Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo’s Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one county beer distributor to a top 10 statewide beer, wine & spirits wholesaler. With 330 employees and 3 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, and Traverse City, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

Our knowledgeable staff works with our customers to fulfill our passion statement “Helping People Succeed,” by building profit and identity in their restaurants and retail locations through the selection of fine wines, craft beers, ciders, spirits, sodas and mixers from our diverse portfolio.

Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo’s Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one county beer distributor to a top 10 statewide beer, wine & spirits wholesaler. With 330 employees and 3 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, and Traverse City, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

Our knowledgeable staff works with our customers to fulfill our passion statement “Helping People Succeed,” by building profit and identity in their restaurants and retail locations through the selection of fine wines, craft beers, ciders, spirits, sodas and mixers from our diverse portfolio.

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Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo’s Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one county beer distributor to a top 10 statewide beer, wine & spirits wholesaler. With 330 employees and 3 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, and Traverse City, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

 

Our knowledgeable staff works with our customers to fulfill our passion statement “Helping People Succeed,” by building profit and identity in their restaurants and retail locations through the selection of fine wines, craft beers, ciders, spirits, sodas and mixers from our diverse portfolio.

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Family Owned & Operated

Purchased by Joseph A. Cekola (Big Joe) in 1984 and taken over by his son, Joe, in 1994, Imperial Beverage has been family owned and operated for over 30 years.

 

Joe Cekola, President of Imperial Beverage
email: jcekola@imperialbeverage.com
cell: 269-207-4025

 

Larry Cekola, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
email: lcekola@imperialbeverage.com
cell: 269-207-6739

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STATEWIDE BEER, WINE, & SPIRITS

Imperial Covers Every County, Every Week, All Year Long!
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STATEWIDE

BEER, WINE & SPIRITS

Imperial Covers Every County, Every Week, All Year Long!

DEDICATION TO CUSTOMER SERVICE

Our Proven Process is how we go to market and work with our customers. We follow it each and every time we open a new account and throughout our relationship with them.

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DEDICATION TO CUSTOMER SERVICE

Our Proven Process is how we go to market and work with our customers. We follow it each and every time we open a new account and throughout our relationship with them.

KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE

Our sales staff, drivers, warehouse associates, and office staff are highly trained and certified. We are proud to boast one of the most educated staff in the industry and are continually expanding our skills.

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Staff with Wine Certifications
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Staff with Beer Certifications
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Forklift Certified Staff
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Commercial Licensed Drivers
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Staff with Wine Certifications
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Staff with Beer Certifications
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Forklift Certified Staff
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Commercial Licensed Drivers

DIVERSE PORTFOLIO

Our Portfolio of over 6,000 SKUs offers something for every customer. We work with our customers to produce the right product mix for their business, with tailored portfolio evaluations to identify and establish profit centers within their business and suggestions that are always prepared with integrity.

1933

Established by Walter S. Berry at the end of prohibition, later led by Jack & Bud Berry

1984

Purchased by Joseph A. Cekola (Big Joe) from Scope Investment Company, once owned by William John Upjohn

1933

Established by Walter S. Berry at the end of prohibition, later led by Jack & Bud Berry

1994

Joe Cekola, son of Big Joe, takes the reins of the growing company

2000

Elite Brands of Michigan becomes part of the business with Bradford & Gerry Hammerschmidt, expanding the delivery area to statewide

2009

Further acquisitions grow our portfolio (Estate Wine & Spirits, Leone Imports, South End Beverage)

2015

Imperial relocates our Southeast facility from Plymouth to Livonia and opens a new cross-docking facility in Traverse City

1984

Purchased by Joseph A. Cekola (Big Joe) from Scope Investment Company, once owned by William John Upjohn

1995

Imperial moves to a new facility on Manchester Road

2005

Imperial acquires Craft Distributing

2012

Imperial moves to a new facility on Emerald Drive, ensuring growth through 2020

2017

Imperial obtains an ADA certification and begins distributing spirits statewide

1994

Joe Cekola, son of Big Joe, takes the reins of the growing company

1995

Imperial moves to a new facility on Manchester Road

2000

Elite Brands of Michigan becomes part of the business with Bradford & Gerry Hammerschmidt, expanding the delivery area to statewide

2005

Imperial acquires Craft Distributing

2009

Further acquisitions grow our portfolio (Estate Wine & Spirits, Leone Imports, South End Beverage)

2012

Imperial moves to a new facility on Emerald Drive, ensuring growth through 2020

2015

Imperial relocates our Southeast facility from Plymouth to Livonia and opens a new cross-docking facility in Traverse City

2017

Imperial obtains an ADA certification and begins distributing spirits statewide

GIVING BACK

The Joseph A. Cekola Memorial Fund

Joseph A. Cekola’s (Big Joe’s) eldest son Nick is developmentally disabled, and was his closest confidant and friend. Big Joe valued the family unit, and worked tirelessly to keep his family intact, despite doctors’ recommendations to institutionalize Nick.

This unwavering support of family and others’ circumstances (especially those in similar family situations) lead to the Cekola children establishing a fund at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation in their father’s name. The Joseph A. Cekola Memorial Fund offers support to families of the developmentally disabled, and is just one way that the people behind Imperial work to support our communities.

PRESS

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Awards

Merchant du Vin Distributor of the Year

• 2015 & 2016 •

Wente Distributor of the Year 2002

Wente Legacy Award, Tier 2 2012

Wente Legacy Award, Tier 1 2016

Craft Beer Distributor of the Year 2010

Tasters Guild Associate of the Year 2012