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Made in Columbus: 18 things created in CBUS

From restaurants to businesses, Columbus is home to many original inventions and ideas. We are celebrating some of our favorite things created right here in CBUS.

Wendy’s in Dublin | Photo via Wendy’s

The first Wendy’s was located at 257 E. Broad St. | Photo by @wendys

Table of Contents

Made in Columbus. Yep, that sure has a nice ring to it. From clothing and accessories, to snacks and other fun finds, we’ve rounded up 18 things or people homegrown in CBUS.

While some of these brands have branched out beyond our city, one thing’s for sure — there’s some major inspo happening around these parts.


The first Wendy’s opened in Columbus on November 15, 1969. Through the rise and fall of the sun rooms, the fast food chain remains headquartered here today.

Buffalo Wild Wings
The first BWW opened on OSU’s campus in 1982. The wing chain now has locations across the country, including 94 restaurants in Ohio.

Donatos Pizza
Known for its Columbus-style thin crust and edge-to-edge toppings, the first Donatos was started by an OSU student in 1963.

Charleys Cheesesteaks
Founded on High Street near OSU by a Buckeye student, this Philly cheesesteak chain now has 700+ locations in 46 states. The headquarters remains here in Columbus.

Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams
Jeni Britton founded the iconic ice cream brand in CBUS and started as a vendor at the North Market downtown. Now, 20+ years later, Jeni’s has scoop shops in 25+ cities across the country.

Piada Italian Street Food
The fast-casual Italian eatery was founded in Columbus in 2010. Since then, it has expanded to nearly 50 locations across seven states.

BIBIBOP Asian Grill
BIBIBOP started as one restaurant in Columbus in 2013. It has since expanded to eight other states, but still holds its headquarters here.

Jeni Britton stays highly involved in her business traveling to the different Jeni's locations. | Photo via @jenisicecreams

Jeni Britton stays highly involved in her business traveling to the different Jeni’s locations. | Photo via @jenisicecreams


Bath & Body Works
This bath shop chain was founded in New Albany in 1990, and has now expanded to six continents. The headquarters is currently in Reynoldsburg.

Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret was not founded locally, but it began with five lingerie stores that were sold to Les Wexner in 1982. Wexner grew the brand to global success from right here in Columbus, and the headquarters remains in Reynoldsburg.

Big Lots
Big Lots was initially called Odd Lots and opened in Columbus in 1983. The discount furniture and home decor retailer is still headquarted in the Capital City.

Red Roof Inn
This national hotel chain was founded in Columbus in 1973, and remains headquarted in New Albany. There are now locations all across the US, with the majority in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

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Take a tour of this Columbus home with celebrities Debby Ryan and Josh Dun. | Screenshot via Architectural Digest

Artists and bands

John Legend
The 12-time Grammy Award-winner was born in Springfield, OH (about 40 miles west of Columbus). The R&B singer remains a Buckeye fan.

Twenty One Pilots
The alternative rock band started in Columbus, and now operates as a duo with Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. Dun married former Disney star Debby Ryan, and they now have a Columbus home that was featured in Architectural Digest.

Rascal Flatts
Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus — the lead singer and bassist of the country group Rascal Flatts — are second cousins from Columbus. LeVox graduated from Olentangy High School and The Ohio State University.

Joe Walsh
The former guitarist for the Eagles spent many years of his childhood living in CBUS. A street in the Arena District was named in his honor last year.

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Lower.com Field seats 20,000 Crew fans. | Photo by @columbuscrew

Athletes and teams

Simone Biles
The world-class gymnast was born in Columbus before moving to Texas. The star came back to Columbus as a stop on the Gold Over America Tour in 2021.

Archie Griffin
The two-time Heisman Trophy winner went to Eastmoor Academy for high school and then became one of the greatest running backs to ever come through The Ohio State University.

Columbus Crew
The first club in Major League Soccer was founded right here in CBUS in 1994 with the Columbus Crew.

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