MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced that Manna Capital Partners plans to invest nearly $600 million to construct an advanced beverage production and distribution complex in Montgomery.
Manna Capital Partners, a minority-owned business enterprise and investment firm, said its Montgomery “beverage park” will create 280 full-time jobs and will be owned and operated by its affiliate Manna Beverages & Ventures (MB&V).
Louisville, Kentucky-based Manna Capital Partners, founded by Ulysses L. “Junior” Bridgeman, who starred with the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA, and Kevin Attkisson, concentrates on investment and acquisition possibilities across multiple industries, with an emphasis on sustainability and creating opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses.
“Manna’s significant investment in Montgomery and its commitment to supporting under-represented enterprises make the company a welcome addition to Alabama’s business community,” said Governor Ivey. “I know Manna’s leadership will find all the ingredients they need for success in our state and look forward to seeing how their growth plans unfold.”
MB&V selected Montgomery because of the state’s dedication to sustainable supply chain development, and the fast, direct access the location provides to Southeast markets. The facility, located at the Hope Hull exit off Interstate 65 in Montgomery, will encompass more than 180 acres in a new industrial park developed by Montgomery’s economic development team.
Making A Difference
“We are excited and proud to build our facility in Montgomery with our affiliate, Manna Beverages & Ventures,” said Manna Capital Partners’ managing partner Junior Bridgman. “Our goal is to be the leading total beverage supply chain company in North America while operating with the highest quality, sustainable capabilities needed to produce beverages for world-class brand owners. MB&V fills the gap for major brands who want to be asset light, nimble and make a difference in their communities by hiring minority and women-owned businesses.”
The MB&V beverage park will include a 1.7 million-square-foot production facility capable of producing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic products, along with distribution operations. The first bottles are expected to come off the line in 2025.
MB&V is working closely with a sustainability consultant to incorporate as many sustainability features as possible into the facility’s design. Through this facility, MB&V is committed to reducing its carbon footprint, minimizing landfill use and impact, and plans to use renewable energy when possible.
The Montgomery facility will include a research and development center with a bottling line that will provide entrepreneurs, with a focus on women-owned and minority businesses, a place to test new products.
Manna Capital Partners created MB&V to be a full-service supply chain partner for national and regional brand portfolios, with an intense focus on startups. It will offer beverage companies a comprehensive beverage packaging platform, combined with warehousing facilities.
Contract packing, or co-packing, allows brands of all sizes to sustainably outsource the production and packaging of their products. The market value of this specialized industry was estimated at over $52 billion in 2019, with forecasts calling for that figure to more than double to $119 billion by 2025.
“The U.S. beverage packaging market is expanding rapidly, and we’re happy that Manna has selected Alabama as it moves to capitalize on this trend with its large-scale manufacturing and distribution operation in Montgomery,” said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. “This project has solid growth potential and will have a tremendous financial impact on the region.”
Significant Economic Impact
Leaders in Montgomery said Manna Capital Partners’ investment will generate a significant economic impact on the region, creating careers and opportunities for residents and entrepreneurs.
“As a community committed to closing the racial wealth gap, Montgomery is proud to partner with an entity like Manna Beverages & Ventures,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed. “Not only will they be an asset to world-class brand owners, but they will continue to invest in sustainability and impact-oriented opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses.”
“We are honored to have Manna Beverages & Ventures choose Montgomery County,” said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Doug Singleton. “We know the trend of phenomenal growth in the food and beverage market will continue to soar not only for them, but also for those in our communities with whom they have made a significant investment.”
Cedric Campbell, chair of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, said close collaboration between economic development agencies made the project possible.
“Partnership and teamwork are key to this kind of economic growth, and we are grateful for the impact this kind of investment will have on the entire region,” he said.