BEDFORD, N.H. – When Mark Francoeur went to bed on the night of Sept. 29, he was leading one of the country’s largest
When he woke up the next morning, The
The New Hampshire-based bottler – which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year – now owns and manages
“Being part of the iconic
In addition to its legacy footprint that includes a state-of-the-art manufacturing center and 10 sales and distribution centers around the region, CCNNE is taking over two additional manufacturing plants and 19 distribution centers that were formerly part of
CCNNE has local roots that date back to a single bottling operation that started 40 years ago in 1977 in Laconia, N.H. Francoeur’s
“I caddied for a gentleman by the name of Oakley Jones,” he recalled. “He was a third-generation
Francoeur, a native New Englander who was born in Maine and grew up in New Hampshire, climbed the ranks over the two decades that followed. “We’re fortunate to be part of a special system of incredible people who support each other and take a tremendous amount of pride in what they do each day,” he said.
We caught up with Francoeur as the ink on the contract was still drying to learn more about CCNNE’s past, present and future.
What does being a
Coca-Cola bottler mean to you?
Being a bottler comes with a lot of responsibility to uphold and build upon the wonderful history of the
This deal is coming near the end of a decade-long process of returning
Coca-Cola Company-owned bottling operations to independent companies. Why is this good news for you and your customers?
Simply stated, empowering local bottlers to make local decisions with support from the resources of The
Looking ahead, what motivates you about the future of CCNNE?
It’s an exciting time to be in this business. Change has never been more significant – not only in our product and packaging portfolio, but also in the overall retail landscape. New players, categories and segments are popping up all the time. And when you combine this change with explosive growth in new categories and our strong position in them, plus the growth of our smaller packs and low- and no-calorie offerings, we see a lot of runway ahead. So we’re focused on building the right capabilities as an organization so we can power our teams to go out and capture this opportunity.
Can you talk about the importance of investments – in facilities, routes to market, equipment, etc. – and how they are fueling your growth?
We see capital investment as paramount to our success. In 2011, we made a large-scale facility investment in Waterford, Connecticut. And over the last five years, we’ve made two significant production line investments, for in-line blow molding. These investments are not only smart for business; they’re sustainable, as well, saving us hundreds of truckloads of deliveries per year.
From a community standpoint, we invest in a number of local and regional organizations, including Special Olympics, the American Red Cross and New Hampshire the Beautiful. Now we have the opportunity to expand our community investment across a much larger territory. And we see that as a recipe for success.
How important is sustainability to CCNNE?
Sustainability is fundamental to being successful as a
Speaking of customers, how important are relationships to your team?
Relationships have been a constant in terms of earning trust, and will always be fundamental to success in this business. We take a people-first approach, and we take pride in the relationships we have with our customers.
What about internally? How would you describe the CCNNE culture?
We aim to create an environment that’s positive and empowering. And that starts with me. I respect everyone I work with and, in turn, expect everyone else to respect each other. This isn’t an easy business. There are a lot of people working really hard every day to grow the business. And that starts with respecting the work and respecting the customer. We put a strong emphasis on instilling a culture of respect, engaging and treating folks the way they want to be treated, and empowering our people. We let our leaders lead by instilling confidence and providing the tools they need to succeed.
New creative advertising reminds Americans that ‘We’re
Coca-Cola and so much more’. Why is this message important?
We have an obligation to articulate our total beverage portfolio, anchored by the great