Bink’s beverage distributors continue 116-year tradition

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Nick R. Bink, general manager of Bink’s Coca-Cola and Bink’s Wines & Beverages, holds a bottle of Coca-Cola in one hand and a bottle of wine from Robert Mondavi Winery in the other. The Bink family has been involved with the distribution of beverages in the local area for more than a century.

Editor’s note: The Daily Press features a profile of an area business each week. This week’s featured businesses are Bink’s Coca-Cola and Bink’s Wines & Beverages of Escanaba.

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By Jordan Beck

jbeck@dailypress.net

ESCANABA — For more than a century, the Bink family has been involved with the distribution of beverages in the local area. This tradition is continued today by a pair of businesses — Bink’s Coca-Cola and Bink’s Wines & Beverages.

Nicholas A. Bink — the great-grandfather of Nick R. Bink, who is the current general manager for both Bink’s businesses — established Bink’s Wholesale Liquor and Supply Company in 1903. However, the business’ focus changed later on.

“During Prohibition, he started bottling flavored soft drinks,” Nick said.

Bink’s started selling Coca-Cola in 1931. In 1936, it became the official Coca-Cola bottling company for the counties of Delta and Schoolcraft; in 1961, Bink’s bought the franchise to sell Coca-Cola in the counties of Dickinson and Iron, as well as areas in the counties of Florence, Menominee and Marinette.

The Bink family returned to the alcohol business decades later.

“In February of 2000, we purchased the wine business from Pryal Distributing Company in Escanaba,” Nick said.

The purchase came with the right to distribute various wines in the counties of Delta and Schoolcraft. A new business — Bink’s Wines & Beverages — was formed to handle these rights.

In 2001, Bink’s Wines & Beverages purchased a wine business from Four Seasons Distributing of Iron Mountain, giving the company wine distribution rights for the counties of Iron, Dickinson and Menominee.

Although Bink’s Coca-Cola did production work at its Escanaba facility in the past, this work has not been done there for more than a decade.

“December of 2004 was our last production run of bottling 10-ounce glass bottles,” Nick said.

Instead, both businesses now deal primarily with selling and distributing their products. Nick noted a large part of this work involves promoting new items.

“There are always new products coming,” he said.

According to Nick, despite the business’ name, Bink’s Coca-Cola does not deal solely with Coca-Cola products. It also distributes products such as Dr. Pepper, Bodyarmor SuperDrink and Monster Energy.

Bink’s Wines and Beverages distributes a wide variety of wines, including wines from Apothic Wines, Barefoot Wine, Robert Mondavi Winery and Yellow Tail Wines, among many others. Some of the non-alcoholic beverages distributed by the business include Arizona Tea products, Calypso lemonades and Cock’n Bull Ginger Beer.

Looking ahead, Nick said the Bink’s businesses will focus on extending its service areas, increasing the number of customers they serve and expanding their product lines.

“Our future is about (continued) growth and looking for more opportunities to expand — new products, new customers and new territory,” he said.

To learn more about the businesses, visit binksbeverages.com.

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