Panama City Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a sales center of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United Inc., celebrated the grand opening of its new $10 million facility March 24 at 2825 Forester Trail in Panama City, Florida.
The 24,000-square-foot space houses a sales and distribution center, warehouse, fleet maintenance operation and administrative offices – a benefit to both associates and customers.
The company said the new facility represents a 13 percent increase in local jobs, a 17 percent increase in customers and a 36 percent increase in consumers. Panama City Coca-Cola is one of the newest members of the Coca-Cola United family, joining the company in November 2017.
Coca-Cola United President and CEO John Sherman, who over the years has attended numerous celebrations, said in his remarks that no grand opening was more special or gratifying than the event in Panama City.
“Nearly 42 months ago, the nation watched in horror as Hurricane Michael fiercely bore down on this community, leaving catastrophic devastation in its wake,” Sherman said, adding that the former Panama City Coca-Cola facility suffered severe damage in the storm.
“As we watched this community rebuild, this is what you have taught us all – never underestimate the power of the human spirit and never question the importance of teamwork. After seeing the damage to our facility, we committed to each other that we would begin immediately planning for this day,” Sherman said.
Paul Corbin, Panama City sales center manager, said the grand opening has been a long time coming for him and fellow associates, all of whom are excited to see the new facility in operation. Corbin said the new facility creates an improved work environment for associates and provides more distribution capacity to better serve customers, consumers, and communities.
“This investment by Coca-Cola UNITED demonstrates our long-term commitment to Bay County, all of our local communities, our loyal customers, and last but not least, our associates,” Corbin said.
Panama City Coca-Cola delivers more than 2.9 million cases of beverages from the vast Coca-Cola portfolio to its customers across Northwest Florida annually. The local bottler’s distribution territory spans seven counties along the Emerald Coast, stretching east from Rosemary Beach to Eastpoint, and north from Vernon to Bristol.
After remarks by Coca-Cola UNITED executives and local government officials, the official ribbon cutting and lunch followed.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S. Now with its fifth generation of family working in the business, Coca-Cola United has 10,000 employees located in more than 50 facilities across six states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
For more information, visit cocacolaunited.com.
To view the full photo gallery of the event from The Shelby Report, click here.