For a sitcom about the soul-crushing mundanity of an office job, the American version of The Office has a surprisingly rich world. Specifically, a fictionalized version of the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania that might not be the actual city, but feels just as genuine as the real thing.
The show's writers achieved depth and verisimilitude by populating their Scranton with many different businesses. Over the years, Office fans became as fond of these made-up companies as they were fond of Jim, Pam, Michael, and Dwight.
Did you ever want to grab a slice at Pizza by Alfredo? Or enjoy some caffeinated dancing at Cafe Disco? Or rock some sweet gear from Athlead? Or just hang out at the Scranton Business Park?
Disaster Kits Limited
One of the Five Families occupying the Scranton Business Park, Disaster Kits Limited doesn't get much screentime. It first appears in the 14th episode of Season 4, "Chair Model." When another business in the office park, W.B. Jones Heating & Air, undergoes renovations, their construction workers take up Dunder Mifflin's parking spaces, and a meeting of the five main businesses of the office park is convened.
Disaster Kits Limited is represented by its owner, Paul Faust. The actor who plays Paul Faust is also named Paul Faust, and he owns a real company called Disaster Kits Limited. However, the real one is located in New York City, not Scranton.Good business?
Probably the most recognizable business in The Office that isn't Dunder Mifflin, Vance Refrigeration is one the "Five Families" of the Scranton Business Park, occupying suite 210. The owner, Bob Vance, has a habit of repeating his full name and company name when introducing himself: "Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration." Some fans think this is just a strange verbal tic. But it's more likely that Bob is trying to get free publicity for his business.
Both Bob and his company appear in numerous episodes over the years. Bob donates a mini-fridge as the grand prize for Casino Night. When Michael and Dwight buy "marijuana" to frame Toby, they buy it from two Vance Refrigeration employees, Leo and Geno. Bob even ends up marrying Dunder Mifflin salesperson Phyllis Lapin, and fans rooted for Bob and Phyllis almost as much as they rooted for Jim and Pam.Good business?
Michael Scott Paper Company
Several times over the show's nine seasons, employees of the Scranton branch start businesses on the side. Only one of them pose a direct threat to Dunder Mifflin: Michael Scott Paper Company. In Season 5, Michael, feeling disrespected by Dunder Mifflin, resigns and starts his own paper company from the ground up. He recruits Pam and, later, Ryan to join him.
Michael immediately proves just as inept at running a company as he is at managing an office, and Pam regrets quitting her receptionist job. But after Michael rents office space at the Scranton Business Park, he starts poaching clients from Dunder Mifflin. Eventually, David Wallace decides the simplest solution is to buy out Michael Scott Paper Company and bring Michael back into the fold.Good business?
Sesame Avenue Daycare Center For Infants And Toddlers
Dwight once again tries to turn the Scranton Business Park closet into a business in the second episode of Season 7, "Counseling." After hearing that Jim and Pam are looking for a daycare closer to the office, Dwight hastily throws together something called the Sesame Avenue Daycare Center For Infants And Toddlers.
It's not exactly child-friendly. The "language skills and cognitive development area" is just an optometrist's eye chart. There's a poster for the Insane Clown Posse, with the words "Insane" and "Posse" crossed out. And instead of adult supervision, the doors just lock from the outside so the kids can't escape. Jim and Pam end the tour by shutting the door, locking Dwight and his cousin Mose inside.Good business?