Our History

Balassa Labs History 1

Joseph Balassa

Circa 1912

Balassa Laboratories Inc. was founded by Joseph Balassa in the 1930’s. He was born in Budapest in 1891, and after he graduated from college in Budapest, he began his career as a pharmacist working throughout Hungary and Europe. In 1924 he immigrated to the USA in search of the American dream, and five years later became a naturalized citizen.

Mr. Balassa in Economy Prescription Pharmacy

After he was laid off in 1931 due to the depression, he moved to Newark New Jersey and eventually opened his own pharmacy called Economy Prescription Pharmacy. He continued to have a love of compounding and chemistry, and he invented many formulas for medicines and toiletries. Balassa Laboratories Inc. was born. 

Nick DiGaetano Graduates Pharmacy School

Nick DiGaetano was the son of immigrants living in Newark. He began working in Mr. Balassa’s Economy Prescription Pharmacy washing floors on weekends when he was 12 years old. At age 15, he became the pharmacy’s delivery boy. No one in Nicks family had ever gone to college, but Mr. Balassa inspired Nick to follow in his footsteps and go to college and become a pharmacist.

Nick working in Economy Prescription Pharmacy

Mr. Balassa worked in his pharmacy daily from 9am-10pm and half a day on Sundays, and almost never took a day off. He lived in a small sparely furnished room in the rear of his drug store, and devoted himself entirely to his business creating medications to help people. Nick continued to work for Mr. Balassa all throughout college, and he stayed close to him as he grew older. Mr. Balassa never married, but Nick was like a son to him. 

Original Trademark for CornStick in 1937

In the mid 1930’s, Mr. Balassa created his greatest formula for a corn, callus and wart remover. This unique product was extremely effective, and became very popular. He applied for his first trademark for CornStick in 1937. Nick helped Mr. Balassa with the manufacturing and packaging process when he worked in the pharmacy. 

Mr. Balassa’s Original Book of Formula’s

When Mr. Balassa passed away in 1967, he left his pharmacy and his complete book of formulas, including his prized formula for his corn callus and wart remover to Nick. The book and other memorabilia are still cherished by Nick. Nick incorporated the company, and with the help of family members, especially his son Jim, Nick has continued to operate Balassa Laboratories Inc. ever since. 

Nicholas DiGaetano of Balassa Laboratories, Inc. in his later years

Nick DiGaetano who recently celebrated his 92nd birthday played an integral role in the success of Balassa Laboratories Inc. for several decades. While working full-time as a pharmacist for over 40 years, he devoted long hours to the production of CornStick and WartStick. Nick initially ran the business from his basement in the 1960s, following in the footsteps of his mentor, Mr. Balassa. Later, he moved Balassa Laboratories Inc. to a separate facility. Nick retired from working as a pharmacist over 15 years ago, but he continued to work almost every day at “The Lab” until recently. Even at age 80, he remained actively involved in the company’s operations, just like Mr. Balassa.

Looking to the Future of Balassa Laboratories, Inc.

Having retired from full-time day-to-day work, Nick DiGaetano has passed the reins of Balassa Laboratories Inc. to his children, Jim and Margaret DiGaetano. His mentor, Mr. Balassa, passed the business down to Nick, who maintained it as a family business. Despite Nick’s retirement, his legacy lives on in the company. Balassa Laboratories Inc. is committed to producing high-quality products that meet the needs of their customers. With Nick’s family at the helm, the company is well-positioned to continue to thrive in the future.

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