John Lapan Sons, originally wholesale grocery and produce distributors, and later specializing in beverages, was a continuation of Louis Kernochan and Company at 9 Mills Avenue, and later at 91 Ampersand Avenue. They operated at both locations until 1935, when they sold the Mills Ave. plant to Swift & Company.
Jeanne Otis Fisher was the bookkeeper at the company.
Lake Placid News, November 29, 1962
Saranac Lake Firm Sold To Lake Placid Resident
Final details were completed this week on the sale of one of Saranac Lake's oldest businesses to a Lake Placid man. On Saturday, Dec. 1, Gerald Cassidy of Essex St. will take ownership of the firm of John LaPan's Sons. Inc., beverage distributors.
Under its present owners, Clarence LaPan, president, and James LaPan, secretary and treasurer the firm has been serving the Saranac Lake area for nearly 40 years. They formed the company Aug. 10, 1925, with their brothers, Richard and William.
At that time it was a wholesale grocery and produce business which had been operating since March 1914, as Louis Kernochan and Company, located at 9 Mills Avenue. In 1930 the four brothers bought the Franklin Refrigerating Company, also in the same line, at 91 Ampersand Avenue, their present address.
They operated both locations until 1935, when they sold the Mills Ave. plant to Swift & Company.
In 1932 "Bill" left the company to form LaPan Oil Company, The company enjoyed a steady growth through the years according to the owners. They were expanding during the Depression years, and this offset the effects of that difficult period.
In 1945, however, they met their only major setback. On the night of Oct.3, fire levelled their warehouse, and they "watched 25 years of work go up in smoke." They rebuilt immediately but it took about 10 years to recover completely.
In June, 1940, the firm bought a warehouse in Plattsburgh and "Dick" moved there to manage it. This is not included in the sale to Mr. Cassidy, and Clarence and "Jim" will continue to spend most of their time with that operation.
The family's contribution to the civic and business life of the community was inherited from their father. John, who was Saranac Lake's first policeman, around the turn of the century. He spent most of his working life with the NYS Conservation Department. A fifth brother, George, was president of the Adirondack National Bank for many years until his death in 1957. Their sister, Edna, is Mrs. James Hickey, now living in Brockton, Mass. Dick died in 1954.
Mr. Cassidy announces that he plans no immediate staff or policy changes. The company will continue to handle Ballantyne and Labatz beer and Canada Dry products for the Tri-Lakes area.
The Guild News, October 1945
"Home Town Jottings"
[More on the fire mentioned in the article above.] John LaPan's Sons' storage warehouse on Ampersand Ave. burned to the ground on the night of Oct. 3rd. The fire which raged all night necessitated the calling of fire apparatus from nearby towns. Damage was estimated at $100,000. Destroyed were some three thousand cases of beer and ale, and several tons of sugar.