It’s not difficult to find a good party in Central Florida. Tampa is so well known for its quality celebrations that Maxim magazine ranked the city sixth on its list of top party cities, and fun and good times surround Orlando with its Disney and Universal Studios theme parks. On the east coast of the region, Palm Bay – with its extensive coast line – is home to countless beach bashes. And, for the past 50 years, Wayne Densch Inc. has played an important role in these shindigs as the region’s top distributors of Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch products.

Minnesota’s largest independent food service distributor is committed to helping its customers remain profitable. Upper Lakes Foods serves both as a broadline distributor and a distributor to national chains. The broadline distribution operation, based out of the company’s headquarters in Cloquet, Minn., carries more than 12,000 items and serves restaurants, schools, healthcare facilities and camping customers. The chain distribution operation, based in Northfield, Minn., offers 2,000 products to three major national retailers, COO Jim Bradshaw says.

The end of prohibition produced a number of business opportunities and new markets for entrepreneurs nationwide, and Shore Point Distributing Co. founders James and Agnes Annarella took advantage immediately. The two obtained a wholesale distribution license and began selling Horton’s Beer. The following year, they started distributing Schaefer Beer, forming the foundation of Shore Point Distributing Co. “This is what really built the company in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s,” says Jim Annarella, grandson of the founder. Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, the company began growing its portfolio and territory. The ’80s brought Coors, Boston Beer and Corona. Since then, Shore Point has added an impressive collection of craft and imports as well as launching a wine and spirits division.

To stay in business for more than 75 years, Service Paper Co. has managed to meet the demands of foodservice and janitorial distribution clients looking to keep their products fresh. According to General Sales Manager Jim Vahrenwald, those products are starting to turn green.

“Everything that is new is anything under the green umbrella,” he says. “In foodservice, [it is] sustainable packaging and compostable packaging, and it has been gaining momentum in the last five years.”

Even after 35 years in business, John P. O’Sullivan Distributing Inc. isn’t finished growing. The Flint, Mich.-based beer distribution company continues to make plans to grow both in market share and in physical space.

The company distributes 2.5 million cases of beer annually to bars, convenience stores, grocery stores and event venues in Michigan’s Genesee, Shiawassee, Lapeer, Saginaw, Midland, Bay and Gratiot counties. John P. O’Sullivan Distributing’s fleet of 20 trucks delivers dozens of brands both large and small on a next-day basis.

J.J. Taylor Distributing Co. of Minnesota Inc. is just completing its 25th year, which President Mike Bamonti attributes to the efforts of its founder and employees. “It’s good guidance from John Taylor – his leadership and the vision that he set for the company,” Bamonti emphasizes. “Our core value is to be a first-choice distributor for our employees, our retail partners and our suppliers. Our employees are our most important asset, so we listen to and care for our employees. We really value and appreciate each and every individual who works for us.”

Eastland Food Corp. has not only grown with the increasing demand for Asian food products in the United States. The distributor based in Jessup, Md., also helped revolutionize the way Asian exporters conducted business with their U.S. counterparts.

As Vice President of Marketing Oscar Mekhaya recalls, once upon a time, there was very little loyalty to the foreign manufacturers trying to make it big in the United States. Distributors would tell every manufacturer the same story – that they would be the lone item in their category. Products were often treated like commodities.

The future water supply needs of the city of Stock­ton, Calif., soon will be met through a $217 million project that will provide its 150,000 water service area residents with water from the San Joaquin River.

The Delta Water Supply Project in­cludes the construction of an intake and pump station, raw and treated water lines, and a water treatment plant. The project will provide 30 million gallons of water a day once completed in 2012, says Robert Granberg, deputy director of water resources planning for the city of Stockton and project manager.

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