Coca Cola Factory GroundbreakingCoca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. issued the following press release:

AUBURN, Ala.- Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. (UNITED) today broke ground on a new sales center in Auburn — an approximate $18 million investment. Construction is slated for completion in 2025 and the facility will employ approximately 75 people.

Auburn Coca-Cola Bottling Company will sit on approximately 15 acres off West Veterans Boulevard and include a sales center, warehouse and office space. The facility will serve as a hub to distribute products to customers and communities throughout Chambers, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Russell and Tallapoosa counties, as well as Troup County in neighboring Georgia.

“Auburn Coca-Cola will help us serve our growing customer base in East Alabama, and it builds upon the long-standing relationship we already have with Auburn, given our partnerships with the university and our many customers in this community,” said Mike Suco, Coca-Cola UNITED President and CEO. “This investment is part of our company’s ongoing plan to optimize our distribution network in a way that benefits our associates, our customers and our communities.”

In 2023, Coca-Cola UNITED announced it would relocate its West Point, Georgia, operations and lease an existing warehouse in nearby Auburn for the next two years. Last March, the company’s West Point facility was impacted after a severe storm moved through the area. Coca-Cola UNITED was already assessing long-term needs prior to the storm and had begun looking for nearby locations to build a larger and modern facility to serve the company’s business goals for the future.

“The storm damage sustained in West Point created an urgency to find a temporary facility in Auburn to first and foremost ensure the safety of our associates and continue our operations,” said Coca-Cola UNITED Central Region Vice President Ernie Merritt, adding the West Point community continues to be served at the highest standards.

All West Point-based Coca-Cola UNITED associates retained their jobs and have transferred to Auburn, said Allen Buffington, Auburn Coca-Cola Sales Center Manager. Buffington said he and his team are grateful for the warm welcome from the Auburn community.

“Our local relationships are very important to us and are essential to how we run our business day-to-day,” Buffington said. “We look forward to continuing our strong partnerships with the City of Auburn and surrounding communities in the years ahead.”

Local and community officials and leaders who attended today’s groundbreaking celebrated the news.

“I am excited to welcome such a renowned and established brand to Auburn,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders. “We are grateful for the investment Coca-Cola UNITED is making in our community and look forward to a strong partnership moving forward.”

Birmingham-based Coca-Cola UNITED, the second largest privately held company in Alabama, has manufactured and distributed Coke products throughout the state for more than a century. The company acquired the Auburn-Opelika territory in 2014.