Coca-Cola Beverages Florida LLC (Coke Florida) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome associates, local elected officials and community partners to its new St. Petersburg sales and distribution center.
The 22,000-square-foot sales and distribution center represents a $10 million investment by Coke Florida. It is intended to serve the company’s expanding customer base across St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, and surrounding areas – now at more than 3,500 customers and growing.
Thomas Benford, Coke Florida’s President and Chief Operating Officer said in the announcement, “This is a significant step for Coke Florida - not only is this the first ground-up facility we have constructed, but it also represents a brick-and-mortar return to the St. Petersburg community. Our associates, many who live in Pinellas, are better positioned to partner with their customers and build stronger engagement with the community.”
Local government officials, business associates and community partners shared in the milestone event for the family-owned company.
Ron Brock, Coke Florida’s territory general manager for the new facility, said in the announcement. “I am proud of our impact on the local community prior to opening this facility. We are not new to the area; we are just moving into a new home as this community was previously serviced out of our Tampa facility. Building this facility from the ground up is an indication of Coke Florida’s commitment towards better serving our local customers; furthermore, it demonstrates the company’s commitment to the communities where we live, work, and play.”
Coke Florida employs over 4,800 associates across its 18 sales and distribution territories and four manufacturing facilities. More than 140 associates will work out of the facility in various roles, including CDL drivers, sales account managers, sales merchandisers, and warehouse staff.
Charlie Justice, chairman of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, provided remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by over 150 guests. “This represents opportunities for the residents right here in Pinellas County. There’s going to be opportunities to build manufacturing careers, to learn warehousing, and sales. Good jobs are being created here, and it makes a huge difference for Pinellas County.”