Lehrkind's Coca-Cola Celebrates 100 Years Of Business - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Lehrkind's Coca-Cola Celebrates 100 Years Of Business

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BOZEMAN -

On Friday, Lehrkind's Coca-Cola in Bozeman celebrated one-hundred years of business.

For 100 years, Lehrkind's Coca-Cola has been producing, bottling and distributing Coca-Cola across southwestern Montana.

The business started as a brewing company, but in 1914 that changed when the company became a Coca-Cola franchise.

"We moved not only the brewery, but also all the employees, their families, all the equipment and ended up in Bozeman, Montana," said Carl Lehrkind IV, President.

In 1961, the company had five employees. Today, the business employs more than 160 people and is one of 12 family-owned bottlers nationwide.

"About 95% of the Coca-Cola that is consumed in Montana is made by Montanans," said Lehrkind.

Today, they produce about a million cases of bottles per year. But, the company also gives back to the community.

"We try to give back as much as we can," said Lehrkind.

Executive Director at Eagle Mount, Mary Peterson said the business has been helping out her organization for more than 30 years.

"They have gone way out of their way to help us with grants and gifts," said Peterson. "They are there for us all the time."

She said the company does more than give them cash donations.

"It's not just we'll drop a little money off here and there. They step up and do stuff. They are willing to roll up their sleeves to help out," said Peterson.

"A lot of time it's not just cash donations. We give products or we are willing to support help out if someone needs to borrow a truck or something like that," said Lehrkind.

Lehrkind said he hopes to see the business stay in local hands for years to come.

The company has another warehouse in Helena.

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