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Beginnings

When it comes to business leadership, customer service and community support, Pepin Distributing Company sets the industry standard. Since incorporating the company in 1960 in Gainesville, Florida, the Pepin family has built a beverage empire that has experienced constant growth, and has diversified their portfolio of products.

Business has been good to the Pepin family over the years and the company, in turn, has been good to the Tampa Bay community. The family provided seed money to help establish Pepin-Rood Stadium, the home of athletics at the University of Tampa. A $1 million donation led to the development of Pepin Heart & Vascular Institute at University Community Hospital in Tampa. More recently, the family helped establish the Pepin Academy, a Tampa school for teenagers with learning disabilities. Tom Pepin enhanced the Pepin Heart Facility and helped build the Pepin Heart Hospital, the most advanced Heart Hospital in the Southeast.

Pepin Distributing is a national leader in promoting alcohol abuse prevention programs through the many bars, restaurants and other establishments that it services. Pepin has developed meaningful partnerships with a vast array of organizations to help make the community a better and safer place to live. The list includes colleges and Universities, health care institutions, social service agencies, civic organizations, arts and cultural groups, business to business associations, law enforcement agencies and economic development agencies.  You can view more by clicking on our “Community” page.

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin), President and CEO of Pepin Distributing Company, encourages employees at all levels within the organization to get involved and support the community by volunteering their time. Directors of the company serve on numerous boards of directors throughout the community including but not limited to: University Community Hospital, MDA, Make a Wish, Tampa Sports Commission, The Tampa Bay and Company, Take Stock in Children, The University of Tampa, Boys and Girls Club, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Hillsborough Anti-Drug and Alcohol Coalition, Tampa Alcohol Coalition, DACCO, Friends of Tampa Recreation, just to name a few.

Art Pepin, the company's late founder, and his son Tom Pepin, the company's president and CEO, built the company on a simple philosophy, "Making Friends is our Foundation." It has been the guiding principal that has led the company to becoming a leader in the beverage business and a leader in the community. The list of philanthropic efforts that the company is involved in is extensive.

Art began his beer distributing business in New England. It was tough work but his business quickly grew. Art's success attracted the attention of brewery magnate August Busch Jr., and the two quickly became friends. By 1960 he bagan distributorship in Gainesville by making deliveries from the back of his station wagon.

By 1967, Busch rewarded Art for his hard work and dedication by awarding him the distributorship in Tampa Bay area.

In 1986, Art made history by becoming the world's oldest heart transplant recipient at 65. "Art Pepin didn't get a second life because of the heart," Tom Pepin said, "the heart got a second life because of Art Pepin."

The new heart enabled Art to carry on his life's work for another 14 years, giving and caring and making friends all along the way. When Art passed away in June 2000, Monsignor Laurence Higgins told well-wishers that even in the days leading up to his death, Art "thought not of himself but of the other person."

"I pray to God I can be like that," Higgins added. "It tells me a lot about his character."
Tom Pepin: Building on a father's dream

Like his Dad, Tom attended Middlebury College. Soon after graduation in 1975, he came home to launch his career at Pepin Distributing. He rose quickly through the ranks, first working as a sales representative and later as an assistant sales manager.

By 1981, Art decided that Tom was ready to make the big jump and transferred leadership of the company to his son. Tom became president of Pepin Distributing and four years later assumed the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO.

Tom has presided over an era of considerable growth at Pepin Distributing. When the company first arrived in Tampa, it sold 1.5 million cases of beer and 33,000 half barrels of draught in a year. Two decades later, annual sales exceed 10 million cases and 150,000 half barrels. The company, which now employs about 280 people, continues it stewardship to the community with sincere community involvement and solid business ethics.

Pepin Distributing Company is located at a sprawling complex in East Tampa that includes more than 112,500 square feet of climate-controlled warehouse space. The complex has a complete maintenance facility for company vehicles, a fully equipped fitness center and a personal enrichment library for employees. "It's a basic investment in their well-being," Tom said. The cornerstone of the facility is the 25.000 square foot TPepin's Hospitality Centre that accommodates up to 600 people for a seated dinner.

