Lyons Timeline

  • 40s

    • 1945

      • Baton rouge wholesale candy company is formed.

        While working as an internal auditor for LSU, William E. Davis, SR. starts selling $0.10 pecan rolls from the storage room behind his garage on Arlington Ave.

    • 1946

      • Wed purchased lyons specialty company

        Located on North St., from the Lyons family and merged Baton Rouge Wholesale Candy Company into Lyons Specialty Company. The North St location was 3300 sq. ft.

      • Wed brought in his two brother-in-laws

        Willis and Lynch Maddox and made them partners in the business.

      • AA Vending machine was formed by WED

        AA Vending was a full-service vending company servicing vending machines throughout the Baton Rouge metro area.

  • 50s

    • 1950

      • Jobber of the month

        In January, 1950 WED and Lyons Specialty Company was named “Jobber of the Month” by the Mason Mint which was the monthly news digest of current candy events.

    • 1959

      • Warehouse on Adams Avenue

        WED moved the operation to a 10,200 sq. ft. warehouse on Adams Ave., where the business remained until moving to its current building in 1999.

  • 60s

    • 1968

      • Sold

        In 1968, Willis and Lynch Maddox sold their portion of Lyons Specialty Company to WED.

  • 70s

    • 1976

      • Incorporated

        Lyons Specialty Company, Inc. was formed.

    • 1977

      • Candy Wholesaler Magazine

        Lyons Specialty Company, Inc. was featured in the Candy Wholesaler Magazine.

  • 80s

    • 1983

      • Purchase

        Lyons Specialty purchased Dixie Candy Company in Hammond, Louisiana.

    • 1985

      • Sales record

        Sales for the company were 5.5 million.

  • 90s

    • 1993

      • Hugh Raetzsch, Jr.

        Current Owner / CEO and grandson of WED, Hugh Raetzsch, Jr. graduated from LSU with a degree in Business Management and began his full-time career with the company.

    • 1994

      • Wholesale Specialty purchase

        Lyons Specialty purchased Wholesale Specialty, which was a local rack jobber supplying convenience stores and small grocery stores with health and beauty care items and general merchandise.

        This was a pivotal move for the company and probably is the main reason we are still here today.

    • 1995

      • Sales record

        Sales for the company were 21 million.

    • 1999

      • Port Allen location

        Lyons Specialty moved to its current location in Port Allen.

  • 00s

    • 2002

      • Top 40 under 40

        Raetzsch was recognized by the BR Business Report in the Top 40 under 40 business people of Baton Rouge.

    • 2005

      • Sales record

        In 2005, Sales for the company were 68 million.

    • 2009

      • Dave d’Aquin

        In January 2009, Dave d’Aquin, Vice-President and longtime family friend and employee of over 40 years died at the age of 59.

      • William E Davis Sr.

        In February 2009, William E. Davis, Sr. died at age 96.

      • Purchase

        In June of 2009, Lyons Specialty purchased long time Monroe, LA distributor, Ouachita Distributing Company, Inc. from the Jones family.

  • 10s

    • 2012

      • Ownership

        Ownership passed from Jane Dunlap to Hugh Raetzsch, Jr.

    • 2013

      • American Wholesale Marketers Association

        Hugh Raetzsch, Jr. served as Chairman of the American Wholesale Marketers Association, which is the national association representing our industry.

    • 2014

      • AA Vending Service sold

        In March of 2014, AA Vending Service was sold to Refreshment Solutions of Norco, LA.

    • 2015

      • Sales record and expansion

        Sales approaching 130 million.

      • Expansion plans are now in the works to more than double the current office and warehouse square footage to prepare us for the next 10 years!