In 1948, Fred Kalil and his father opened the doors to Kalil Bottling Co. in Tucson, Ariz. The father-son team ran the company until it was handed down to Fred Kalil’s two sons, George and John, who now lead the bottling company and employ fourth-generation family members — making it not only a business, but a family tradition. Despite the many challenges that face a family-owned and -operated independent bottler, Kalil Bottling Co. demonstrates continued success because of its strong team and ever-evolving portfolio of products.
George Kalil was just 10 years old when he started his first job at the family business, spending every Saturday and his summers at the Kalil Bottling facility sweeping, organizing bottles and filling the bottle-washing machine. As a high school sophomore, he began working full-time delivering carbon-dioxide cylinders. Then, in 1970, he assumed the role as president, and under his leadership, the company’s net sales have grown from $400,000 to more than $190 million, he says.