Eagle Rock CEO Discusses Move to Norcross Area
The beverage distribution company in Stone Mountain looked in DeKalb -- which "has been great to us," its CEO said-- to expand. But in the end, a facility off Best Friend Road in the Norcross area was the right fit for the expanding business.
Sitting on about 11 acres in Stone Mountain, Eagle Rock Distributing Co. has been outgrowing the space it first took up in 1989 on Beverage Drive in Stone Mountain.
Over the last six or seven years, the beverage distribution company has put $8 million into retrofitting the space. The company has added onto its facility three separate times.
“The short story is we’re out of space,” CEO Steve Economos told Stone Mountain Patch. “We can’t expand our building any more.”
“If we were on 30 acres, we’ d still be where we are today,” he said.
The company also wanted to consolidate its Dalton and Stone Mountain facilities into one operation. Between the two, Eagle Rock employs about 300 people.
The perfect new spot would end up being in the Norcross area of Gwinnett county. Eagle Rock plans to move in the latter part of 2013.
"This location, I feel, will still be a boost to the city of Norcross for possible new jobs and for supporting the area businesses," said Rusty Warner, the director of Norcross' Economic Development told Norcross Patch.
“DeKalb County has been great to us,” Economos said, adding that the company looked to expand in the county, but “our number one optimal position was where we’re ending up” – near Spaghetti Junction, just outside the Norcross city limits at 6205 Best Friend Rd.
Eagle Rock serves a total of 19 counties, including DeKalb, Gwinnett, Rockdale and Cherokee.
Emory Morsberger, president of the Stone Mountain Community Improvement District, says there is room in DeKalb for better economic development efforts. The CID has a goal of creating 2,000 new jobs by the end of 2013.
When DeKalb county loses businesses to other areas such as Gwinnett, he said the effects are wide-reaching.
“It means [fewer] jobs here, [fewer] businesses here, it means a declining quality of life,” he said. “That is what we are seeing, money leaving DeKalb and moving to Gwinnett.”
Eagle Rock has added 500 new products to its portfolio, moving from strictly beer distribution until 2008 when it added some non-alcoholic products, then wine and spirits in 2010. Economos anticipates adding a few new employees a year.
After a couple of down years thanks to the economy, he said Eagle Rock “had a great year last year, and that kind of bumped us up to capacity.”
While Eagle Rock is “physically leaving DeKalb, we still service hundreds of customers in DeKalb,” he said.
Economos said Eagle Rock would continue to work with Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), where the company’s truck routes are used to pick up home medical equipment from donation sites and delivered to FODAC’s Stone Mountain facility.
And Steve Craine, Eagle Rock's recently-retired CEO, is on the Stone Mountain CID board of directors.
“We’ve built relationships with several organizations in Stone Mountain,” Economos said. ‘We still want to be involved. Our customers are very involved, and we want to continue to support them anyway we can.”
This article originated on Stone Mountain Patch.