J. A. Bellavance & Co. was founded in 1902 by Joseph A. Bellavance as a saloon and beer, liquor and soda wholesale business at 2-4 Canal Street in Nashua, N.H. The company delivered cases and wooden kegs throughout the city with a horse and wagon team and filled "to go" buckets with beer on the saloon portion of the premises.
When Prohibition began in 1920, the company survived by selling soda and hand rolled cigars. At some point during this period, the business moved to 21 High Street. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the company resumed its wholesale beer business only and relocated to 47 Elm Street. In 1935 the business was incorporated as Bellavance Beverage Co. by Joseph Sr. and his brother Samuel J.
While on Elm Street much of the beer arrived by rail car. The unloading yard, however, was located several blocks away and each rail car had to be unloaded onto a truck, driven to the warehouse and then re-stacked in the warehouse. All of this was done by hand and took nearly two days for a full load. In 1954, Bellavance Beverage Co. acquired distribution rights for Anheuser-Busch products in the greater Nashua area and several years later, after many seasonal and part-time jobs with the Company, Joseph III and his brother Samuel P. joined the Bellavance Beverage fulltime. In 1962 the business moved several blocks to a new warehouse on 31 Quincy Street, the site where rail cars used to be unloaded.
The company moved to One Bud Way, across from the Nashua airport, in 1976 and business grew rapidly as southern New Hampshire became a destination for out-of-state shoppers. Joe IV and Sam J., the fourth generation of family, joined the business in the late 80's, learning the business as their fathers had by working a variety of positions.
With continued growth and many new brands, the Company needed to expand its warehouse and in 2004 opted for a new location on Northwest Boulevard in Nashua. The facility incorporates designs and technologies that maximize energy and operational efficiencies and provide flexibility to meet future demands. Currently the Company sells a broad portfolio of beer, cider, flavored alcohol beverages, soda, juice, water, energy and other non-alcoholic beverages representing over 150 brands.
Bellavance Beverage Co., Inc. is one of the oldest businesses in Nashua, N.H. and actively supports the local community thru such organizations as Greater Nashua Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Nashua Boys and Girls Club, Nashua Rotary and many others.