Bottler of the Year Located in McAlester
|Bottler of the Year Located in McAlester:
Ideal Place to Grow a Distribution Business
|The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of McAlester was started and is still operated by the Rogers family. Charlie Rogers, the CEO and Vice President served 21 years in the McAlester Police Department before retiring to take over the family business. Since then, the company has grown significantly. They are the only Pepsi franchise in the entire United States to have grown for the past five consecutive years, a feat that earned them the distinct honor of receiving Pepsi’s highest award, the Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year, for 2019. The awards and recognition didn’t stop there. McAlester Pepsi also received nomination for the 2020, Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year, back-to-back awards for Pepsi Central Division Bottler of the Year and this past January, they landed the prestigious honor and cover of Beverage Industry Magazine, as their 2022 Bottler of the Year.
“For my team and the guys to get it has been such a humbling and wonderful experience that they are starting to see all the payoff . . . it’s such a tremendous honor, it’s hard to put into words,” Rogers told Beverage Industry. “Pepsi national has been down from New York and Chicago to see how we are selling what we are. They haven’t seen growth like this and want to know what we are doing right,” said Rogers. “I attribute it to finding the right group of people from the management team to merchandisers in the field. Our team will do what it takes to care for the customer.”
Brandon Higgs, General Manager for McAlester Pepsi, echoed Roger’s statement about building a strong team with quality service. “It’s all about the team and providing each of our customers with service and respect,” said Higgs. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom-and-pop store or a large chain operation, you’re going to get the same level of customer service from everyone here.”
Their growth can also be attributed to strong leadership. Since taking over operations, Rogers has worked hard to instill in his team the value of being personable with everyone they connect with. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the owner, the store manager, the clerk or just someone helping in the receiving dock. We appreciate everyone, we value them and we’re going to work with them to do whatever we can to provide excellent service and a quality product,” said Higgs.
Roger’s strong leadership led to many updates and changes within the company, all aimed at increasing service to Pepsi customers. “When Charlie took over everything changed… We started using iPads and route data systems,” said Bret Hinds, Service Engineer. “My mission was to out-service the competition,” said Rogers. And out-service they have. As one customer put it, “It’s quite possibly the best relationship that I’ve had with a vendor. We called at five on a Friday afternoon asking for 30 pallets of water. They were the only vendor who could get it to us. Pepsi was a lifesaver for us and the community.”
|“My motto is customer service no matter what and when you provide that level of service you can be incredibly successful in southeastern Oklahoma,” said Rogers. “With COVID, we had to rethink the way we do business and find ways to help our customers. Being creative has led to increased sales for our customers and enabled us to grow with them.”
The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of McAlester has grown so much over the past six years that they have created an additional 25 jobs and 3 new routes. As a result, they are undergoing a 6,000-square-foot office expansion and adding 28,000-square-feet to the warehouse. “The city and county commissioners have always bent over backward to help us,” said Rogers.
“We care about the businesses in McAlester and do what is necessary to support their growth,” said Adam White, Economic Development Director. “Businesses know they can call us and get a fast response.” That level of support and commitment is something that the Rogers family has appreciated, and they’ve always given back to the community to thank them.
Keep McAlester Beautiful is one of the organizations they support. “The Pepsi folks in McAlester are just generous. Everyone in the community knows that Pepsi always gives back,” said Megan Waters, Director of Keep McAlester Beautiful."
That’s the beauty of McAlester - everyone works together to create a strong community and build strong businesses. It’s a supportive ecosystem for Pepsi that has translated into employees working together to support customers and long-term sustainable growth. “I grew up in McAlester and it’s a great place to live. The people here care about their community,” said Rogers. “That’s why we changed our motto to, McAlester Pepsi – taking hometown service to the national level.”
If you are looking to grow your business in a supportive environment, McAlester is the right place for you. The city and county will make it as easy as possible to get started, the local workforce is loyal and the location is ideal for manufacturing and distribution companies looking to service the Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Missouri markets.
|For more information on Economic Development opportunities, within McAlester, please contact
City of McAlester Economic Development Director, Adam White at email@example.com.