Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling acquires Missouri company

Iowa-based Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. announced Tuesday, May 21, that it has acquired Trenton Coca-Cola Bottling Co., based in Trenton, Missouri. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling is headquartered in Des Moines. It has operations statewide including a warehouse in Walcott. The company said effective Tuesday all Trenton Coca-Cola Bottling employees became employees of Atlantic. 

After the organizations integrate fully, the company will have a combined 875 employees and volume of nearly 18 million cases. 

Atlantic is a privately owned, independent bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products. It covers Iowa, parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri. It was founded by Frank P. “Perk” Tyler in 1905 in southwest Iowa. The company initially began as an ice cream and ice business and grew to include a proprietary soda, “Tyler’s Flavors.” 

Mr. Tyler sold the business to his three sons in 1909. They expanded it by buying a creamery. Serendipitously, they found a Coca-Cola franchise contract in an old safe there and began producing Coca-Cola in 1915. 

4th generation business

Today, more than 100 years later, Rob Feeney and his wife, Jessica (Tyler) Feeney, represent the fourth generation of the family to run the business. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the employees, customers, and communities of Trenton Coca-Cola Bottling Company into the Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company family,” Mr. Feeney, the company’s CEO, said in a news release. “We have a long history of commitment to serving customers, community and associates, and we are looking forward to our future growth together.”

Both bottlers are in their fourth generation of family leadership. They were founded more than a century ago from humble beginnings.

 “With a shared philosophy of commitment to customers, employees and communities, as well as our similar histories, we are pleased to have found a partner in Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company to build upon our legacy in Northwest Missouri,” Peter Trombley, owner and manager of Trenton Coca-Cola Bottling Company, said in the release.

Trenton was founded in 1893. The company began production of Coca-Cola in April 1899. That made it the first Coca-Cola bottler west of the Mississippi River and north of the Missouri River. In 1904, the company received a “First-Line” Coca-Cola Bottling Contract. It ensured protected territories, national and local advertising, standardized bottle and quality control, and a contract in perpetuity, meaning all investments could be handed down from generation to generation. 

Still a growth company

Over the years, the family has operated four different bottling lines, offering many brands of soft drinks, and eventually expanding into snack and vending routes, and water services.

Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. will now have 10 territories serving customers in five states. In addition to its corporate offices in Des Moines and Atlantic, it has a production center in Atlantic and nine distribution centers in Iowa.  

 “We are a growth company.  As we look to the future, Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company will continue to focus on growth opportunities by reinvesting back in the business, employees and communities we serve, while maintaining our position as a private, family-owned, independent bottler and distributor for all Coca-Cola products,” Mr. Feeney said. “With the acquisition of Trenton Coca-Cola Bottling Company, we are advancing our mission to create meaningful selling opportunities each day by being dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations.” 

Plans are underway to rebrand Trenton to Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. over the weeks ahead.

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