There are 64 independent Coke bottlers in the U.S. Six of those are in Minnesota and Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Company in St. Cloud, MN is the state’s second-largest Coke bottler/distributor. Founded in 1952 with company ownership transferring to the Faber family in 1966, Viking Coke has enjoyed community longevity and calling Central Minnesota home. This is our second feature in our St. Cloud Shines Sponsorship Series.
Energizing Central Minnesota
Literally and figuratively—a few years ago, Viking Coke invested in a water recapture program that is fed back to the city of St. Cloud, which can convert it into energy. It’s one of the ways the company continues to innovate to better serve its communities while collaborating with area key areas of business.
And then there’s the beverages—how Viking got its start when Joe Faber started his career with the company in 1966 as a sales and delivery driver—that make the iconic Central Minnesota brand what it’s known for.
Viking’s portfolio boasts over 60 flavors of Monster Energy Drinks for example—the bottler serves over one million consumers a year. Not only is Viking Coke a beverage distributor, but it also is a bottler and has an expansive production facility with capabilities of filling cans and bottles of soda in varying sizes. When Joe’s son Michael took over the business in 1998, he continued to drive the business forward as a way to honor his Dad’s legacy while recognizing opportunities in the market, including working with a local coffee bean roaster to develop Armada Coffee, a proprietary brand owned by Viking and distributed in over a dozen states.
Aside from its soft drink and beverage bottling and distribution business, it operates two complementary companies in Viking Beverages, a beer and craft beer distributor featuring Coors, Coors Light, and other brands, and First Choice Vending, a vending services operation installing, maintaining, and servicing vending machines across its service area.
Why St. Cloud Shines
When asked about what makes Central Minnesota one of the best places to recruit talent from, Darin Carlson, VP of Sales and Marketing was quick to say teamwork. He said the people of our community not only are quick to lend a hand or pitch in where needed but have the grit and work ethic to get it done. From Viking’s perspective, there are roles within the company that are labor-intensive and require hard work. That he said is tempered by fun—that Viking’s unofficial motto is work hard, play hard.
He said the Faber family has worked tirelessly for decades to support the communities they serve—not just Central Minnesota. Viking Coke has 13 facilities in central and northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, including:
- South Territory—St. Cloud, Willmar, Marshall, Hutchinson
- North Territory—Brainerd, Virginia, Fergus Falls, Alexandria
- East Territory—North Branch, Duluth, Ashland, WI, Rice Lake, WI, River Falls, WI
Mission, Vision, & Values
People are what makes Viking Coke … Viking Coke. A company with decades of dedication to helping businesses, communities, and its own team grow and thrive is surely a company with a bullseye on culture and service principles. Here’s how that commitment comes through to help Central Minnesota shine.
Viking Coca-Cola’s mission is to play a vital role in assisting our customers, consumers, and employees in surpassing their individual optimism of the future through inspiration, innovation, service, and making a difference with our refreshments. Our mission is driven by heart-filled action and our success is measured by the happiness of all who benefit from the solutions and beverages we provide.
Our vision guides our team’s behaviors and decision-making for the benefit of the consumers, customers, and communities we serve. We seek mutually beneficial solutions motivated by win-win decision-making. Our intent is to be the first choice for refreshment solutions because we conduct our business through delivering value, the right way, to all stakeholders.
- Integrity – Genuine people with honest intent
- Service – Acting with urgency, follow-through, and competence
- Passion – Enthusiastic and compelling belief in our products and services
- Energy – Initiating creativity, optimism, excitement, and fun
- Leadership – Innovative and inspiring solutions for a vibrant future
- Collaboration – Leveraging collective intellect
- Improvement – Listening, observing, thinking, learning, and being better
- Quality – It’s what we are and what we deliver
- Diversity – As comprehensive as our portfolio of products
A giant thank you from the bottom of our collective cups to Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Company for helping St. Cloud Shines in our mission to reach and connect the greater St. Cloud area.