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In today’s climate, it is easy to think that America’s best days are in the past. The soft glow of optimism and discovery of the 1950s seems to have faded into the sunset. Although the concept of the “American Dream” is hotly debated in the press and among policymakers and the broader public, it has never been forgotten and startups like V5A aspire to achieve the “American Dream.”

In today’s post, we wanted to take a look at five startups that became iconic brands in the 1950s that are still going strong across the US (and even internationally) today. The backstory of these five iconic brands help to keep the team at V5A motivated to keep moving towards our own “American Dream.” We hope it will do the same for you.

All of these brands started with an idea and the “American Dream.” These are some of V5A’s favorite American icons in the business world.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Founded: 1950 in Quincy, Mass.

The concept came about after William Rosenberg made the connection that the majority of his business came from coffee and donut sales. Rosenberg was a pioneer in the art of franchising. Genius!

Sonic Drive-In

Founded: 1953 in Shawnee, Okla.

When you think of the drive-in, you naturally think of the 1950s, right? Of course you do. In 1953, Troy Smith Sr. reinvented the idea of the drive-in by adding an intercom system and employing “carhops” on roller skates. The business model still exists today. Sonic Drive-In’s are still around and still going strong.

Holiday Inn

Founded: 1952 in Memphis, Tenn.

If you stream Netflix, you probably caught sight of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in Irving Berlin’s1950s musical, Holiday Inn. The hotel chain was launched by founder Kemmons Wilson after he was less than impressed with the lodging options available while on a road trip to D.C The name “Holiday Inn” was coined by Wilson’s architect Eddie Bluestein as a joke. It’s a British owned American hotel chain today.

Mister Softee

Founded: 1956 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Mister Softee has been dishing out ice cream treats on wheels to kids and families for more than 70 years. Fun fact: its original, can’t-get-it-out-of-your head jingle actually has lyrics. “My milkshakes and my sundaes and mu cones are such a treat. Listen for my store on wheels ding-a-ling down the street.”

International House of Pancakes – IHOP

Founded: 1958 in Toluca Lake, Calif.

Who doesn’t love breakfast 24 hours a day? Starting out as International House of Pancakes in a suburb of Los Angeles, they became well known after franchising the business and incorporating the acronym. At IHOP you can get breakfast for dinner, breakfast for lunch, and breakfast for dinner. You can even get breakfast for after you have gone out and it’s way past your dinnertime.

Nyna L.

Nyna L.

Creative Strategist, Contributor

Nyna is responsible for the creative strategy and direction in partnership with V5A clients. Nyna is a B2B Digital Marketing veteran with close to 10 years client experience in web marketing project development and management have provided Nyna a great foundation to contribute meaningfully to our Team Talks.

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