The focal point of the Pepin headquarters is a comfortable, cypress-paneled meeting room adorned with Pepin family hunting and fishing trophies. The room is available for community functions and provides guests with a place to relax. As Art once noted, "The name of the game is hospitality."

 

A Changing Business

Under Tom Pepin's leadership, a new style of customer service has emerged, focusing on helping retailers manage their entire beverage inventory.

"We have evolved our company from a delivery/service organization into a sales/marketing and information-based service company," Tom said. "We intend to continue to maximize our use of all available technologies, systems and products to further differentiate ourselves from the competition."

The variety of products offered by the company is constantly changing.  With today’s consumers, brands must strive to build relationships by connecting with the consumers and offering more choices and variety than ever before.  The landscape for the industry is rapidly changing and Pepin Distributing Company embraces this change by investing and growing the portfolio of products to meet consumer demands.

1967

Art Pepin is awarded the Tampa Marketplace.

1975

Budweiser’s 100th Anniversary

1979

Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimensions of Excellence Bronze Award.

1980

Pepin Distributing Company opens new 84,000 square foot warehouse on 54th Street.

Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimension of Excellence Silver Award

1981

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) becomes President and CEO and Art Pepin becomes Chairman of the Board.

Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award.

1982

Budweiser Light and Eagle Snacks are introduced by Anheuser-Busch.

Pepin Distributing Company employs 141 employees.

Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award.

1983

Pepin Distributing Company wins Gold Dimensions of Excellence Award.

Teamsters petition for unionization but was defeated.

Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award.

1984

Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimension of Excellence Gold Award

1985

Pepin Distributing Company wins Ambassador Dimensions of Excellence award and maintains this stature throughout the life of the program.

1986

Art Pepin becomes the world’s oldest heart transplant recipient.

Pepin Distributing Company employs 164 employees.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as an Ambassador

1987

Sales top 5 million cases.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as an Ambassador

1988

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1989

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1990

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1991

Pepin Distributing Company is named Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler of the Year.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1992

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1993

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1994

Pepin Distributing Company sales surpass 6 million cases.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

Pepin Distributing Company starts carrying CBA Brands

1995

Anheuser-Busch discontinues the Eagle Snacks division.

1996

Pepin Distributing Company acquires Ybor Gold Brewery Brands.

1999

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) names Bob Ammon, Glenn Arose, Randy Garcia, Bill Gieseking and Jim Hackman as directors.

Sales exceed 7 million cases.

Pepin Distributing Company relinquishes the distribution rights of Ybor Gold Brewery Brands.

2001

Pepin Distributing Company acquires distribution rights to the Modelo Brewery products, which includes Corona Extra and Corona Light.

Case sales top 8 million cases.

Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver.

2002

Anheuser-Busch introduces Michelob Ultra.

Pepin Distributing Company ranks 32 among Tampa Bays Top 100 Companies as reported by the Business Journal of Tampa Bay.

Wayne Metziere is named a director.

The company announces plans to relocate and build a new 241,000 square foot facility.

Pepin Distributing Company employs 251 employees.

2003

Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver.

2004

Pepin Distributing Company employs 275 people.

Construction begins on the Pepin Heart Hospital at UCH.

Budweiser Select is introduced (November).

Responsibility Matters campaign is launched.

Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver Limon and Low Carb Black Cherry.

2005

Pepin Distributing Company moves into its new facility on 50th St. and MLK Blvd.

Pepin Heart Hospital opens.

Michelob ULTRA Amber is introduced (February).

Construction begins on TPepin’s Hospitality Centre.

Pepin Distributing hits 10 million case mark at the end of the year.

2006

Anheuser-Busch becomes the importer of Grolsch and Tiger beers.

Anheuser-Busch begins to distribute its first ever liquor beverage, Jekyll and Hyde

2007

Anheuser-Busch partners with InBev.

Budweiser and Bud Light Clamato Chelada are introduced.

Pepin Distributing Company partners with Gasparilla to be the official sponsor for the next 3 years.

TPepin’s Hospitality Centre opens (April).

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) names Randy Garcia Vice President.

Total number of brands distributed by Pepin Distributing Company grows to 73 brands.

