The 24,000-square-foot facility, which includes a distribution center, warehouse, fleet maintenance center and administrative offices, will serve Okaloosa and Walton counties in Florida, as well as Florala in Alabama. It is located at 647 Valparaiso Parkway in Valparaiso.
Valparaiso Coca-Cola, a sales center of Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, dedicated its new $5 million sales and distribution center on Thursday with a grand opening ceremony and Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting. Several local dignitaries, chamber members, and company executives attended the morning event.
“When Valparaiso became a part of the UNITED family in 2014, we made a commitment to employ, serve, refresh and invest in the Emerald Coast area,” said John Sherman, President and CEO of Coca-Cola UNITED. “Today’s celebration and this beautiful new facility reinforces our commitment to our associates, our customers, our consumers and this community.”
The 24,000-square-foot facility, which includes a distribution center, warehouse, fleet maintenance center and administrative offices, will serve Okaloosa and Walton counties in Florida, as well as Florala in Alabama. It is located at 647 Valparaiso Parkway in Valparaiso.Coca-Cola has been distributed throughout the area for more than a century; however, the first Valparaiso distribution facility was established in 1973. In 2014, Birmingham, AL-based Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, the largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S., acquired the Valparaiso distribution territory.
Since that time, the Valparaiso facility has increased employment by more than 20 percent. There are now approximately 80 local associates working at the facility, with an annual payroll of approximately $4.4 million.Jenni Brunson, Chairman of the Board of the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, said the $5 million investment in the new facility represented “a vote of confidence in the future of our local economy and the residents who live and work here.”
Valparaiso Mayor Heyward Strong proclaimed the day as “Coca-Cola’ Day” in Valparaiso. Among other things, he cited Coca-Cola UNITED’s growth and commitment to the city as factors for the special recognition.
Niceville Mayor Randall Wise said, “Coca-Cola UNITED’s investment in our community encourages the citizens of Niceville, many of which work at this new sales center, to look for opportunities where they can develop and utilize their talents and skills, thereby improving their quality of life and that of their families.”
The larger and more efficient distribution center will enable Valparaiso Coca-Cola to provide an even greater level of customer service to its more than 1,600 retail and on-premise customers in Okaloosa and Walton counties in Florida and Florala, Ala. The facility will deliver three million cases of non-alcoholic beverages annually to refresh over 267,000 consumers.The 24,000 square-foot facility has a 17,000 square-foot warehouse, a 900 square-foot fleet maintenance area, and 6,000 square feet of administration space, as well as a service department for equipment and vending repair. Its fleet includes 19 tractor trailers, three route delivery trucks, and nine vans/pickups.
“Our new sales and distribution center provides a more efficient and pleasant working environment for our associates, along with better equipment and tools to more effectively serve our customers,” said Ed Hall, Valparaiso Sales Center Manager. “I am honored to lead this team of highly-motivated associates who are committed to our customers and our communities throughout the Emerald Coast.”State Representative Mel Ponder, Okaloosa County Commissioner Graham Fountain, Niceville City Manager Lannie Corbin, Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tricia Brunson, and members of both the Niceville City Council and Valparaiso City Commission were among the dignitaries in attendance.
The Niceville High School band performed at the occasion and received a $500 donation from Valparaiso Coca-Cola to the school’s band program, The Niceville Eagle Pride marching band.