VALPARAISO, FLA. – Valparaiso Coca-Cola, a sales center of Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, recently dedicated a new $5 million sales and distribution center. The 24,000-sq.-ft. 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.

“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, Coca-Cola UNITED. “Today’s celebration and this beautiful new facility reinforces our commitment to our associates, our customers, our consumers and this community.”

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, Ala.-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.

“Coca-Cola has been a big part of our community for decades,” said Valparaiso Mayor Heyward Strong. “This new sales and distribution center demonstrates Coca-Cola UNITED’s growing commitment to our city, and that is very important to us. I further proclaim September 21, 2017, to be ‘Coca-Cola’ Day.’ ”

Niceville Mayor Randall Wise added, “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."

This 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 3 million cases of Coke beverages annually to refresh more than 267,000 consumers.