From Radio Parts to Top 100

What started as a little business hawking radio parts and batteries for a booming radio industry, 70 years later has grown to the 100th largest electrical distributorship in the country (based on annual sales as ranked by Electrical Wholesaling's 250 Biggest list).

J.H. Larson Co.'s founder, Joe Larson, and his wife, Lucille, probably wouldn't have predicted that kind of growth when they started the business in 1931. Now headquartered in Golden Valley, Minn., the company started from the young couple's home with Joe doing sales and making deliveries in a Model T Ford coupe while Lucille did the bookkeeping. In 1936 the couple opened their first storefront and warehouse. That was also the year that Triangle Conduit and Cable was taken on, leading the company from radio supplies to electrical goods.

In 1936 sales averaged between $6 and $8 a day. Today, the family-owned distributorship's seven locations, more than 200 employees and upward of $55 million in annual sales provide a sharp contrast to its beginning. As the family-owned and operated business celebrates it 70th anniversary this year, it also transitions formal control of the company from the second generation to the third generation. Chuck Pahl officially assumed the title of chairman of the board as he entered semi-retirement, and Greg Pahl assumed the title of president and chief executive officer.

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