News

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  • Monday, April 25, 2022 12:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ypsilanti, Mich. –  Local distributor O&W Inc. today celebrated its longtime commitment to recycling and environmental sustainability on Earth Day, including serving as one of the largest recyclers in the region and investing in energy savings programs.

    “Our company and hardworking employees believe we must do everything we can to preserve our lakes, air and land for future generations, and that’s why we invest so much in recycling and conservation,” said Kit Wanty-Lambert, O&W Inc. President. “Recycling and environmental sustainability are responsible practices, as well as good business practices that help our company save money, protect resources and contribute to the local economy.”

    O&W participated in recycling 95,287,240 cans and glass bottles in 2021. In addition to cans and bottles brought back from retail, the company is committed to recycling 100% of the cardboard, plastic and paper within its facility. In 2021, O&W invested in a new solar array system on their warehouse in Ypsilanti, complete with 420 new panels producing 200,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and realizing savings of $20,000 annually. O&W’s additional renewable energy investment is just part of the distributor’s goal to leave the environment and industry in better shape than they found it through greener choices.

    Each day, Michiganders return as many as 10 million cans and bottles. Michigan’s beer distributors reclaim and recycle nearly 3.4 billion beverage containers each year, thereby conserving resources, reducing pollution, and protecting our Great Lakes.

    Michigan’s beer and wine distributors became the state’s major recyclers after the 1978 passage of the bottle bill, which gives 10 cents back when people return cans and bottles to retailers. Distributors initiate the chain of deposits, collecting the 10-cent-per-container deposit at the front end, refunding the deposit when containers are properly returned by retailers and recycling the materials at the end of the process. Because of the system, Michigan has the nation’s highest return rate for recycling cans and bottles.

    ###

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022 10:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Addition is distributor’s latest investment into the local community

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Petitpren Inc., a leader among wholesale beverage distributors since 1933, today broke ground on a 30,000-square-foot addition to its Clinton Township warehouse. The expansion will help the distributor accommodate a growing roster of suppliers and the increase in packages. Petitpren Inc. is a steward of the environment and strives to give back to surrounding communities.  

    “At Petitpren, we are proud to continue playing a role in growing our local economy, giving back to our community and being good environmental stewards,” said Brad D. Petitpren, Petitpren’s president. “This expansion shows how far we’ve come since my great-grandfather launched this company out of a six-car garage immediately following Prohibition. We look forward to continuing to serve this community for many generations to come.”

    Dignitaries, including state Sen. Michael MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, state Rep. Bill Sowerby, D-Clinton Township, and Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon were on hand today to celebrate the occasion.

    In addition to a new draft cooler, the addition to the current 135,000-square-foot warehouse will help accommodate packaging space needed to serve a growing roster of beer, nonalcoholic beverage, and energy drinks. The project demonstrates Petitpren’s continued growth, including doubling the number of beverage products it distributes over the past decade.

    “With the amount of consolidation going on in the beer industry across Michigan and around the country, it’s exciting for us to look at what we’re doing to grow our operation and prepare for the future,” said Rob Herrick, Petitpren’s Director of Operations. “Our business continues to become more complex and we plan to make the changes to meet the needs of our customers now and in the foreseeable future.”

    Currently, a fifth generation of Petitprens are working at the company since its founding.

    Petitpren Inc. services over 1,200 retailers across Macomb County and a portion of Wayne County, including the City of Hamtramck. These retailers include restaurants, bars, grocery and drug stores, gas stations, independent party and liquor stores, a concert venue and a minor league baseball park.

    Petitpren Inc. has undertaken many energy efficiency projects over the past 10 years, recycles approximately 2 million pounds of aluminum annually, and donates more than $100,000 to local charities and municipalities each year. Petitpren Inc. was also a co-founder of SADD, which is now Student Leadership Services, a student-based organization that fights underage drinking and promotes alcohol education to minors.

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    Cutline: From left to right, Dean, Alec, Austin and Brad Petitpren at Monday’s groundbreaking of Petitpren Inc.’s 30,000-square-foot addition to its Clinton Township warehouse. The expansion will help the distributor accommodate a growing roster of suppliers and the increase in packages.

