DeCrescente Distributing Co. is expanding again, building new warehouse space in part to meet the growing demand for craft beers.
The company plans to hold a ground-breaking ceremony today for its proposed 45,000-square-foot warehouse addition on its current warehouse on the west side of routes 4 and 32, just north of downtown Mechanicville.
“We’re tapped out today,” Russ Teplitzky, executive vice president and general manager, said of the warehouse space, which totals 132,500 square feet in the main building as well as space in two other buildings that totals 5,000 and 23,000 square feet.
The expansion will bring more of the beverage containers under one roof as well as providing space to spread out the current products and add new ones.
“This isn’t just a ‘today’ solution; it’s a future solution of the company,” Teplitzky said.
The beverage distributor has been in nearly nonstop construction mode for about the last year and a half, having this summer opened two new buildings: a sales and marketing facility on North Main Street at the intersection with Route 67, and a point-of-sale and sign shop just behind the sales facility.
Now an older building next to the warehouse at the company’s main office is slated to come down, and the warehouse addition built in its place. The project is expected to be complete within six months, weather conditions permitting, Teplitzky said. The company hasn’t said how much it’s spending on any of its construction projects, but Teplitzky said DeCrescente is getting a competitive price because the building industry is still somewhat sluggish.
With the extra space, the company will be able to add individual products such as new craft beers, as well as new product lines that current suppliers develop. The distributor’s chilled warehouse area will be expanded from 10,000 square feet to 20,000 to meet supplier demand.
“A lot of our suppliers are looking to have their products kept cold,” Teplitzky said.
DeCrescente stocks 1,500 items in its warehouse and turns over 10 million cases a year. The company distributes major brands and craft beers alike, including Brooklyn, Coors, Guinness, Heineken, Labatt Blue, Lake Placid, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Miller and Sierra Nevada.
It also sells soft drinks, fountain soda, bottled water and canisters of beer gas (a blend of nitrogen and carbon dioxide) and carbon dioxide.
Its business has grown in the past 18 months, with 1.8 million cases added to its annual volume.
The sales and marketing facility that opened last summer has a 150-seat conference center, offices for district managers, an employee wellness center, gym and a pub for training purposes and company parties.
DeCrescente had a wellness center and gym before, but the new ones are roomier and more accessible to workers, since some people work in the same building as the previously segregated wellness center.
“Now you have people walking in every day,” Teplitzky said. “They’re able to walk right downstairs.”
The health center is staffed by a nurse practitioner.
The pub allows the sales staff to set up training programs with suppliers and retailers, showing them how the products could be displayed and used. With ample wood trim, leather chairs and cafe tables, it looks like a cozy, welcoming watering hole.
“We set it up as real as it could be,” Teplitzky said. “When you do the training, it’s as if you were doing it in the market.”