Anheuser-Busch introduces Land Shark for the Florida market.

Anheuser-Busch’s Jacksonville Brewery introduces Tarpon Spoon specially for the state of Florida.

2008

Pepin acquires the distribution rights for the portfolio of brands from InBev which include Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Bass, Beck’s and Boddington’s.

Anheuser-Busch merges with InBev to create the world’s largest producer of beer.

Pepin Distributing Company diversifies the product portfolio by adding the products from Nestle (Nesquik flavored milk, Juicy Juice, San Pellegrino, Aqua Panna, Perrier and Zephyrhills Spring Water), Twist Water, Active Water and Vidration.

Anheuser-Busch InBev introduces Bud Light Lime and Shock Top Wheat

Pepin Distributing Company obtains the distribution rights for the brands from Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Florida Beer Company and U.S. Beverage

J Paul Pepin rejoins the management team

2009

Pepin Distributing Company continues to diversify their product portfolio by obtaining the distribution rights with craft brewers that included: Magic Hat, Blue Point Brewing Company, Victory Brewing Company, Green Mountain Brewing, Drink Four, Margaritaville Paradise Teas

2010

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) is named the Health Care Philanthropist of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Southern Tier Brewing Company, Polar Beer
Genesee Beer, Boylan Bottling Company – Vintage Soda Pop

2011

January, Pepin Distributing company partners with Cold Storage Brewing, Tampa’s second craft brewery. Brands include Florida Ave Ale, IPA and Blue berry.

January, Pepin Distributing expands the portfolio of brands to include DNA energy drinks and DNA beef jerky and meat sticks products.

April, continuing to expand into the craft beer market, Cisco Brewers joins the Pepin Distributing team. Brands include Grey lady Ale and White Tail Pale Ale.

April, consumers who are seeking products that have relaxation ingredients can now Enjoy Marley’s Mellow Mood Teas and Sodas.

May, Pepin Distributing aggressively expands the craft and non alcohol portfolio of products to include Krombacher USA, Arizona Teas, Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water, Dads Root Beers and Cream sodas, and Capitol Brewing brands.

June, Pepin Distributing enters into the Spirits business with Dos Lunas Tequilla. There are three brands, Dos Lunas Silver, Dos Lunas Reposado, and Dos Lunas Anejo tequilas.

November, Pepin Distributing obtains distribution rights for Tampa Bay Brewing Co.

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Silver Award

2012

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Silver Award

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Green Flash Brewing, Pensacola Bay Brewing
Frog Hair, SweetWater Brewing, Company

2013

Pepin Distributing Company undergoes a huge facilities expansion, increasing its distribution warehouse space by 56% and refrigerated draught cooler by 64%, bringing the total space to 334,000 sq ft.

One million cases of the Modelo brands sold

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Steven’s Point, Brewery, Bold City Brewery

2014

Randy Garcia is promoted to President of Pepin Distributing Company.

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: 3 Daughters Brewing, Aviator Brewing, Coppertail Brewing, Darwin Brewing, Pair O’ Dice Brewing, Rapp Brewing

2015

Pepin Distributing Company gets Top National Corporate Award from Keep America Beautiful

Pepin Distributing Company wins Constellation Brands National Wholesaler of the Year Award

Pepin Distributing Company receives Gold Crown Award South Business Unit from Constellation Brands

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Gold Award

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Most Improved Award

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Shipyard, Sea Dog, Hidden Springs, Silverking, Wine Stream, Wild Ginger

2016

Pepin Distributing Company wins Constellation Brands National Wholesaler of the Year Award

Pepin Distributing Company receives Gold Crown Award Southeast Business Unit from Constellation Brands

Tom Pepin is recognized as the Lightning Community Hero – uses awarded funds to benefit Pepin Academies

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: lysian, Golden Road, 10 Barrel, Saint Somewhere

2017

Pepin Distributing Company celebrates 50th anniversary of sales, marketing and service in Tampa market place

Tom Pepin is inducted into Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame Class of 2017 – Only the 5th second generation father /son recipient in the history of the award

Hillsborough County Commission recognizes Team Pepin for the Hurricane Irma relief and community effort

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Islamorada, Six Ten

2018

Pepin Distributing Company acquires craft and import brands from Brown Distributing in the Tampa market place. Portfolio grows by 23 breweries.