  • Friday, February 04, 2022 10:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Shining spotlight on violations, increased enforcement contributing to downward trend in illegal shipments

    LANSING – Nearly 72,000 bottles of alcohol were shipped illegally into Michigan from out-of-state retailers during the 1st quarter of 2021, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA).

    During the 1st quarter of 2021, which covers January through March, there were 580,025 bottles of alcohol shipped into Michigan. Of that amount, 508,496 were from licensed shippers, leaving 71,529 shipped illegally into the state. The news demonstrates a significant decrease compared to nearly 160,000 bottles of wine illegally shipped into Michigan during the 1st quarter of 2020. The data were compiled using reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state of Michigan.

    “Shining a spotlight on these illegal practices and ramped-up enforcement at the state level has resulted in a downward trend of illegal shipments into Michigan,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “While we have a long way to go, the good news is we’re making progress for Michigan consumers, businesses and taxpayers. I’d like to personally thank the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and Attorney General Dana Nessel for their ongoing commitment to ending the illegal shipment of alcohol into Michigan and protecting precious tax revenue for our state.”

    The latest illegal shipment figures are in stark contrast to 2019, when a total 734,365 bottles of alcohol were shipped illegally into Michigan. Illegal shipments of wine into Michigan have endangered mom-and-pop retailers and created a massive loss of tax revenue for schools, communities, emergency services and more.

    “We cannot let our guard down,” Nevins said. “Even one illegal shipment of wine into Michigan is too many, and there are still plenty of bad actors who continue to thumb their nose at Michigan law to the detriment of our families and businesses. We encourage the MLCC and Attorney General Nessel to continue targeting illegal wine shippers who threaten Michigan’s economic recovery.”

    Data collection for 2020 and 2021 has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • Friday, January 07, 2022 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jim and Doug Wanty to step down after nearly 50 years at the helm, daughters Kit, Jamie and Isabel and son Cooper to run company

    YPSILANTI, Mich. — O&W Inc., an independent beer distributor headquartered in Ypsilanti, today announced the next generation of the family-owned wholesaler will take the reins of the company with the retirement of brothers Jim and Doug Wanty. Jim first joined the company in 1972 and Doug in 1983.

    Kit Wanty will succeed Doug as president, Jamie Wanty will serve as vice president of marketing, Isabel Wanty vice president of human resources and operations, and Cooper Wanty vice president of finance.

    “O&W has been a family-owned distributor for four generations, and I am thrilled that will continue under the new ownership as the fifth generation,” said Jim Wanty. “Kit, Jamie, Isabel and Cooper have been raised in the warehouse and have the knowledge and knowhow to move this company forward well into the future.”

    Jim and Doug first took over the family business in 1990. Since then, they have grown the company by acquiring six other distributors, acquired several local, regional and national brands, added additional counties to its territory and built the 100,000 square-foot warehouse that O&W Inc. calls home today. The pair also oversaw a 35,000 square-foot addition to the building in 2012.

    Jim and Doug were also champions of our industry and our local communities by serving on several committees and the board of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association and dozens of non-profit organizations over their careers.

    “The beer business has been in our blood for decades and I am happy to see our children step in and take the reins of O&W Inc.,” said Jim Wanty. “I have no doubt they will do great things and continue the legacy we have built over the years.”

    With the transition, O&W Inc. will now have three women in leadership roles, which is rarity in a male-dominated business.

    “I am excited and proud to serve as president of a company that is so respected throughout southeast Michigan, providing exceptional jobs to over 170 people, providing a premium level of service to our 2,400 licensed retailers and prioritizing giving back to the communities we serve,” said Kit Wanty. “The landscape of the beer industry has changed over the last several years and that includes recruiting and promoting women to take more prominent roles in beer distribution and throughout our organizations — and I’m proud O&W Inc. is part of that movement.”

    “We have been blessed with a rare business dynamic and exciting product set as beer distributors. Our industry has few lulls, consistently evolves, and on top of that is highly regulated. It’s a huge privilege and responsibility to be a part of such a legacy in our local communities and the beer community.” said Jamie Wanty. “It’s truly an exciting day for our family and the entire team at O&W Inc.”

