The new year brought a new, sizable business venture into operation.
Breakthru Beverage Group, a wholesaler formed by Charmer Sunbelt and Wirtz Beverage, was established on Jan. 1 and launched this week in markets across the country.
The merger was originally announced last October. The new company will maintain existing facilities and employ more than 7,000 people nationwide, making it the second largest company of its kind nationwide.
Operations of the company and its affiliates will span 19 markets. The company will represent a portfolio of wine, spirits and beer brands totaling more than $6 billion in annual sales.
“Breakthru Beverage is built upon the best of our legacy operations while setting a new path and approach forward,” explained Greg Baird, Breakthru Beverage President & CEO said in a press release. “Our vision for the future is focused on excellence and how we can be a stronger and more innovative partner for our suppliers and customers in all of our markets.”
W. Rockwell Wirtz and Charles Merinoff will lead Breakthru Beverage Group as Co-Chairmen of the Board. Daniel Wirtz will serve as Vice-Chairman and on the Operating Committee with Charlie Merinoff.
Together, they will oversee the integration of the businesses, manage and direct strategic planning and play a key role in leading supplier relations. Greg Baird, as President & CEO, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Company, and will have organizational oversight and direct management of the senior leadership team.
The Breakthru Beverage brand replaces legacy house names in markets including Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington DC.
Nevada will transition to the Breakthru brand in the ensuing weeks, as the state licensing process concludes.
Wirtz Beverage Canada and Alliance Beverage in Alabama, Arizona and Mississippi will maintain their names.