Pepin Distributing Story
  • Art Pepin is awarded the Tampa Marketplace.

  • Budweiser’s 100th Anniversary

  • Anheuser-Busch introduces Michelob Light Beer.

  • Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimensions of Excellence Bronze Award.

  • Pepin Distributing Company opens new 84,000 square foot warehouse on 54th Street. Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimension of Excellence Silver Award

  • Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award. Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) becomes President and CEO and Art Pepin becomes Chairman of the Board.

  • Budweiser Light and Eagle Snacks are introduced by Anheuser-Busch. Pepin Distributing Company employs 141 employees. Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award.

  • Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award. Teamsters petition for unionization but was defeated. Pepin Distributing Company wins Gold Dimensions of Excellence Award.

  • Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimension of Excellence Gold Award

  • Pepin Distributing Company wins Ambassador Dimensions of Excellence award and maintains this stature throughout the life of the program.

  • Art Pepin becomes the world’s oldest heart transplant recipient. Pepin Distributing Company employs 164 employees. Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as an Ambassador

  • Sales top 5 million cases. Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as an Ambassador

  • Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

  • Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

  • Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

  • Pepin Distributing Company is named Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler of the Year. Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

  • Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

  • Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

  • Pepin Distributing Company sales surpass 6 million cases. Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador Pepin Distributing Company starts carrying CBA Brands

  • Anheuser-Busch discontinues the Eagle Snacks division.

  • Pepin Distributing Company acquires Ybor Gold Brewery Brands.

  • Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) names Bob Ammon, Glenn Arose, Randy Garcia, Bill Gieseking and Jim Hackman as directors. Sales exceed 7 million cases. Pepin Distributing Company relinquishes the distribution rights of Ybor Gold Brewery Brands.

  • Pepin Distributing Company acquires distribution rights to the Modelo Brewery products, which includes Corona Extra and Corona Light. Case sales top 8 million cases. Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver.

  • Anheuser-Busch introduces Michelob Ultra. Pepin Distributing Company ranks 32 among Tampa Bays Top 100 Companies as reported by the Business Journal of Tampa Bay. Wayne Metziere is named a director. The company announces plans to relocate and build a new 241,000 square foot facility. Pepin Distributing Company employs 251 employees.

  • Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver.

  • Pepin Distributing Company employs 275 people. Construction begins on the Pepin Heart Hospital at UCH. Budweiser Select is introduced (November). Responsibility Matters campaign is launched. Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver Limon and Low Carb Black Cherry.

  • Pepin Distributing Company moves into its new facility on 50th St. and MLK Blvd. Pepin Heart Hospital opens. Michelob ULTRA Amber is introduced (February). Construction begins on TPepin’s Hospitality Centre. Pepin Distributing hits 10 million case mark at the end of the year.

  • Anheuser-Busch becomes the importer of Grolsch and Tiger beers. Anheuser-Busch begins to distribute its first ever liquor beverage, Jekyll and Hyde

  • Anheuser-Busch partners with InBev. Budweiser and Bud Light Clamato Chelada are introduced. Pepin Distributing Company partners with Gasparilla to be the official sponsor for the next 3 years. TPepin’s Hospitality Centre opens (April). Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) names Randy Garcia Vice President. Total number of brands distributed by Pepin Distributing Company grows to 73 brands. Anheuser-Busch introduces Land Shark for the Florida market. Anheuser-Busch’s Jacksonville Brewery introduces Tarpon Spoon specially for the state of Florida.