    “This transition has been in the works for more than two years and it’s exciting to finally put it into action,” said Isabel Wanty. “I have learned so much from my sibling, cousins, father and uncle and can’t wait to put it to use and help our team face whatever challenges lie ahead in 2022 and beyond.”

    “The beer business has meant so much to me and my family and I’m proud to continue the legacy we have built,” said Cooper Wanty. “Despite its challenges, 2021 was a great year for our company and I look forward to building on that success for years to come.”

    In 2021, O&W Inc. moved more than 5.2 million cases of beer to retailers across a nearly seven county area in southeast Michigan stretching from Washtenaw County to Monroe County.

    O&W’s portfolio includes beverages from MolsonCoors, Boston Beer Company, Mark Anthony, Constellation Brands, Heineken USA, FIFCO, New Belgium, Griffin Claw, and many more.

    # # #

  • Monday, December 20, 2021 9:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Katie, a brand ambassador for Leinenkugel’s, is a guest of Ypsilanti beer distributor O&W Inc.

    PLYMOUTH, Mich. — Katie Leinenkugel, a 6th generation member of Leinenkugel’s — a family run brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wis. — is attending Saturday’s Teddy Bear Toss at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth. Katie is a brand ambassador for Leinenkugel’s.

    “We are thrilled Katie Leinenkugel could squeeze in a trip to Plymouth during the holidays for such a worthwhile event,” said Jamie Wanty, vice president of marketing for O&W Inc. “The annual Teddy Bear Toss is a great event to benefit the Salvation Army and children in need. We encourage everyone to come out, support a great cause and chat with a 6th generation member of the pioneering beer family.”

    Hockey fans attending the U.S National Under 18 game against the Youngstown Phantoms are asked to bring a new stuffed animal, or purchase one in the rink, and throw them onto the ice when Team USA scores its first goal. All stuffed animals will be donated to the Salvation Army and given away just in time for Christmas.

    Tickets for the game can be purchased online or by calling 734-453-6400, extension 396. Katie Leinenkugel can be found in Section 114 during Saturday’s game.

    O&W Inc. serves retailers in a seven-county area stretching from Ypsilanti east to Lake Erie and south to the Michigan-Ohio border.

    # # #

  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Donations from employees will help buy families Christmas presents, support essential SVSF services

    HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — Employees at Eastown Distributors recently raised more than $18,000 to support the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF) in Detroit. The money was used to purchase Christmas gifts for 20 families and provide gift cards to SVSF to help support their efforts helping at-risk children and adults.

    “Even with the challenges that COVID has created, our team continues to support the Center. Through company matched employee donations, monthly raffles and other fundraising events we were able raise more this year than we ever have,” said Paul Quasarano, President of Eastown Distributors. “This is our 30th year of supporting the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center and it’s one of our employees’ favorite charitable efforts because they know we’re helping make a difference for kids and adults who need a helping hand.”

    In total, Eastown employees raised $18,282. The money was used to purchase Nintendo Switches and $25 Nintendo gift cards for 20 families along with:

    • Coats, shoes, boots and gloves 
    • Clothes and pajamas
    • Sports items, musical instruments and art supplies
    • Toys, games, bikes, books, activity sets and STEM items

    Eastown also purchased gift cards for SVSF to purchase office supplies, cleaning supplies, computers and books.

    "I want to thank Eastown Distributors for their many years of support to the children and families we serve," said St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center Manager of Individual and Corporate Giving Kevin Lill. “We are overwhelmed by your generosity and are so very lucky for all of your hard work on our behalf.”

    For more than 175 years, St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center has provided support to the children and families of Southeastern Michigan. SVSF provides educational programs, basic skill building and learning enhancement for at-risk children and adults to build self-sufficiency skills for academic and employment success, personal achievement and dignity.

    Eastown Distributors is headquartered in Highland Park and has serviced retailers across northeast Wayne County since 1933. Learn more at www.eastown.com.

