Press release and submitted photos.
LE ROY -- Wright Beverage Distributing has acquired Certo Brothers brand distribution rights and is expanding their footprint in Western New York.
The deal is set to close on Jan. 10th, and Wright Beverage will assume full operations in Certo’s existing markets effective Jan. 13.
Wright Beverage plans to acquire a 139,000-square-foot warehouse, adjacent to their 205,000-square-foot facility, in the Village of Le Roy as part of a proposed $8.9 million expansion plan.
The newly combined Rochester/Buffalo area brand rights expand Wright’s base by more than 50 percent to service 17 counties and over 2.5 million people.
Wright Beverage Distributing, headquartered in Rochester, announced Tuesday that they have reached an agreement with Certo Brothers Distributing to acquire Certo’s brand franchise and distribution rights for all five counties Certo currently services in Western New York. The newly acquired brand rights will extend WBD’s market coverage from 14 to 17 counties, growing their existing 10.5m annual case sales volume by more than 50 percent and adding more than 150 jobs to their current team of 425 employees.
“Our employees are what make expansion opportunities like this possible,” said Claude H. Wright, owner and CEO of Wright Beverage Distribution. “With both our companies being family owned and over 170 combined years of local market heritage in the beverage business, our cultures are very similar, and I know we’ll make an outstanding combined team.”
Wright had previously competed with Certo in Erie and Niagara counties, and this purchase will expand Wright’s territory into three additional counties: Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegheny. Major brands involved in the transaction that are currently represented by Wright in adjacent territories include Coors, Molson, Miller, Sam Adams, Corona and Genesee.
Founded in 1953, Wright Beverage is now run by second-generation owner Claude H. Wright, CEO who has grown the company exponentially since taking over in 1977. The company attributes its sustained growth to its people and partnerships that spanthree generations. Representing over 50 suppliers, the company maintains a diversified portfolio of Beer, Non-Alcohol, Wine and Spirit products.
It will also be expanding its current Buffalo metro sales offices and employee base. Tessa (Wright) Tobin, Claude’s daughter, is the third generation of the Wright family to take ownership of the company and serves on the executive team as Chief Business Development Officer. Tobin is leading the joint transition team focused on launch plans to ensure a smooth transition and get the expanded organization off to successful launch in January 2020.
“We are thrilled to finally expand our Buffalo footprint and make this longstanding goal a reality. Our newly combined team and expanded territory will enable us to leverage our business model and yield sustainable benefits for our employees, customers, and supplier partners,” Tobin said.
WBD prides itself on bringing smaller scale brands to compete at market with larger players and has cultivated partnerships with local and regional breweries, wineries, distilleries and non-alcoholic brands to complement its business model.
“We are brand builders," Wright said. "We do this by actively managing a relevant portfolio and reinvesting in our partnerships, people and community. This is key to our sustainability.”
Other local and regional Wright brewery partners include F.X Matt (Saranac), Young Lion Brewing, Triphammer Bierwerks, K2 Brother’s Brewing, Ithaca Beer, and Blue Toad Hard Cider. Wright also maintains a diversified portfolio of wine and spirits, including local, family owned wineries and distilleries such as Villa Bellangelo, Billsboro, Toro Run, Lockhouse Spirits, and Tequila 21, distilled in Mexico.
Gaining broader market awareness and presence with an established and respected distributor like Wright Beverage has significantly accelerated their success, like it has for our own Genesee Brewery in Rochester. Wright currently boasts being Genesee’s largest distributor worldwide – whose beginnings with Wright were much the same as many of their smaller locally owned brands are today.
“Wright Beverage is and will continue to be a family owned and managed business, committed to continuing the exceptional level of service to the community as Certo has provided for over a hundred years," Tobin said. "Our Vision, Mission and Core Values remain the same; their meaning and importance will be shared throughout our organization and reinforce our unified culture.”
WBD eagerly encourages anyone interested in joining the Wright team to visit their career page to learn more about available positions and apply for a job by visiting www.wrightbev.com/careers. More information about this transaction and the company can be found at www.wrightbev.com.
(Inset photo above, Wright Beverage Distributing CEO Claude H. Wright (right) and his daughter Tessa (Wright) Tobin, chief Business Development officer, represent second and third generations the company's management.)