  • Pepin acquires the distribution rights for the portfolio of brands from InBev which include Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Bass, Beck’s and Boddington’s. Anheuser-Busch merges with InBev to create the world’s largest producer of beer. Pepin Distributing Company diversifies the product portfolio by adding the products from Nestle (Nesquik flavored milk, Juicy Juice, San Pellegrino, Aqua Panna, Perrier and Zephyrhills Spring Water), Twist Water, Active Water and Vidration. Anheuser-Busch InBev introduces Bud Light Lime and Shock Top Wheat Pepin Distributing Company obtains the distribution rights for the brands from Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Florida Beer Company and U.S. Beverage J Paul Pepin rejoins the management team

  • Pepin Distributing Company continues to diversify their product portfolio by obtaining the distribution rights with craft brewers that included: Magic Hat, Blue Point Brewing Company, Victory Brewing Company, Green Mountain Brewing, Drink Four, Margaritaville Paradise Teas

  • Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) is named the Health Care Philanthropist of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Southern Tier Brewing Company, Polar Beer Genesee Beer, Boylan Bottling Company – Vintage Soda Pop

  • January, Pepin Distributing company partners with Cold Storage Brewing, Tampa’s second craft brewery. Brands include Florida Ave Ale, IPA and Blue berry. January, Pepin Distributing expands the portfolio of brands to include DNA energy drinks and DNA beef jerky and meat sticks products. April, continuing to expand into the craft beer market, Cisco Brewers joins the Pepin Distributing team. Brands include Grey lady Ale and White Tail Pale Ale. April, consumers who are seeking products that have relaxation ingredients can now Enjoy Marley’s Mellow Mood Teas and Sodas. May, Pepin Distributing aggressively expands the craft and non alcohol portfolio of products to include Krombacher USA, Arizona Teas, Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water, Dads Root Beers and Cream sodas, and Capitol Brewing brands. June, Pepin Distributing enters into the Spirits business with Dos Lunas Tequilla. There are three brands, Dos Lunas Silver, Dos Lunas Reposado, and Dos Lunas Anejo tequilas. November, Pepin Distributing obtains distribution rights for Tampa Bay Brewing Co. Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Silver Award

  • Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Silver Award Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Green Flash Brewing, Pensacola Bay Brewing Frog Hair, SweetWater Brewing, Company

  • Pepin Distributing Company undergoes a huge facilities expansion, increasing its distribution warehouse space by 56% and refrigerated draught cooler by 64%, bringing the total space to 334,000 sq ft. One million cases of the Modelo brands sold Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Steven’s Point, Brewery, Bold City Brewery

  • Randy Garcia is promoted to President of Pepin Distributing Company. Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: 3 Daughters Brewing, Aviator Brewing, Coppertail Brewing, Darwin Brewing, Pair O’ Dice Brewing, Rapp Brewing

  • Pepin Distributing Company gets Top National Corporate Award from Keep America Beautiful Pepin Distributing Company wins Constellation Brands National Wholesaler of the Year Award Pepin Distributing Company receives Gold Crown Award South Business Unit from Constellation Brands Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Gold Award Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Most Improved Award Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Shipyard, Sea Dog, Hidden Springs, Silverking, Wine Stream, Wild Ginger

  • Pepin Distributing Company wins Constellation Brands National Wholesaler of the Year Award Pepin Distributing Company receives Gold Crown Award Southeast Business Unit from Constellation Brands Tom Pepin is recognized as the Lightning Community Hero – uses awarded funds to benefit Pepin Academies Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: lysian, Golden Road, 10 Barrel, Saint Somewhere

  • Pepin Distributing Company celebrates 50th anniversary of sales, marketing and service in Tampa market place Tom Pepin is inducted into Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame Class of 2017 – Only the 5th second generation father /son recipient in the history of the award Hillsborough County Commission recognizes Team Pepin for the Hurricane Irma relief and community effort Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Islamorada, Six Ten

  • Pepin Distributing Company acquires craft and import brands from Brown Distributing in the Tampa market place. Portfolio grows by 23 breweries.

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When it comes to business leadership, customer service and community support, Pepin Distributing Company sets the industry standard. Since incorporating the company in 1960 in Gainesville, Florida, the Pepin family has built a beverage empire that has experienced constant growth, and has diversified their portfolio of products.

Business has been good to the Pepin family over the years and the company, in turn, has been good to the Tampa Bay community. The family provided seed money to help establish Pepin-Rood Stadium, the home of athletics at the University of Tampa. A $1 million donation led to the development of Pepin Heart & Vascular Institute at University Community Hospital in Tampa. More recently, the family helped establish the Pepin Academy, a Tampa school for teenagers with learning disabilities. Tom Pepin enhanced the Pepin Heart Facility and helped build the Pepin Heart Hospital, the most advanced Heart Hospital in the Southeast.