    Photos courtesy of Eastown Distributors




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  • Thursday, December 02, 2021 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Vice president of wine sales Jason Howard to be elevated to executive vice president 

    DETROIT — Great Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS), Michigan’s largest wine and spirits distributor, today announced the retirement of executive vice president Ernie Almeranti. Almeranti spent more than 20 years at GLWAS and nearly 40 years in the wine and spirits industry.

    “Ernie Almeranti has experienced many changes in the Michigan landscape from spirits privatization to numerous acquisitions, but most importantly he was part of the very successful merger of the J. Lewis Cooper Co. and General Wine & Liquor in 2008, which established Great Lakes Wine & Spirits as a leader in alcoholic beverage distribution,” said GLWAS Co-CEO Lew Cooper III. “In his role as executive vice president, Ernie has built an exceptional team that is more than ready to lead the way following his retirement.”

    Ernie was born in southeast Michigan where his friends use to tease him about the J. Lewis Cooper Co. delivery trucks, that at the time, carried the Ernest & Julio Gallo logo. Little did they know the foreshadowing of those jokes that “Ernest your name is on the trucks” carried. After graduating from Colorado State University, Ernie began his wine career in 1983 working for the Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery. Ernie’s first role was as a participant of the Management Development Program at Mountain Wine Distributing in Colorado, learning from the late “General” Dave Lipski.

    After successfully tackling numerous responsibilities for the Gallo Winery, Ernie went to work for the Julius Schepps Company of Dallas, TX in 1988 as an area manager. He was then promoted to Retail Sales Manager before returning to the Gallo Winery in 1992.

    While preparing to work in London for Gallo, a twist of fate with a visa issue sent him back to his hometown to wait for the issue to be resolved. During that time an opportunity at the J. Lewis Cooper Co. presented itself and his career came full circle to keep him and his wife Alonna home in Michigan to raise their family.

    Jason Howard, GLWAS’ vice president of wine sales, will be elevated to executive vice president. Almeranti will help oversee the transition through the end of February.

    Howard began his career in the wine business in 1999 as part of the Gallo Winery’s Management Development Program working as a chain division sales representative. In 2006, Howard moved his family back to his hometown of Detroit and became the retail wine sales manager at what would eventually become GLWAS. He has served as vice president of wine sales since 2015.

    “Jason Howard and Ernie Almeranti are looking forward to working together to ensure a smooth transition and keeping Great Lakes Wine & Spirits a leader in alcohol beverage sales in Michigan,” said Syd Ross, Co-CEO of GLWAS. “I want to thank and congratulate both Ernie and Jason for their leadership and support of the organization.”

    # # #

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With more than 1,000 employees and facilities across the state, GLWAS services nearly 17,000 accounts in all 83 Michigan counties on both peninsulas. For more information, please visit www.GLWAS.com.

  • Tuesday, October 12, 2021 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MUSKEGON, Mich.The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, will make appearances at two West Michigan parades next month. On Wednesday, Nov. 10, the Clydesdales will march through downtown Fremont, and Thursday, Nov.11, Veteran’s Day, in downtown Muskegon. The parades are part of the Heroes United celebration honoring veterans from Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties and United Way of the Lakeshore.

    “We are thrilled to bring the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales to West Michigan next month and honor the men and women who have bravely defended our freedoms at home and abroad,” said Jim Tyler, president of Tyler Sales Company Inc. “It’s an honor to partner with the United Way of the Lakeshore on this important event and we encourage everyone to come out and support our military veterans while taking in the legendary Clydesdales.”

    This will be the first appearance ever by the Budweiser Clydesdales in the city of Fremont and a return visit to the city of Muskegon where they most recently appeared in 2014. The Fremont parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, and the Muskegon parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11.

    The Clydesdales’ appearances in Fremont and Muskegon are one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches. Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.

    Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 handsor six feetat the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. 

    A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.

    A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.

    Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.

    The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo., Merrimack, N.H., and Ft. Collins, Colo. They can also be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300-plus acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, Mo.

    For more information, contact:

    Tom Schultz, Tyler Sales Company, Inc.

