Ridgefield’s Corwin Beverage combines forces with Kelso company

RIDGEFIELD – Regional food and beverage distribution companies Corwin Beverage Company of Ridgefield and Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing of Kelso will combine forces to pursue growth and diversification, both companies announced Tuesday.

Kendall’s Pioneer was formed three years ago by the owners of Corwin Beverage to support product distribution for the rapidly-developing regional craft beer and wine industry. Kendall’s Pioneer supports more than 40 brands with distribution to 400 establishments across 10 southwest Washington counties. Meanwhile, with new leadership in place, Corwin Beverage is pursuing growth and diversification plans as it strengthens its position as the region’s preferred food and beverage distributor.

“As our businesses evolve and the marketplace changes, it became apparent that we are a stronger and more scalable company by combining forces,” said Keith Richards, CEO of Corwin Beverage Company. “The combined effort brings a fresh entrepreneurial spirit to Corwin Beverage while providing substantial distribution and sales leverage for Kendall’s Pioneer and its suppliers.”

The united organization will operate from the Corwin Beverage headquarters near Ridgefield, with integration expected to be complete by the end of 2016. Corwin will maintain a unique sales and merchandising effort for regional craft brands led by Erik Bjerkman, who served as general manager for Kendall’s Pioneer.

The two management teams are developing a staffing plan to accommodate sales growth for the combined organization, with current staff being given first consideration for positions that are created or changed through the combining of forces.

Corwin Beverage Company is celebrating its 75th year of regional food and beverage distribution excellence, as it strives to be the customer, vendor and supplier of choice. It expects to double revenues by 2020 through a growth plan that strengthens its core business as a regional distributor of Pepsi and Dr. Pepper products, while welcoming opportunities to leverage its network by distributing complementary brands.

Corwin Beverage Company is a fourth-generation family-owned business that has sold beverages in Southwest Washington since 1941. From a single truck and three employees, the family expanded Corwin Beverage to a fleet of more than 100 trucks and 140 employees, distributing beverages and food throughout the region.

More information is available at www.corwinbevco.com.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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