Pepin Distributing is a national leader in promoting alcohol abuse prevention programs through the many bars, restaurants and other establishments that it services. Pepin has developed meaningful partnerships with a vast array of organizations to help make the community a better and safer place to live. The list includes colleges and Universities, health care institutions, social service agencies, civic organizations, arts and cultural groups, business to business associations, law enforcement agencies and economic development agencies.  You can view more by clicking on our “Community” page.

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin), President and CEO of Pepin Distributing Company, encourages employees at all levels within the organization to get involved and support the community by volunteering their time. Directors of the company serve on numerous boards of directors throughout the community including but not limited to: University Community Hospital, MDA, Make a Wish, Tampa Sports Commission, The Tampa Bay and Company, Take Stock in Children, The University of Tampa, Boys and Girls Club, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Hillsborough Anti-Drug and Alcohol Coalition, Tampa Alcohol Coalition, DACCO, Friends of Tampa Recreation, just to name a few.

Art Pepin, the company's late founder, and his son Tom Pepin, the company's president and CEO, built the company on a simple philosophy, "Making Friends is our Foundation." It has been the guiding principal that has led the company to becoming a leader in the beverage business and a leader in the community. The list of philanthropic efforts that the company is involved in is extensive.

Art began his beer distributing business in New England. It was tough work but his business quickly grew. Art's success attracted the attention of brewery magnate August Busch Jr., and the two quickly became friends. By 1960 he bagan distributorship in Gainesville by making deliveries from the back of his station wagon.

By 1967, Busch rewarded Art for his hard work and dedication by awarding him the distributorship in Tampa Bay area.

In 1986, Art made history by becoming the world's oldest heart transplant recipient at 65. "Art Pepin didn't get a second life because of the heart," Tom Pepin said, "the heart got a second life because of Art Pepin."

The new heart enabled Art to carry on his life's work for another 14 years, giving and caring and making friends all along the way. When Art passed away in June 2000, Monsignor Laurence Higgins told well-wishers that even in the days leading up to his death, Art "thought not of himself but of the other person."

"I pray to God I can be like that," Higgins added. "It tells me a lot about his character."
Tom Pepin: Building on a father's dream

Like his Dad, Tom attended Middlebury College. Soon after graduation in 1975, he came home to launch his career at Pepin Distributing. He rose quickly through the ranks, first working as a sales representative and later as an assistant sales manager.

By 1981, Art decided that Tom was ready to make the big jump and transferred leadership of the company to his son. Tom became president of Pepin Distributing and four years later assumed the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO.

Tom has presided over an era of considerable growth at Pepin Distributing. When the company first arrived in Tampa, it sold 1.5 million cases of beer and 33,000 half barrels of draught in a year. Two decades later, annual sales exceed 10 million cases and 150,000 half barrels. The company, which now employs about 280 people, continues it stewardship to the community with sincere community involvement and solid business ethics.

Pepin Distributing Company is located at a sprawling complex in East Tampa that includes more than 112,500 square feet of climate-controlled warehouse space. The complex has a complete maintenance facility for company vehicles, a fully equipped fitness center and a personal enrichment library for employees. "It's a basic investment in their well-being," Tom said. The cornerstone of the facility is the 25.000 square foot TPepin's Hospitality Centre that accommodates up to 600 people for a seated dinner.

The focal point of the Pepin headquarters is a comfortable, cypress-paneled meeting room adorned with Pepin family hunting and fishing trophies. The room is available for community functions and provides guests with a place to relax. As Art once noted, "The name of the game is hospitality."

 

A Changing Business

Under Tom Pepin's leadership, a new style of customer service has emerged, focusing on helping retailers manage their entire beverage inventory.

"We have evolved our company from a delivery/service organization into a sales/marketing and information-based service company," Tom said. "We intend to continue to maximize our use of all available technologies, systems and products to further differentiate ourselves from the competition."

