The business you know today started four generations ago...
In 1945, L&E Bottling Company had only two trucks, five employees and produced classic American soft drinks out of a 5,000‑sq. ft. warehouse. In 1961 the product line was expanded to include Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Gatorade and Squirt. Today with 75 employees and a 60,000 sq. ft. warehouse, L&E focuses on distribution and still primarily carries Pepsi Brands, Dr. Pepper Brands, and more than a dozen other major products. The majority of the company’s bottled and canned products are produced at Pepsi Northwest Beverages in Tumwater, WA. L&E Bottling Company is proud to be a 4th generation family-owned and operated business serving Thurston and neighboring counties with the distribution center and main offices in Olympia, WA.
Want the full scoop? It involves ice cream! L&E Bottling Company, Inc. is owned and operated by the Charneski Family. The Company was founded by Luellen Charneski’s parents, Louis and Ellen de Moise in 1945. Their association with soft drinks came before then through a company called Forget Me Not Products, founded in the late 1920’s by Raymond de Moise, Louis’s father. Louis and Ellen were one of the three partners who were distributors of beer, ice and ice cream, as well as soft drinks. They separated from the partnership to become the sole owners of L&E Bottling in 1945. The frozen foods division of Forget Me Not Products was sold to Darigold in 1954 and the beer rights were sold to Hagermann Distributing, which then became Link Bros. Distributing.
In 1945, L&E Bottling had two trucks, five employees and produced Pepsi, 7‑UP, Nesbitt Orange and Hires Rootbeer out of a 5,000‑sq. ft. warehouse. In 1954 they expanded into Aberdeen/Hoquiam, but eventually sold the Grays Harbor area. In 1958, L&E Bottling purchased the Pepsi‑Cola franchise rights to Thurston County and a major portion of Mason County from Glaser Beverages, which later became Alpac Corporation. The product line was increased further in 1961 by acquiring Dr. Pepper, Canada Dry and Squirt from Cammarano Bros.
The Chehalis production facility was only capable of producing bottles in glass, and eventually plastic, so with the inception of the Columbia Beverage Company Co‑Op in 1976, all L&E Bottling canned products were produced in Tumwater, Washington. The Chehalis production facility continued to operate until 1983, but then became strictly a distribution warehouse. Today, the majority of L&E Bottling’s bottled and canned products are produced at Pepsi Northwest Beverages, formerly Columbia Beverage Company.
With the increase in population and commercial growth in Thurston County, L&E Bottling moved the distribution center and main offices to Olympia, Washington in 1989. The company operates with a fleet of more than 70 vehicles, 75 employees and a 60,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Products still primarily include Pepsi Brands, Dr. Pepper Brands, and more than a dozen other major products.