About Us

Mission Statement

Our primary objective is to be a premier beverage and food service company in the markets we serve. To accomplish this objective, we aspire to be governed by the following beliefs:

Our employees, as individuals are our most valuable resource, and as a team, our source of competitive advantage. Both individual potential and teamwork must be developed through building a staff of highly skilled people that provide excellence in production, marketing, sales and service.

Our customers determine the fate of our organization. We strive to build and retain relationships with our customers by providing the highest quality goods and services in the beverage and food industries.

We must work as partners with our communities, making them better places to live. The communities in which we conduct business should feel that a meaningful contribution has been made by our presence.

In order to provide excellent financial results, we will work to produce a high level of profitability, emphasizing the proper balance between short-term performance and consistent long-term growth.

Chesterman Company History

Chesterman Co. has its production center in Sioux City, Iowa, with Iowa sales centers in Sioux City and Aurelia, Iowa sales centers in Sioux Falls, Yankton, Mitchell, Pierre and Watertown, South Dakota; Kearney, Nebraska and Macomb, Illinois.

Cilo Chesterman founded the company in 1872 in Dyersville, Iowa. Chesterman Co. was a pioneer in the bottling industry in the United States, making its own sweetened soda water. Unsweetened carbonated water was first bottled in Europe in the late eighteenth century and spread quickly to the United States in the mid nineteenth Century. It was thirty-seven years after soda water was first brought to this country that Cilo Chesterman started bottling it in Dyersville.

In 1904, as Cilo’s son, C.B. Chesterman, was taking responsibility at the firm. Cilo took what later turned out to be a most important step, he added a drink called Coca-Cola. The new product did not do well at first and was discontinued for three years. However, by 1919, both the bottling business, and the restaurant supply business were growing so rapidly that C.B. (his friends called him Ben, while everyone else called him C.B.) built a brand new facility on Bluff Street in Sioux City, Iowa.

By the 1940’s, the next generation of Chestermans was taking over the reigns of the company. C.B.’s son, Cy B., along with his sister, aunt, brother-in-law and cousin, managed the daily operations of the company for several decades. Cy B’s son, Cy W., began his career in management in the 1970’s and was elected president upon Cy B.’s death in 1989. Current management includes a fifth generation of the Chesterman family, Cy W. Jr and Jay Chesterman.

The original Sioux City franchise area has expanded over the years through several acquisitions. Since 1985, growth through acquisition has been rapid and steady. The total Chesterman Coca-Cola territories now include more than 900,000 people living in Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois communities. The Sioux City production center fills over 10 million units of bottles, cans, premix, and post mix syrups on four production lines.

In 1994, Chesterman Co. re-entered the fast growing bottled water category (the company had its own brand of bottled water in the early 1900′s) by acquiring a small water company in southern Minnesota operated under the brand name of Kandiyohi. Through a series of successful acquisitions the new company, Premium Waters Inc., now operates seven production centers producing all types of premium still (non-carbonated), spring, purified and distilled bottled waters for customers across the United States.

Premium Waters, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota sells five gallon, one gallon and smaller PWI bottle packages to customers ranging in size from individual homes up to the largest retailers in the country.

The total Chesterman Co./Premium Waters family of employees now includes over 1,200 individuals working hard every day to ensure our success.

History of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Sioux Falls

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Sioux Falls had its beginning in 1886 when two brothers, A.E. and Henry Dalton moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota from Lincolnshire, England. Their sole possessions were their recipes for “Ginger Beer” and “Lime Rickey”.

The Dalton Bottling Works manufactured mineral water and flavored soft drinks. In 1902, the brothers added a new and unproven beverage called Coca-Cola. The Daltons manufactured and sold Coca-Cola, along with their Sioux Beverages from 1902 – 1906, at which time they gave the losing brand, Coca-Cola, to the Fenn family, which was in the bottling, dairy, and candy business. In 1908, the Fenns returned the failing soft drink to the Daltons who managed the business until 1957.

Following the death of James F. Dalton in 1957, his son-in-law, John T. Nelson, managed the business until his death in 1982. J. Tom Nelson took over the management of the company following his father’s death.

In 1985, Chesterman Co. acquired the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Sioux Falls.

History of Keenan Beverage, INC.

In 1900, John Edward Keenan purchased a bottling plant located in the basement of the Kearney Post Office. He bottled product, sold, and delivered it in his wheelbarrow. When Mr. Keenan started to bottle Coca-Cola in 1911, he was delivering up to thirty cases daily in a wagon drawn by his horse, Bottle.

In 1928, Midway Coca-Cola acquired the Coca-Cola plant at North Platte, Nebraska. His son, James, took over the management of North Platte, while his other son, Harold, took over the management of the Kearney Plant.

Harold retired in 1976 and sold his interest to his two sons, John and Michael. In 1989, Chesterman Co. acquired Keenan Beverage, Inc.

History of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Macomb, Illinois

The Horn family was the original Coca-Cola bottling family in Macomb, having started in 1906. Frank (Pappy) Horn sold the Coca-Cola Bottling Company to Everett (Mick) Martin in 1974. With the help of his wife, Kass, Mick Martin established Martin Beverage Company. Both Mr. Martin and his wife were quite familiar with the beverage business. Mick served in various capacities in several Coca-Cola plants around the region. Mrs. Martin grew up as the daughter of a Budweiser distributor.

Following his father’s death in 1986, Mark Martin and his mother, Kass, assumed the management of Martin Beverage Company. Chesterman Co. acquired the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Macomb in 1992.

History of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Central South Dakota

In 1905, James Brown, William Abbot, and Andrew Ellwein purchased the Shubert Bottling Company and renamed it Mitchell Bottling Works. Mr. Ellwein purchased the interest of Messrs. Brown and Abbot in 1912. Mr. Ellwein sold Hamms Beer, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and high-grade candy throughout a sixty-mile radius territory. In the 1920’s the company had a fleet of three trucks, one for the delivery of candy and two for delivery of soft drinks.

After numerous additions to the Mitchell facility, Ellwein’s sons operated bottling plants in Huron, Pierre, and Watertown. Randall Foods, Inc. of Mitchell, South Dakota acquired the Ellwein family interest in 1979. At that time, Don Young, Richard Ellwein’s son-in-law, took over the management of the Coca-Cola Bottling plants.

In 1999, Chesterman Co. acquired Coca-Cola bottling Company of Central South Dakota.

History of Premium Food and Beverage

Sioux Falls, SD

Local Sioux Falls businessman, Gary Emigh, was owner of the full-line vending and catering company in Sioux Falls, Brookings, and Watertown. Empire Food & Beverage was not his first foray into the vending business. He had been involved in several other full-line vending and office coffee service businesses.

Emigh operated the Empire Food & Beverage Company for approximately ten years, during which time he divested himself of the Brookings and Watertown markets.

In 1997, Chesterman Co. acquired Empire Food & Beverage Company and later changed the name to Premium Food and Beverage.

Sioux City, IA

Gene and Percy Reynolds of Sioux City owned the vending company, “U-Select-It”, which ironically was also the name of the candy machines they used to sell 5-cent bars. Percy sold his interest to Gill Ford Bennett in the late 1960’s. In 1968, Henry and Esther Cole became involved in the business, leasing equipment to Bennett Vending Company.

In 1972, the Coles purchased the candy side of Bennett Vending, and they later expanded further by purchasing United Vending Company’s Woodbury County Route.

In April, 2000, Chesterman Co. acquired Bennett Vending, changed the name of its vending business to Premium Food and Beverage.