The variety of products offered by the company is constantly changing.  With today’s consumers, brands must strive to build relationships by connecting with the consumers and offering more choices and variety than ever before.  The landscape for the industry is rapidly changing and Pepin Distributing Company embraces this change by investing and growing the portfolio of products to meet consumer demands.

1967

Art Pepin is awarded the Tampa Marketplace.

1975

Budweiser’s 100th Anniversary

1979

Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimensions of Excellence Bronze Award.

1980

Pepin Distributing Company opens new 84,000 square foot warehouse on 54th Street.

Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimension of Excellence Silver Award

1981

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) becomes President and CEO and Art Pepin becomes Chairman of the Board.

Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award.

1982

Budweiser Light and Eagle Snacks are introduced by Anheuser-Busch.

Pepin Distributing Company employs 141 employees.

Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award.

1983

Pepin Distributing Company wins Gold Dimensions of Excellence Award.

Teamsters petition for unionization but was defeated.

Pepin Distributing Company is awarded Dimension of Excellence Silver Award.

1984

Pepin Distributing Company wins Dimension of Excellence Gold Award

1985

Pepin Distributing Company wins Ambassador Dimensions of Excellence award and maintains this stature throughout the life of the program.

1986

Art Pepin becomes the world’s oldest heart transplant recipient.

Pepin Distributing Company employs 164 employees.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as an Ambassador

1987

Sales top 5 million cases.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as an Ambassador

1988

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1989

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1990

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1991

Pepin Distributing Company is named Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler of the Year.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1992

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1993

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

1994

Pepin Distributing Company sales surpass 6 million cases.

Pepin Distributing Company is recognized as Dimension of Excellence Ambassador

Pepin Distributing Company starts carrying CBA Brands

1995

Anheuser-Busch discontinues the Eagle Snacks division.

1996

Pepin Distributing Company acquires Ybor Gold Brewery Brands.

1999

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) names Bob Ammon, Glenn Arose, Randy Garcia, Bill Gieseking and Jim Hackman as directors.

Sales exceed 7 million cases.

Pepin Distributing Company relinquishes the distribution rights of Ybor Gold Brewery Brands.

2001

Pepin Distributing Company acquires distribution rights to the Modelo Brewery products, which includes Corona Extra and Corona Light.

Case sales top 8 million cases.

Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver.

2002

Anheuser-Busch introduces Michelob Ultra.

Pepin Distributing Company ranks 32 among Tampa Bays Top 100 Companies as reported by the Business Journal of Tampa Bay.

Wayne Metziere is named a director.

The company announces plans to relocate and build a new 241,000 square foot facility.

Pepin Distributing Company employs 251 employees.

2003

Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver.

2004

Pepin Distributing Company employs 275 people.

Construction begins on the Pepin Heart Hospital at UCH.

Budweiser Select is introduced (November).

Responsibility Matters campaign is launched.

Anheuser-Busch introduces Bacardi Silver Limon and Low Carb Black Cherry.

2005

Pepin Distributing Company moves into its new facility on 50th St. and MLK Blvd.

Pepin Heart Hospital opens.

Michelob ULTRA Amber is introduced (February).

Construction begins on TPepin’s Hospitality Centre.

Pepin Distributing hits 10 million case mark at the end of the year.

2006

Anheuser-Busch becomes the importer of Grolsch and Tiger beers.

Anheuser-Busch begins to distribute its first ever liquor beverage, Jekyll and Hyde

2007

Anheuser-Busch partners with InBev.

Budweiser and Bud Light Clamato Chelada are introduced.

Pepin Distributing Company partners with Gasparilla to be the official sponsor for the next 3 years.

TPepin’s Hospitality Centre opens (April).

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) names Randy Garcia Vice President.

Total number of brands distributed by Pepin Distributing Company grows to 73 brands.

Anheuser-Busch introduces Land Shark for the Florida market.

Anheuser-Busch’s Jacksonville Brewery introduces Tarpon Spoon specially for the state of Florida.

2008

Pepin acquires the distribution rights for the portfolio of brands from InBev which include Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Bass, Beck’s and Boddington’s.

