Peace River Distributing in Punta Gorda was bought by Suncoast Beverages of Fort Myers.
Whenever Charlotte, DeSoto, or Glades County have raised a can of Bud Light, a bottle of Corona, a glass of Stella Artois, or a pint of Fat Point Big Boca with their hands in the past 30 years, she likely came out of the warehouse and moved on one of the Vehicles from Punta Gorda’s Peace River Distributing.
Founded in 1991, the independent company, most recently owned by the Wenzel family from Punta Gorda, initially opened its doors as an Anheuser-Busch distributor. It has expanded to over 300 brands and sold to more than 400 retail accounts.
“Fort Myers-based Suncoast Beverage Sales is also a longtime family-owned beer retailer and a friend of ours in the industry,” said Chris Wenzel, now the former owner of Peace River Distributing. “Although we’ve enjoyed being a local beer trader for the past 30 years, our family has decided to leave the business. We are confident that Suncoast can do a great job for our customers and employees and will continue to do business in much the same way, just with new owners and a different name on the trucks. We wish them the very best. “
Peace River Distributing was Charlotte County’s No. 1 beverage distributor, making regular donations to over 60 local nonprofits and sponsoring countless Punta Gorda events, the company said.
On June 4th, Peace River Distributing was acquired by Suncoast Beverage Sales, based in Fort Myers, which itself has 1,100 customers and more than 150 employees.
Suncoast Beverage Sales is now one of the largest authorized distributors of Anheuser-Busch and a variety of other beverages to wholesalers, restaurants, sports bars, the hospitality industry and other commercially licensed institutions throughout Southwest Florida.
Suncoast Beverage Sales sponsors special events including the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
Suncoast Beverages also gives something back to the non-profit organizations in its communities, sponsors local festivals and brought the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales into town with beer trucks.
None of the new owners, Tim Mitchell, have been reached for comment on whether Peace River’s headquarters on Piper Road will remain open and its 75 employees have offered jobs at their new parent company.