee’s more centralized location among other states. Now, FedEx also delivers to over 200 countries and territories.

Next: This chain’s birthplace has an interesting story …

3. Wendy’s: Ohio

Wendy’s restaurant sign | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wendy’s late founder and CEO Dave Thomas was born in New Jersey and lived in various places in the mid-west before he helped turn around a few struggling KFC restaurants in Columbus, Ohio. His own restaurant chain’s flagship and headquarters call Columbus suburb, Dublin, their home.

Next: From the beach to abroad …

4. Hooters: Florida

The first Hooters in South Korea | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The wings spot — reportedly referred to as the “first breastaurant in America” — first opened its doors in Clearwater, Florida. Now, Hooters is a global empire, with locations that span as far as South Korea.

5. Dr. Pepper: Texas

Cans of Dr Pepper | Stephen Hilger/ Bloomberg via Getty Images

This soft drink has deep roots in The Lone Star State, being the brainchild of a pharmacist and drug store owner in Waco back in 1885. The Artesian Mfg. & Bottling Company — later the Dr. Pepper Company — was founded in 1891. The rest is history.

Next: From online shoes to living off the Strip …

6. Zappos: Nevada

A sign on the front door of the Zappos.com headquarters | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The big online retailer has always called Nevada its home. Although it has changed locales from Henderson to Las Vegas, where CEO Tony Hsieh has created a whole neighborhood for the company’s headquarters. Zappos is now owned by Amazon, who acquired it a couple years back for $1.2 billion.

7. Pillsbury: Minnesota

Former General Mills Inc. Pillsbury ‘A’ mill | Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Before it was known for crescent rolls and the infamous Dough Boy, Pillsbury was a modest flour mill in Minneapolis. Its popularity grew because of its role in the baked-goods industry and promotional baking contests until it was acquired by fellow Minnesota-based company, General Mills.

Next: Home of the dial-up tone …

8. AOL: Virginia

AOL offices in Palo Alto, California | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While all things tech are typically associated with California’s Silicon Valley, this OG internet provider is actually a native of the opposite coast. AOL was founded in Dulles, Virginia in 1989 and while its instant messenger feature was shut down in 2017, it served as a hub for kids in the late ’90s and early ’00s.

Next: This one may not surprise sports fans …

9. Gillette: Massachusetts

Gillette Headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts | Jodi Hilton/Getty Images

Okay, maybe you could have figured this one out because the New England Patriots’ home stadium bears this brand’s name. In fact, both Gillette’s main headquarters and main manufacturing center are located in the city of Boston.

Next: Even through a name change, the home base stays the same …

10. Sonic: Oklahoma

Sonic restaurant in Cicero, Illinois.| Scott Olson/Getty Images

Insider tells us “America’s Drive-In” was once a root beer stand called Top Hat in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Now, Sonic has shop set up in 45 states — although its headquarters remains in Oklahoma City.

Next: Not quite the beginning we expected …

11.Maytag : Iowa

A Maytag washer | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The home appliance bigwig, founding in Newton in 1893, actually got its start selling farming equipment. (Being that the company is based in Iowa, that makes plenty of sense.) In 2006, Maytag and its many washers was acquired by Whirpool.

Next: A place to lay your head …

12. Super 8: South Dakota

A Super 8 Motel in New Mexico | Nina Raingold/Getty Images

The first Super 8 location in Aberdeen, SD, charged patrons $8.88 for a room. The name stuck, and the budget motel chain has more than 2,000 locations across the country — although rooms aren’t quite that cheap anymore.

Next: Another location change …

13. Denny’s: South Carolina

A Denny’s in Emeryville, California | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Technically, Denny’s is a California creation from the 1950s and was called Danny’s Donuts, Insider says. But the company shocked everyone when their South Carolina-based parent company moved the restaurant chain’s operations across the country in 1990.

Next: The birthplace of all those crazy TV ads …

14. GEICO: Maryland

GEICO sign in the Washington Nationals’ outfield | Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The insurance company had modest beginnings, starting out as a company in Texas before it moved to Chevy Chase, Maryland in 1959. The company has, of course, grown significantly in the decades that followed, and now holds claim to one of the most recognizable ad campaigns across the globe.

Next: Last but not least …

15. Ben & Jerry’s: Vermont

Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Vermont | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images

Before flavors like “Cherry Garcia” and “The Tonight Dough,” Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Fast-forward from 1978 to now, and the line of tasty treats has its own factory in Waterbury.

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