A Centennial Celebration in Colorado!
During this time in 1915, the Coca-Cola Contour Bottle was in the early stages of becoming the icon it is today and also during this period, Western Coca-Cola Bottling Company contracted franchise rights with John Kellenberger of Durango, CO. Over the next five years, Frank Mapel, a bright young gentleman, became involved with the business while working in purchasing for the Gallup Mercantile Company.
The west was growing and it seemed like all businesses were booming, especially Coca-Cola franchises. So around 1948, when The Charles Ilfeld Company purchased the Durango Coca-Cola franchise from Mr. Kellenberger, Frank Mapel was named its President. As the business progressed, Durango Coca-Cola moved and expanded its plant to a new location under Mr. Mapel’s direction. Shortly afterwards in the early 1960s, Frank Mapel led a group that purchased the holdings of his employers at the Charles Ilfeld Company for the bottling operations serving Gallup, New Mexico and Durango, Colorado. Over the following years, the Mapels and Durango Coca-Cola grew and changed together.
In the late 1960s, another bright young gentleman – Don Mapel joined the business, serving in numerous roles ranging from warehousing, delivery, sales manager, vending manager, and eventually general manager. And the rest, shall we say, is history.
Today, Durango Coca-Cola boasts some of the highest per-capitas for Coca-Cola in the western United States and is the largest full line vending company in the Four Corners area, serving over 1500 customers. Don Mapel is a charter member of the Mainstream Council and also serves on CCBA’s Board of Governors. Don’s daughter Meredith Mapel, is the first woman to serve as President of the Mainstream Council. The Mapel family operation is three generations strong and looking forward to the next one hundred years in the markets they serve.
Here are a few more photos to enjoy!