PEAPOD, WHICH CELEBRATES ITS 20TH BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR, was founded by Andrew Parkinson, a former brand manager at Procter & Gamble, and his bother Thomas Parkinson, a software engineer, in Evanston, Ill., in 1989. Though well ahead of the dot-com boom, the company was nonetheless swept into competition with high-spending, would-be competitors in the late 1990s and was nearly wiped out in the bust that followed. A partnership with Ahold — which helped the company sweep up the leftovers ...

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