Great Bay Distributors was founded in 1968 by Claude & Nina Focardi and family. From its humble beginning, operating a tiny warehouse in St. Petersburg and carrying only three brands from a single supplier, Great Bay has grown into one of the largest beer distributors in Tampa Bay. Today, Great Bay distributes 350 beer brands from 40 brewers and operates from two large distribution centers – in St. Petersburg and Holiday, FL (West Pasco County).
The new St. Petersburg facility is over 280,000 sq ft and includes a much larger controlled environment warehouse and garage maintenance facility. The controlled environment warehouse, alone, is over 180,000 sq ft and includes a 23,000 sq ft keg cooler, allowing Great Bay to grow both its portfolio and business more than ever before. To help power the facility and stay environmentally conscious, Great Bay installed Florida’s largest private solar array producing 1.5 megawatts of power. This is enough to power an estimated 80% of Great Bay’s needs. The Holiday warehouse was also recently expanded and renovated to better serve West Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties.
“We love being in the beer business so we made these investments to carry on my grandparents’ legacy,” said Vice President Matt Sokolowski.
Great Bay is more than just warehousing and delivery. Great Bay’s 360 employees work together to service 3,500 retail customers. Employee responsibilities include forecasting, receiving, warehousing, delivery, administrative, technology, compliance, vehicle maintenance, marketing, advertising, in-store servicing, draft line cleaning, point of sales displays, signs, tastings, festivals and so much more.