THE LEWIS BEAR COMPANY
Like the first four generations of our family, we continue to maintain support for our community through sponsorship of events, charitable contributions, and thousands of hours of volunteer work each year for numerous not-for-profit organizations.
Our family lives and works in the Pensacola area, and we are very involved in the community, with organizations such as the University of West Florida, Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, Pensacola Sports Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters and IMPACT 100, ARC Gateway, and PACE Center for Girls, just to name a few.
We are also a hands-on business partner who works hard to stay engaged with our retailers and consumers. We understand that our community and employees are the basis for our success, and we will never lose sight of that.
The Lewis Bear Company (LBC) was founded in Pensacola, Florida, in 1876 by Bavarian immigrant Lewis Bear. Our original location was a grocery and chandlery shop on South Palafox Street where the Saenger Theatre now sits.
Fifteen years after opening, we made our first purchase from Anheuser-Busch (AB), and LBC has continuously distributed their products ever since. In 1892, we moved our operations to a new warehouse and office building at the corner of Palafox and Main, thereafter known as the “Bear Block,” where we expanded our offerings beyond groceries to include building materials, animal feed, liquor, and other merchandise.
Following Lewis Bear’s death in 1895, the company passed to his eldest sons, Morris and Max, and in 1901 LBC was reorganized as a corporation and Budweiser franchise. The brothers worked hard to expand LBC’s territory and sales, developing new facilities and transportation capabilities, while delivering goods to the small lumber towns sprouting up along the Gulf of Mexico.
Morris Bear served as president of the family company from 1901 until his death in 1928. Upon his death, his son, Lewis Bear became president. Lewis Bear served until his retirement in 1973 and was followed by his nephew, Robert Kahn. Robert served as president for 15 years until his cousin Lewis Bear Pollak was named president in 1988. Lewis Pollak served as president for two years and was followed in 1990 by Lewis Bear, Jr. who currently serves as president.
Generation by generation, LBC has evolved and adapted to changing markets and innovations, from our origins wholesaling everything from canned goods and fresh meats to appliances and pharmaceuticals. In 1995, the grocery company was sold and the immediate family bought out all other (54) stockholders.
Today, The Lewis Bear Company has two warehouse facilities, employs a highly-skilled team of 250 professionals and handles distribution and merchandising for over 2500 accounts. The Company remains dedicated to serving its customers and the community.