Johnston Beverage

Johnston Beverage is a beverage distribution company that stocks up restaurants and grocery stores. The company is family-owned, has been in business for over 71 years, and has 500 employees.


When Johnston Beverage first came to us, the senior management team was struggling with some of the decisions that the owner was making without consulting all of the directors. Communication and collaboration at the top were lacking and it was trickling down to the rest of the company. In addition, many of the senior managers were getting close to retirement age and they needed help mentoring the next generation of young leaders. Their financial success had gotten the better of them so they let their guard down. They were starting to have employee turnover and issues between employees that were costing them time and money.


Leadership realized that if they wanted to continue their longstanding success, they needed someone from the outside with a background in business to help them put better systems in place. 


The owners had been doing business as a family for three generations and their motto was, “That's the way we have always done it around here, so why change?” We had to be honest with the owners about where the company was financially versus where it would be in the future if they did not make necessary changes now. As with most of our clients, we had to teach them to think outside-the-box and create new systems and solutions. Once we established a rapport, they began to see that it was necessary to change, not for the sake of change, but for the sake of improving the overall company culture.


We then put together a set of core values for the organization, for all 500 employees to rally around. Sharing a common mission gives team members a sense of ownership and purpose within the company, which also boosts productivity. We then reviewed job descriptions, employee review statuses, and began to hold regular all-company meetings. All these practices created a unified company culture and positive work environment.


Johnston Beverage now has in place training programs to help them develop new leaders that are excited about the future of the business. Longstanding managers are now sharing their years of wisdom and encouraging the younger leaders to earn their rightful place. Employee turnover has dramatically reduced and the overall culture is a culture of accountability where people “love to come to work.”