Starbucks is 50 years old?


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Disney World turned 50 this year and it seemed almost surprising that the world’s most famous theme park and resort wasn’t older. After all, Mickey Mouse has been around since 1928 (he’ll be 93 on Nov. 18 this year!). 

But it’s harder to imagine that other businesses and brands are just as venerable. Somehow they seem younger. Perhaps because they didn’t start out quite as well-known as Disney World did when it opened back in 1971 — not even close.

Starbucks, for example, also turned 50 this year. Shocking, right? But it’s true. The iconic coffee company opened on March 31, 1971 in Pike Place, Seattle. That fact got us thinking: What other familiar American companies have been around as long? We were surprised by the results.

Here are 11 other companies you may be surprised to learn have been around half a century this year.

Image Credit: f11photo / iStock.

1. American Home Shield

If you’ve purchased a home in the last 50 years, you’ve probably heard of American Home Shield. The company was founded in Memphis in 1971 and was operated independently until it was acquired by ServiceMaster in 1989. 

Image Credit: American Home Shield.

2. Bed, Bath & Beyond

This American chain of retail stores also opened in 1971 and today operates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Image Credit: krblokhin / istockphoto.

3. Cannondale

The famous bicycle maker is an American division of Canadian conglomerate Dorel Industries and is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut.

Image Credit: Razvan / iStock.

4. Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation is an American multinational financial services company, offering personal and commercial banking, wealth management and electronic trading services to retail and institutional clients.

Image Credit: Charles Schwab.

5. Cuisinart

This American home appliance brand is now owned by Conair Corporation. It was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer and introduced the electric food processor to the US market at a food show in Chicago in 1973. 

Image Credit: Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker, Brushed Chrome, Ice Cream Maker with Countdown Timer, With Countdown Timer /

6. FedEx

Yep, the shipping company that promised “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” is half-a-century old this year.

Image Credit: FedEx.

7. Jiffy Lube

The ubiquitous oil change shop got its start in Utah in 1971. Today, it is headquartered in Houston and is a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell.

Image Credit: Sundry Photography / iStock.

8. LucasFilms

Yep, director, producer and screenwriter George Lucas founded LucasFilms back in 1971. The studio famous for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, among others, is now a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios.

Image Credit: s_bukley/ DepositPhotos.

9. Nasdaq

Nasdaq may feel a bit older than 50, especially for those who don’t remember its launch in 1971, but it isn’t. Today, the New York-based stock exchange is ranked second by market capitalization among the worlds stock exchanges behind only the New York Stock Exchange.

Image Credit: Massimo Giachetti / iStock.

10 Payless Car Rental

Today, Payless is owned by Avis Budget Group and is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida. But when it was founded by John Les Netterstron back in 1971 in Spokane, Washington, it was just a local car rental company.

Image Credit: Payless.

11. Sunglass Hut

Sunglass Hut was founded in Miami and today is owned by Luxottica Group, the world’s largest eyewear company.


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Image Credit: Heather Shimmin / iStock.


Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.