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Breakthru Beverage signs deal for new Middletown HQ

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Breakthru Beverage Delaware headquarters is headed to Middletown, bringing 90 jobs with it. The company is currently on Churchmans Road. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

MIDDLETOWN — Top alcohol wholesaler Breakthru Beverage announced Monday it has reached an agreement with MRP Industrial on construction of a state-of-the-art headquarters in Middletown.

The new facility off Levels Road includes expanded loading areas and pick modules, conveyors and in-line palletizers to meet peak season demands. It also includes a 30,000-square-foot cold room of storage for a growing beer portfolio and 25,000 square-feet of office space.

With 285,000 square feet of space, it will nearly double its current storage capacity at its current location in New Castle.

“Year over year, our volume has grown and in order to keep serving our supplier and customer partners at peak efficiency it was necessary to seek out a larger, more sophisticated warehouse to meet business demands,” Breakthu Executive Vice President of Delaware PJ Horgan told the Delaware Business Times. “Overall, the new facility will allow for more optimized fulfillment and faster, more agile services for customers.”

Breakthru Beverage’s move to Middletown would bring 60 office employees and 30 additional staff for peak operations. Earlier plans with town officials suggest that the headcount could eventually grow to as many as 250 jobs. While Horgan did not elaborate on specific job figures tied to the Middletown headquarters, it was planned to run all sales, warehouse and office operations out of Middletown.

“We expect to expand our team once the new facility is up and running. Exact numbers are still being determined,” he said. “The investment in the new Delaware facility reinforces Breakthru’s commitment to long-term growth and performance for its business and that of its supplier and customer partners.”

Other added advantages the new headquarters will have over the current Churchman’s Road location is direct access to the U.S. Route 301, as well as a centrally located site within the state that will be in close proximity to airports both in New Castle and Kent counties.

Although COVID-19 has hit the alcohol industry in different ways a can shortage to the tune of 10 billion cans through the end of 2020 — wholesalers are seeing sales skyrocket as more people opt to stay home instead of dining out.

Breakthru Beverages declined to give specific year-over-year data of sales volume of beer moved, but Horgan confirmed there was an increase in peak sales month in 2020 in the First State.

Furthermore, Breakthru Beverage in Delaware celebrated big wins like sealing the deal with Boston Beer Company, so that it would be the name distributor of its complete portfolio, including Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, Twisted Tea, Truly Hard Seltzer, and more.

“While on-premise [consumption] has been down, we continue to see robust business on the off-premise with consumers staying home,” Horgan said. “Breakthru continues to make strategic investments in the beer category. Here in Delaware, that includes expanding our dedicated beer team including hiring additional dedicated beer professionals across the state.”

Breakthru Beverage’s Middletown headquarters is expected to be completed next year. Once the company opens its doors, the Churchman’s Road property will hit the market. 

“Breakthru’s expansion in Delaware is a prime example of promising growth and level of investment we are committed to across all of our markets,” Greg Baird, Breakthru Beverage Group President and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We are focused on long-term value and performance for our supplier and customer partners and will continue to proactively seek opportunities that optimize our operations and drive results.”

By Katie Tabeling

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