Courtesy of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Acquires Bottling, Vending Companies in Emporia, Kansas

June 26, 2024
Seven-year-old beverage producer and distributor continues strong growth with latest acquisition, expanding its distribution network to additional markets in Kansas.

Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Co., based in Lenexa, Kan., has acquired two businesses in Emporia, Kan., that will expand its production and distribution footprint. Coca-Cola Bottling of Emporia and Classic Vending will join the beverage producer and distributor’s North Kansas Hometown division and are expected to remain intact during the integration process, according to one local news report.

The deal expands Heartland’s business to Emporia and certain surrounding communities in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood and Lyon counties, the announcement noted. Heartland president and COO Chuck Wyant says the company, which was founded in 2017 by businessman and former NBA player Junior Bridgeman, has consistently met its goals and objectives, and this deal adds more growth opportunity for Heartland, particularly when coupled with its investment in a new production campus in Olathe, Kan.

Emporia Coca-Cola began operations in 1978, while Classic Vending, which provides vending, coffee and micro-market services in the greater Emporia area, started business in 2001. The businesses were established by the DeBauge family. Wyant told local news that Emporia Coca-Cola and Classic Vending CEO Jeff DeBauge will remain on board and report directly to him.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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