HISTORY OF CORINTH (MS) COKE
Our story actually begins in 1905, when Avon Kenneth Weaver bought an interest in Corinth (MS) Bottling Works, a small soda water plant owned by Mr. C. C. Clark. At that time, Coca-Cola was being produced in Jackson, Tennessee and shipped to Corinth by rail car. Mr. Weaver and Mr. Clark were set on obtaining a Coca-Cola franchise for Northeast Mississippi and while awaiting developments in Corinth, were granted a license for Coca-Cola in New Albany, Mississippi. Mr. Clark moved there to begin that operation in 1906.
It was April 30, 1907, that Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Corinth was formed and a license was granted by Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (Thomas), Inc.
Early equipment was simple. Bottles were washed and filled by hand and were capped with a foot-powered machine. The first operation consisted of four people and in the first year, 1,186 gallons of syrup were used.
Rural areas were served by rail, but in downtown Corinth, a young man named Luke Caldwell made deliveries in a wheelbarrow. Later, horse-drawn drays were used, and finally, gasoline operated trucks came on the scene.
The first years saw many changes and several moves. From the “Old Gas House” on South Franklin Street in downtown Corinth to 608 Cruise Street. And then in 1909 it moved to it’s own building at 403 Waldron Street. The operation expanded several times at this location and did not move to 601 Washington Street, its current home, until 1949. The current building was built in 1964 and has been expanded numerous times.
Many advances have occurred in the Coca-Cola business in nearly a century of business. From its simple beginning, Coca-Cola Bottling Works has evolved into a modern industry.
Corinth Coca-Cola was able to expand its operations considerably with acquisitions of Corinth Dr Pepper in 1969, Tupelo Coca-Cola in 1977 and Lexington (TN) in 1985.
In 1962, the field of food vending was entered. This operation is now Refreshments, Inc. Expansion in this area in Jackson Tennessee in 1990 and in Tupelo, MS in 2000 enabled the Refreshments Companies to become a formidable competitor on a regional basis.
Nothing about the history of Coca-Cola Bottling Works could be more outstanding than the many people who have contributed to its success. This includes loyal consumers, retail customers, members of management, salesmen, and workers at every level of employment. Each is a part of the legacy of Coca-Cola Bottling Works.
Coca-Cola Bottling Works continues to be owned and operated by the descendants of Avon Kenneth Weaver. Four generations of family members have worked in the business.
It is with pride in the past, an unfailing trust in their employees and customers, and overwhelming optimism for the future, and with an even greater determination, that they look forward to another century of service to the area. Corinth Coca-Cola is one of less than 60 privately owned Coca-Cola plants in the U.S.