Coca-Cola Consolidated investing $5 million in Jasper County
Coca-Cola is coming to Jasper County.
SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance announced Thursday that Coca-Cola Consolidated will invest more than $5 million in a new sales and distribution center at Cypress Ridge Industrial Park in Ridgeland, bringing 45 existing jobs and creating at least 20 new jobs.
The facility will handle sales and distribution of Coca-Cola products throughout Jasper, Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Colleton and Hampton counties.
“Jasper County Council and staff have made economic development a priority,” Jasper County Council Chairman Marty Sauls told the Jasper County Sun Times.
Sauls said the county and SouthernCarolina Alliance worked for about two years to bring Coca-Cola Consolidated to Ridgeland.
Steve Curtis, local branch manager for Coca-Cola Consolidated, said the company chose the 40,000-square-foot Cypress Ridge Spec Building because of the convenient location and workforce advantages.
“Coke Consolidated has a rich history in South Carolina, and this investment reinforces the commitment we have to the state,” Curtis said in a news release. “This new facility will help us operate more efficiently to better serve our retail customers and loyal consumers throughout the region while creating jobs.”
Sauls said the site expects to open for work in early 2018.
He said wages expect to start at $17 an hour.
The announcement is just the start of more economic development, Sauls said. He anticipates more announcements before the end of the year that — combined with Coca-Cola Consolidated — expects to bring more than 100 jobs.
During the spring, Sauls said there were 21 businesses interested in Jasper County, but he said Thursday, with the county’s relationship with SouthernCarolina Alliance, there are now more than 30 interested businesses.
“Jasper County is pro-active, pro-business and we work tightly with the (state) Department of Commerce and the local authorities here to make sure we are listening to what businesses’ needs are and the capabilities that we have to provide a pro-business atmosphere,” Sauls said.
Sauls said upcoming announcements could be a “game-changer” for the county and the Lowcountry.
He said the county benefits from a strong relationship with SouthernCarolina Alliance.
“They’ve been a phenomenal partner supporting Jasper County,” he said.
Ridgeland Mayor Joey Malphrus welcomes Coca-Cola.
“We are delighted that this renowned company has chosen to invest in Ridgeland, where we look forward to providing the fine workforce and outstanding locational assets that Coca-Cola and other companies seek for manufacturing and distribution,” he said in a news release.
Said Gov. Henry McMaster: “Every time a company like Coca-Cola decides to invest in South Carolina, it shows the world that there is no company too big or too small to find success here.”
Coca-Cola Consolidated employs more than 1,200 people in the state.