Anheuser-Busch merges with InBev to create the world’s largest producer of beer.

Pepin Distributing Company diversifies the product portfolio by adding the products from Nestle (Nesquik flavored milk, Juicy Juice, San Pellegrino, Aqua Panna, Perrier and Zephyrhills Spring Water), Twist Water, Active Water and Vidration.

Anheuser-Busch InBev introduces Bud Light Lime and Shock Top Wheat

Pepin Distributing Company obtains the distribution rights for the brands from Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Florida Beer Company and U.S. Beverage

J Paul Pepin rejoins the management team

2009

Pepin Distributing Company continues to diversify their product portfolio by obtaining the distribution rights with craft brewers that included: Magic Hat, Blue Point Brewing Company, Victory Brewing Company, Green Mountain Brewing, Drink Four, Margaritaville Paradise Teas

2010

Tom Pepin (Thomas Pepin) is named the Health Care Philanthropist of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Southern Tier Brewing Company, Polar Beer
Genesee Beer, Boylan Bottling Company – Vintage Soda Pop

2011

January, Pepin Distributing company partners with Cold Storage Brewing, Tampa’s second craft brewery. Brands include Florida Ave Ale, IPA and Blue berry.

January, Pepin Distributing expands the portfolio of brands to include DNA energy drinks and DNA beef jerky and meat sticks products.

April, continuing to expand into the craft beer market, Cisco Brewers joins the Pepin Distributing team. Brands include Grey lady Ale and White Tail Pale Ale.

April, consumers who are seeking products that have relaxation ingredients can now Enjoy Marley’s Mellow Mood Teas and Sodas.

May, Pepin Distributing aggressively expands the craft and non alcohol portfolio of products to include Krombacher USA, Arizona Teas, Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water, Dads Root Beers and Cream sodas, and Capitol Brewing brands.

June, Pepin Distributing enters into the Spirits business with Dos Lunas Tequilla. There are three brands, Dos Lunas Silver, Dos Lunas Reposado, and Dos Lunas Anejo tequilas.

November, Pepin Distributing obtains distribution rights for Tampa Bay Brewing Co.

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Silver Award

2012

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Silver Award

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Green Flash Brewing, Pensacola Bay Brewing
Frog Hair, SweetWater Brewing, Company

2013

Pepin Distributing Company undergoes a huge facilities expansion, increasing its distribution warehouse space by 56% and refrigerated draught cooler by 64%, bringing the total space to 334,000 sq ft.

One million cases of the Modelo brands sold

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Steven’s Point, Brewery, Bold City Brewery

2014

Randy Garcia is promoted to President of Pepin Distributing Company.

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: 3 Daughters Brewing, Aviator Brewing, Coppertail Brewing, Darwin Brewing, Pair O’ Dice Brewing, Rapp Brewing

2015

Pepin Distributing Company gets Top National Corporate Award from Keep America Beautiful

Pepin Distributing Company wins Constellation Brands National Wholesaler of the Year Award

Pepin Distributing Company receives Gold Crown Award South Business Unit from Constellation Brands

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Gold Award

Pepin Distributing Company receives Ambassador of Excellence Most Improved Award

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Shipyard, Sea Dog, Hidden Springs, Silverking, Wine Stream, Wild Ginger

2016

Pepin Distributing Company wins Constellation Brands National Wholesaler of the Year Award

Pepin Distributing Company receives Gold Crown Award Southeast Business Unit from Constellation Brands

Tom Pepin is recognized as the Lightning Community Hero – uses awarded funds to benefit Pepin Academies

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: lysian, Golden Road, 10 Barrel, Saint Somewhere

2017

Pepin Distributing Company celebrates 50th anniversary of sales, marketing and service in Tampa market place

Tom Pepin is inducted into Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame Class of 2017 – Only the 5th second generation father /son recipient in the history of the award

Hillsborough County Commission recognizes Team Pepin for the Hurricane Irma relief and community effort

Pepin Distributing Company obtains distribution rights for the brands from: Islamorada, Six Ten

2018

Pepin Distributing Company acquires craft and import brands from Brown Distributing in the Tampa market place. Portfolio grows by 23 breweries.

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