    (231) 722-3557  tomschultz@tylersalesco.com

    # # #

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 12:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Enforcement efforts by MLCC, Attorney General Dana Nessel beginning to pay off

    LANSING — More than one-third of every bottle of alcohol shipped into Michigan during the first quarter of 2020 was shipped illegally, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA).

    Using data compiled from reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state of Michigan, the MB&WWA found 410,304 bottles of alcohol were shipped into the state from January through March of 2020. Of those bottles, 159,152 were shipped illegally from unlicensed, out-of-state retailers.

    “While illegal wine shipping remains a pervasive problem in Michigan, the numbers are beginning to go down thanks to efforts from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and Attorney General Dana Nessel to crack down on the bad actors who are thumbing their nose at Michigan law,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the MB&WWA. “We urge the MLCC and attorney general to not let up and continue to target illegal wine shippers who are flouting state laws and hurting small, mom-and-pop retailers in the process.”

    Over the last two years, Nessel has sued more than a half-dozen out-of-state retailers caught shipping wine illegally into Michigan. Her efforts have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in fines and have sent a clear message that illegal wine shipping will not be tolerated. The MLCC has also made it crystal clear to out-of-state retailers that they are never allowed to ship wine into Michigan and that wineries must be licensed by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before they can legally ship into Michigan.

    “Every bottle of alcohol illegally shipped into our state hurts small, independent retailers that are proud to call Michigan home, pay taxes and give back to their communities,” Nevins said.

    The MB&WWA began compiling data on illegal wine shipments flowing into Michigan in 2018. Data from two quarters of that year showed more than 1 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan in just six months and at least 300,000 of those bottles were shipped illegally by out-of-state retailers.

    In 2019, more than 2.2 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into the state and of those bottles, 734,365 were shipped illegally.

    Data collection for 2020 and 2021 has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    # # #

  • Thursday, September 09, 2021 4:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Back to school gear supplied to more than 100 children receiving domestic violence services

    MT. CLEMENS, Mich. — More than 100 children receiving domestic violence services through Turning Point Macomb have brand new backpacks and fresh school supplies for the new school year thanks to donations from Petitpren Inc., a Macomb County beer distributor, and the Macomb Family YMCA.

    “I can’t thank Petitpren Inc. and the Macomb Family YMCA enough for these generous donations,” said Karan Bates-Gasior, development director at Turning Point Macomb. “The children utilizing  our services have faced intense trauma and seeing the excitement on their faces when they receive something as simple as a new backpack makes me smile and gives the children a small sense of normalcy during an incredibly difficult time.”

    Turning Point Macomb helps survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, sexual assault exams, personal protection orders, community education and housing. The organization’s mission is to eliminate violence as a means of oppressing others.

    “We have proudly supported Turning Point Macomb for decades and our team was more than happy to step up and help out these children start the school year off right,” said J.R. Roskopp, HR and government affairs director at Petitpren Inc. “Michigan’s beer distributors are leaders in charitable giving and providing students with new backpacks and school supplies is just one more way we can lend a helping hand in the communities we serve.”

    Petitpren Inc.’s relationship with Turning Point Macomb dates back 40 years. Every year, employees at the wholesaler donate money — which is matched by the owners of Petitpren Inc. — at Christmas to help several families have a happier holiday. The wholesaler and its employees have donated an estimated $200,000 to nearly 300 families over those four decades.

    “Throughout the month of August, the Macomb Family YMCA accepted backpacks and school supply donations from new and existing members and their generosity was overwhelming,” said Steve Krankota, Macomb Family YMCA executive director. “Our mission is to build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all, and this effort by our members shows what happens when a community comes together for the common good.”

    # # #

    About Petitpren Inc.

    Petitpren Inc. is family owned beer distributor located in Clinton Township proudly employing more than 100 people and servicing bars, restaurants and retailers throughout Macomb and Wayne Counties.

    About the Macomb Family YMCA

    The Y is an inclusive organization of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. For over 168 years, the YMCA has served the Metro Detroit region where children and families can grow.


    Photo courtesy Petitpren Inc.

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