Lynn Grogan, Sr. and his son (obviously) Lynn Grogan, Jr. tried food distribution in the late 1950's in Lexington, Kentucky for a time and decided that sufficient food was not going to be put on their tables that way.
In early 1960, after shutting down Lexington Food & Coffee Co. they purchased the assets of the L.T. Flake Company, a company that sold an assortment of medical products and vitamins in a small storefront on North Upper Street in Lexington. Though they knew little about the medical field, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
This was before disposable medical products exploded in the 1960's and the bio-tech booms of latter decades and before the Medicare and Medicaid programs began in 1965, when medical distribution was something of a cottage industry. The forerunners of many of today's global medical distributors then were family companies selling to most healthcare markets.
Around the Kentucky area the competitors were Ransdell Surgical of Louisville (first Bergen, then Allegiance, now Cardinal), Kay Surgical (first General Medical, now McKesson), Crocker Fels of Cincinnati (first PSS, now McKesson), Skyland of West Virginia (first Amerisource, now Seneca), Nashville Surgical (first Durr Fillauer, then Bergen, then Allegiance, now Cardinal), A.S. Aloe, Will Ross (now scattered with pieces gone to both Owens & Minor and Cardinal) and American Hospital Supply (first Baxter, then Allegiance, now Cardinal).
With Lynn Senior as General Manager and Lynn Junior as the lead sales rep, plus a clerical person and a driver, they began to learn the business and get the major brand product lines they needed to expand the business. For many years primarily a hospital supplier, Grogan's has always sold to physicians, nursing homes, health departments, and consumers as well. As they became established, the business expanded and more sales representatives were hired, routes added, and product lines brought on. Lynn Grogan, Sr. passed away in 1972.
With expansion, larger facilities were needed for warehousing, showrooms, truck bays, office space, and more employees. In 1975, the company moved from their first 8,000 square foot location at 327 Old Vine in downtown Lexington next door to 365 Old Vine (now the site of large office building occupied by a bank and insurance company) with a then-considerable 23,000 square feet over 3 floors of an old Packard Auto Dealership.
In 1977, Alan Grogan (current CEO) joined the company and directed more growth and expansion into new market segments. Over the ensuing years, Grogan's built a substantial respiratory specialty business, an extensive wholesale HME program, a custom seating and mobility business, added a first aid and safety route operation (later sold to Cintas), expanded in the laboratory markets, and strengthened their core physician business. In 1986, Grogan's moved to their present 68,000 square foot distribution center and retail store on South Broadway at Virginia Avenue. Lynn Grogan, Jr. retired in 1989 and passed away in 2008.
In 1980, Grogan's became one of the charter members of the Central Independent Dealer Association (CIDA), which later became part of National Distribution and Contracting (NDC). In 1992, Grogan's long-time Sales Rep Fred Parsons won the HIDA/MPS Distributor Sales Rep of the Year Award. In 2000, Grogan's placed first in the nation for Sales Excellence to Family Practices. Grogan's was CIDA Distributor of the Year in 2006, and has been a leading participant and supporter of NDC programs throughout its years of membership.
From the beginning, Grogan's employee longevity was notable. Ken Knapke, Fred Parsons, Bud Grall were in sales for over 30 years each until they retired starting in the year 2000. The current average length of service across the staff today is over 20 years.
Since the mid 1990's, many of the specialty markets served by Grogan's expansion changed considerably due to customer and industry consolidation, increased governmental regulation and reimbursement changes, and growing influence of national healthcare Group Purchasing Organizations.
Over their history, Grogan's market segments have ebbed and flowed, government involvement in healthcare increased, technology and product innovations came ever more rapidly. Manufacturers were bought, sold, and went by the wayside as often as did competing distributors. Group Purchasing Organizations developed and then established many rules of today's healthcare distribution game. Since those days, consolidation, globalization and specialization have changed the face of the healthcare product industry.
Grogan's has continued to adapt to changing industry and competitive circumstances and in 2013 expanded their efforts in the veterinary markets and became a MOtion1 Distributor to the Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine market. The company has survived and prospered through many industry and business challenges over the years, and continues to fight the good fight on behalf of small business, healthcare providers and patients, and our communities.