In 1907, Nova Scotian J. W. Sobey started a meat-delivery business using a horse-drawn cart. A few years later his son, Frank, convinced him to expand from meat into a range of groceries, thus marking the beginning of the Sobeys retail chain. The company came to dominate the East Coast; its expansion since has been fuelled in part by acquisition. The 1998 purchase of the Oshawa Group tripled its size and turned Sobeys into a national player. Last year, the company spent $5.8 billion to purchase Canada Safeway, entrenching the grocery chain even deeper in Western Canada.