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From Philly and Beyond

You've probably heard the phrase before "just because it's from Philly doesn't mean it's only for Philly." This is what this article will be about since it covers companies that started in Philadelphia but branched out to different locations outside of Philly. Some of the companies we cover will be local companies that stayed in the United States, but others have branched out into global conglomerates-and that is what I mean by "doesn't mean it's only for Philly." This is a story about how four small companies raised their goals and choose to expand beyond their city limits.


Airgas first started in 1982, but within a short span of years has grown to be the largest packaged bottled gas company in the United States. Airgas packages and delivers several kinds of gases: medical, industrial, and special. The company today has over 950 locations across the United States. Of course, most of them are outside of Philadelphia. Airgas rivaled and soon surpassed many of its rivals in the bottled air market and also a leader in the S&P 500. In 2015 Airgas, after having more than 1100 locations agreed to be sold to Air Liquide of France, which became wholly owned by Air Liquide on May 23,2016.

Pep Boys

Pep Boys, originally names Pep Automotive, started its business in 1921. The store started in Philadelphia, Pa. Now almost a century later it has a total of 930 Stores. Pep Boys, specializes in auto parts. Each of the original owners got together and each pitched in $200 to start a store. Shortly after beginning business as "Pep Automotive," it got its original name from seeing a container of a grinding gear named Pep. There was a local policeman who worked nearby who used to refer to them when he gave a citation to a car that needed headlights he'd say "go see the Pep Boys to get your lights." That's how they became the Pep Boys. Later one of the owners noticed how store owners on the West coast were naming their stores after their own names, so when he returned home he added the three names of the owners-Manny, Moe & Jack. The store saw rapid expansion to the West coast and from then on consistent acquisitions saw greater expansion. Another growth of expansion reached them when they became a publicly traded company.


Comcast began its business also in Philadelphia through the acquisition of a small company Called Americna Cable Company with a 12,000 customer cable base. Through several acquisitions and branding out into other electronic, media, and internet providing, Comcast has become a global provider of electronic services. Today the company is worth $42B and has "gone beyond philly," yet its headquarters are still in Philadelphia, PA.

Allied Universal

Allied Universal began and is headquartered in Philadelphia and is a company that offers many kinds of security services for private homes and commercial businesses. Allied Universal also offer janitorial services. Through several acquisitions between 2000-2018 ALlied Universal has become the largest security providing company in North America with an estimated revenue of $5.5B and with 160K employees and that's "going beyond Philly."

Similar Yet Different

Each one of the above companies are similar yet different. They are similar because each of them had to go thru the process of name reservation in its growing beyond Philly, yewet different because their names, became known through their provided services which are different, Some grew slower, while others grew much faster.



Pep Boys, Airgas, Comcast, and Allied Universal teach us a lesson, which is if you need to get out of Philly grow and expand and you will always find room and welcome on the other side of town and even outside of town till you grow across state and country lines. People in Philly are always welcoming a good name and a good service, but when it's time to put roots beyond the city and expand these companies found plenty of support and welcome beyond their headquartered city.