Arden Hills Loses Business to Minneapolis (not the Vikings Stadium yet)

R.T. Rybak points out on The Mayor Blog that Minneapolis is growing revenue and creating jobs with beer. Among the beer related jobs wins for the city was the 2008 relocation of Minnesota’s largest beer distributor from way out in Arden Hills to the centrally located Mid-City industrial area near I-280 and 35W:

J.J. Taylor is the largest beer distributor in Minnesota, moving 7,000,000 cases of beer a year. The company’s roots are in Minneapolis — their predecessor began in Northeast in 1933, right after Prohibition ended — but in recent years, they had been based in Arden Hills. Then three years ago, they moved back into Northeast Minneapolis, into a much larger facility in the Mid-City Industrial Area that many people will remember as the old Dayton’s furniture warehouse, and have invested several million dollars to upgrade it.

J.J. Taylor is a good employer, too: their 245 employees (nearly half of whom are unionized Teamsters) earn an average of $56,000 a year, with good benefits. Not surprisingly, they have high seniority and very low turnover.

And they’re good citizens: they pay $14 million a year in federal, state and local taxes and play a big role in fighting underage drinking and alcohol addition.

Plus, a business’s moving from Arden Hills to Minneapolis is a direction that I like.

It turns out that J.J. Taylor’s Minnesota roots trace back to Northeast Minneapolis in 1933:

The Company has continued to grow since Joe began the business. In 1985, the Company acquired East Side Beverage in Minnesota. East Side Beverage began in the beer distribution business in 1933 in Northeast Minneapolis and was founded by two brothers who took to the streets selling Grain Belt and other local brands of beer from a model “A” truck.

From a Model “A” truck to the former Dayton’s warehouse on Industrial Boulevard is serious growth. You could fit quite a few Model “A” trucks in the 27,000 sq ft beer cooler within the 600,000 sq ft warehouse.

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