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5 companies you (probably) didn't know were founded in Vancouver

Most of the biggest businesses in B.C.
The logos of some companies that started in Vancouver.

Vancouver has a solid history of supporting local smaller, local companies, but what about the brands that have gone beyond the province's borders?

There are a few famous ones, like Lululemon or Greenpeace, that started here before becoming recognized globally while still being associated with the city.

Then there are few more obscure ones; previously we noted that companies like Nabob and Impark have their history in Vancouver. Oddly enough, even London Drugs does.

And here are a few more brands that have an international, even global, reach from roots right here.

1. Slack

For many people who work in large offices or for a business with remote locations, Slack is an everyday tool.

The company actually started before Slack (the app) was a plan. Originally it was called Tiny Speck founded (in part) by Stewart Butterfield (who was born in Lund, B.C.) in 2009. Butterfield and the other Tiny Speck co-founders launched Glitch, a video game.

It went under after a couple of years. However, Butterfield and the others kept the company going and developed Slack, which they launched in August 2013.

In 2021 the company was sold to Salesforce; at the time it was valued at more than $27 billion USD.

2. 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

Junk removal may not sound like big business, but with 155 locations in the US, Canada, and Australia, 1-800-Got-Junk? is doing very well.

It was founded in 1989 in Vancouver as The Rubbish Boys Disposal Service by Brian Scudamore when he was 19; in 2020 it was valued at $300 million USD.

3. Daiya

With the growth in vegetarian and vegan foods, there are a number of companies riding that market to global success.

Daiya, founded in Metro Vancouver in 2008 Greg Blake and Andrew Kroecher, was created when they were able to create a non-dairy cheese. At first, it was akin to havarti, but they brought in a food scientist to get it closer to cheddar and mozzarella, which make up most of North America's cheese market.

It was a hit, and they quickly grew. Less than a decade after Daiya was founded it was sold to a Japanese pharmaceutical company for $405 million USD.

4. Aritzia

In just under 40 years Aritzia has gone from a store in Oakridge to a global brand with stores across Canada and the USA.

Brian Hill started it in Oakridge, but retail clothing sales wasn't new to him. His family started Hill's on Kerrisdale back in the 1920s, and nearly 100 years later the Hill's Dry Goods brand was launched.

Aritzia, meanwhile, opened up a 13,000-square-foot flagship location in Manhattan, and its brands are opening stores, like TNA and Babaton.

5. Delta Hotels

The first Delta Hotel opened in 1962 in Richmond but it didn't stay a small independent company for long; the company was quickly scooped up by bigger companies, but remained its own brand and subsidiary.

While it had moderate growth in Canada for a while, Marriott, the world's largest hotel company, acquired it in 2015 and seems set on making it a global brand.

In 2015 it had 36 properties, all in North America. Now it has more than 100 hotels with locations in Europe, the Middle East, and China.