Cherokee Distributing Company expands into Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee


Knoxville-based Cherokee Distributing Company has acquired Carter Distributing Company, the MillerCoors distributor for Southeast Tennessee. The addition of Carter’s territory expands Cherokee Distributing Company’s service area into Chattanooga and from 53 to 61 counties in Tennessee.

“Our companies share similar histories,” Cherokee Distributing Company President George Sampson said. “Both MillerCoors distributors and family-owned businesses, Cherokee Distributing was founded in 1958, and Carter was formed in 1959. Our company has grown significantly in the past 60 years, but our high standard of customer service remains unchanged. We have the hardest working team in the business, we’re dedicated to our employees, and we’re ready to bring our outstanding record of service to the communities in Chattanooga and surrounding counties.”

A leading distributor of top beer brands and non-alcoholic beverages, Cherokee Distributing Company is headquartered in Knoxville and has distribution centers in Kingsport, Cookeville, Tullahoma and Pulaski.

“We consider Cherokee Distributing Company a key partner in the success of our East Tennessee restaurants,” said restaurateur Randy Burleson, whose brands include Aubrey’s, Barley’s, Sunspot and Fieldhouse Social, among others. “From quality and management of inventory to efficient and reliable service, Cherokee Distributing’s team ensures we have the right products to complement our restaurant offerings and meet the needs and evolving tastes of our consumers.”

The acquisition became official Oct. 20, adding approximately 70 employees and 1,500 new retail customers to Cherokee Distributing Company. The company now will manage a distribution center in Chattanooga and serve the following counties: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, additional parts of Monroe, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie.

“The excellence of service provided by Cherokee Distributing Company is matched only by its distinction in philanthropy,” Knoxville Chamber CEO and President Mike Edwards said. “Cherokee Distributing is a vital business serving our communities and our state, as a major employer, by generating tax revenue, by fueling the hospitality and tourism industries and as a generous corporate citizen. Cherokee Distributing Company gives back to numerous organizations and events, and Tennessee is a better place thanks to their team.”

While many products overlap in the two companies’ portfolios, availability of some beer brands and other beverages will be specific to the respective regions. Cherokee Distributing Company is preparing an update to its website to reflect the additional territory and specific products to be distributed across the 61-county service area.

“We’re excited to help grow local brands like Big River and Chattanooga Brewing Company,” Sampson added. “There are many opportunities on the horizon, and we remain committed to offering a great work environment, delivering the highest quality products and serving our customers and the community with pride and excellence. We are happy to extend these core values to the employees, customers and residents of this new market area.”

Cherokee Distributing Company advocates moderate and responsible drinking. To learn more, visit www.cherokeedistributing.com.