KALAMAZOO, Michigan – Michigan’s independent, local, and often family-owned beer and wine distributors have time-honored traditions and values rooted in their longstanding history as pillars in their communities. Imperial Beverage Company is one such distributor, and this year celebrates 90 years of helping people succeed.
“Imperial Beverage Company’s story started 90 years ago in 1933 when the Berry family established the business at the end of Prohibition,” said Joe Cekola, president of Imperial Beverage Company. “In the nearly 40 years since the Cekola family bought the company in 1984, we have strived to establish a culture of customer focus, hard work, integrity, and passion. We have grown from a one-county Pabst distributor to a statewide beer, wine, and spirits wholesaler in no small part due to great people with the ideas and drive to make Imperial something special. Every employee, in every position, contributes to our growth and success.”
Michigan’s beer and wine distributors are leaders in charitable giving in their communities. Imperial Beverage Company’s involvement is unparalleled, from donations and volunteering to special events and their family’s own Joseph A. Cekola Memorial Fund. Established in memory of their father, “Big Joe,” the mission is to provide financial assistance to families of those with developmental disabilities.
“Our passion for helping people succeed goes far beyond our customer service and commitment to our staff,” said Larry Cekola, key relationship officer of Imperial Beverage Company. “The Joseph A. Cekola Memorial Fund is just one example of how the Imperial team works to support our communities. In addition to sponsoring festivals and events around the state every year, including Royal Oak’s Arts Beats and Eats, the Kalamazoo Marathon, and Marquette’s Harbor Fest, we encourage all our employees to actively volunteer in the communities in which we live and serve.”
Imperial Beverage Company is Michigan’s only statewide beer, wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverage distributor. They boast a portfolio of over 6,000 SKUs, offering something for every customer. With 342 total employees, including specialized support and sales staff who live in their markets and four locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, Traverse City, and Ishpeming, Imperial covers every county, every week, all year long.
Left to right: Joe Cekola (president), Joey Cekola (chief revenue officer), Ashley Cekola (marketing director), Larry Cekola (key relationship officer)