The key to longevity for a local paper company is evolving with the changes in the area.
Susquehanna Paper & Sanitary Supply Co., 2889 Reach Road, began in 1947 by distributing manufactured paper products. Warren Choate, owner, bought it in 1988 from his dad, who bought it in 1960.
Choate's father had been a sales manager for a sales company, so when he took over the company in 1960, he brought the janitorial part of the company with him.
"Back in the 60's and early 70's, the valley was primarily industrial," Choate said. "We had to diversify what we sold and who we sold it to in order to grow."
In addition to paper products and janitorial products, other services the company provides is can liners, chemicals, course paper, dispensers, food service, hot water power washers, ice melters, janitorial equipment, laundry and warewash, packaging, packaging equipment, parts and repair, safety products and tapes.
"Everyone has to adapt in their own environment to keep growing," he said.
Choate said comparing what they sold in the 1960's to the 1990's is completely different since they added all of the new specialties.
"The (difference in) business is night and day," he said. "It's a flip flop."
Each different section of the company comes with its own challenge, Choate said.
"From trying to help a hospital clean 30,000 square feet of carpet per month and still be in operation to helping local industries package to distribute overseas," he said.
One recent change for the company is the gas industry coming in to the area. In addition to the oil pads and pressure washers, he said they need lots of hand soap and wipes.
"They all have to use what we have," Choate said. "Their office and shops are no different than any other office."
Despite being located in Williamsport, Choate estimated Susquehanna Paper & Sanitary Supply Co. reaches between 1/4 to 1/3 of the state. They distribute manufactured products to Allentown, as far south as York and Lancaster, to Elmyra, to Scranton and to Altoona.
They deliver daily to the greater Williamsport area, which includes Hughesville, Muncy, and Montgomery. Sometimes sales are so busy they deliver twice a day.
A mix of customer service, sales employees, service department and truck drivers make up the 29 employees the company has. The company also uses its own fleet of trucks.
In 1998, the warehouse expanded from 20,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet, with three more receiving doors.
"The business has been growing," Choate said. "You got to work for it. A lot of good stuff is going on."
The company's website and online ordering went live in 1999, which he said made him one of the first in the industry to do it, especially in the area. This year, Choate said they revamped the website.
"It's state of the art," he said.