Answer: They all came into being through Minnesota companies! This state is actually home to a good number of large companies. When most people first think of Minnesota they think of farms, long winters and a place where nothing really happens but most would never think that Minnesota has so many well-known national and multinational companies. Those Swedes and Norwegians that settled here way back when brought their strong work ethic with them and it has continued on through the years and our economy and businesses are proof of that.
It was back in the mid to late 1800’s when Minneapolis first was put on the map first with its sawmills and then the flour mills, two of which became General Mills and Pillsbury. The location was ideal, right on the river for transport of the product and near the falls which provided power for the mills. The mills thrived and at one point Minneapolis was the world’s leading flour miller. The Pillsbury Doughboy was created by Pillsbury in in 1965 to promote the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and then went on to be a sort of “mascot” for Pillsbury baking products appearing in over 600 different commercials. For anyone interested in the history of flour milling the Mill City Museum which is built in an old flour mill is very interesting and informative. The huge flour milling business also drove the construction of railroads and the development of the banking industry which is still big today.
3M is also a good Minnesota company with a wide range of products. Most of us see it every day when we use a Post It or Sticky Note. Who would ever guess that they started out way up north in Two Harbors trying to develop sandpaper! Their second major accomplishment was the development of masking tape which was followed by their third creation, Cellophane tape. 3M is now headquartered in St. Paul. For those of us curious folks, what do the 3 M’s stand for? Minnesota, Mining, and Manufacturing.
Rollerblades were developed by two brothers who were hockey players and wanted to find a way to train for their sport year round. By accident the brothers stumbled onto a pair of old primitive in line skates in a sporting goods store which gave them the idea to remove the blades from their hockey skates and substitute them with wheels and then they added a rubber brake thus enabling them to train in their “skates” year round. They formed their company called Rollerblade, Inc and operated it out of their parents basement until they sold it in 1984.
Those are just 3 popular products that originated here in Minnesota. Many other companies and their products/services are seen in our day to day lives as well, such as Target Corp, Best Buy, Inc, Graco, Inc, St. Jude Medical, Inc, US Bank Corp and many, many more. Several private companies are also in our daily lives such as Cargill and Carlson companies. All these successful companies help to keep our unemployment rate normally lower than the national average. With more employed people our economy can continue to grow. Positively Minnesota provides the reason for so much success in Minnesota – “What draws them and keeps them growing? With one of the nation’s steadiest and most diversified economies with strengths in several key industries and sectors, Minnesota puts companies on incredibly sound footing. It’s the ideal environment for dreaming… for taking risks… for turning big ideas into big success. Small companies get big. Big companies get bigger. Momentum builds momentum. And the cycle repeats.“
So, moral of this story – come to Minnesota – it’s where it’s at for business!