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Clare Rose Inc. Featured in Food and Drink

Clare Rose Inc., a Gray customer, was featured in the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of Food and Drink. Food and Drink is a quarterly magazine that provides in-depth editorials, essential news, best practice profiles, trends and R&D across the food and beverage industry.

Privately owned by the Rose family and headed by a third generation, Clare Rose Inc. is one of the largest beer distributors in the United States, dominating a number of markets including Long Island’s Suffolk and Nassau counties. Although predominately an Anheuser-Busch distributor, the company expanded their portfolio in the 1990s to include craft and imports as well as non alcoholics such as energy drinks, high end waters and old fashion soda pop.

GNF Architects and Engineers is providing Architecture and Engineering Design. Gray Construction is providing Construction Management and LEED management and application. When complete, this project will be submitted for a LEED certified facility. If you have beverage plant construction needs or are interested in additional Clare Rose project information, please contact Phil Seale, Vice President, Manufacturing and Food & Beverage Markets at

Please read the Food and Drink article below.

Business Blossoms

Clare Rose Inc. attributes its success to faithful employees, long-term relationships and a strong connection to the local community. By Kathryn Jones

What began as a small soda distribution business in eastern Suffolk County, N.Y., with two people, has evolved into Long Island’s prime supplier of Anheuser-Busch and Heineken. Today, Clare Rose Inc. has 42 managers and more than 300 employees that ship out more than 11 million cases of beer each year.

Senior Vice President Ken Meyer attributes the company’s growth to the relationships it has established in the nearly 75 years it’s been in business and to the loyal employees who made it a success. Meyer joined Clare Rose as one of the truck drivers 40 years ago and rose through the ranks to senior vice president. He says the company has always operated as a tight-knit family with an open-door policy.

Family Business

Clare Rose was founded in 1936 by Clare F. Rose, an Army Transport Service Captain who expanded the soft drink business throughout the post-war building boom that spread across Long Island in the late 1940s. In 1948, Rose and his wife Millie were approached by Piels and Budweiser to distribute their beer. The Patchogue, N.Y.-based company’s decision to enter the beer distribution marketplace catapulted its growth, and even after three generations of family management, Clare Rose has never looked back.

The couple had two sons, Mark and Ric, who came into the business in the 1960s as the second generation of management. Today, the third generation is led by Chairman and CEO Sean Rose. 

Clare Rose experienced its first growth spurt in the 1960s, when it added western Suffolk County to its market territory for Anheuser-Busch and began operating a driver-salesman model.

The company’s drivers and the salesmen had dual roles, with the drivers taking their own orders and working on a commission basis.

This established loyalty, Meyer explains, and Clare Rose grew significantly as the drivers established new partnerships with clients that have evolved into long-term relationships.

Clare Rose had another growth spurt in the I990S, when it added Nassau County to its Anheuser Busch market territory; expanded its portfolio to include Heineken, Amstel and Beck’s; and opened a second warehouse in Melville, N-Y.

Today, the Clare Rose’s operations cover all of Long Island, and the company enjoys the largest market share in that borough, Meyer says.

Green Wholesaler

It’s not enough to be the largest Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in Long Island – Clare Rose also wants to be the greenest. In 2009, the company began construction on a new, state-of-the-art, 269,563-square-foot facility that will seek LEED certification.

Other green initiatives include:

  • Retrofitting its entire fleet of trucks with a fuel-saving device that reduces emissions by 28 percent and fuel consumption by 7,800 gallons
  • Upgrading its I08,000-square-foot facility with energy-efficient, motion sensor lights
  • Recycling 73I tons of aluminum, I4 million tons of glass, I53 tons of plastic and I million tons of cardboard; and
  • Building a wildlife refuge on an 88-acre landfill that houses a bald eagle sanctuary

Meyer says the Clare Rose staff will move into the facility in September 2010.

Community Contributor

Customer relationships across Long Island have made Clare Rose what it is today; as a result, the company likes to return the favor by giving back to community, Meyer says.

Clare Rose is committed to educating the public on the hazards of drunk driving and spends more than $100,00 a year promoting responsible consumption, Meyer says.

As a member of the National Beer Wholesale Association, “We’ve supplied an educational DVD to about 25 high schools, which was very effective in helping high school students make the right decisions;’ he notes.

As a member of the New York State Beer Wholesalers, the company participated in an anti-drinking and driving campaign. “The tagline was ‘Get Picked Up.'” Meyer remembers, “and it worked very well.”

    January 27, 2010

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

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