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Timber Country Coca-Cola president Bruce Hanna, right, and vice president of sales and operations Brian Stancliff work in the Roseburg warehouse on Friday.

When an opportunity came up to expand the Coca-Cola business headquartered in Roseburg, Bruce and Teresa Hanna decided to take a chance.

They have created a new name for their company, Timber Country Coca-Cola Beverages, and it has expanded throughout southern Oregon and into northern California.

The company is just starting construction of a new plant in Winchester to replace the current distribution center on Cecil Street, off of Mulholland Street in Roseburg.

It could be a big win, not only for the family, but for the Douglas County economy, as well.

At the same time, the Hannas have another big project. They have constructed a new Hampton Inn on Mulholland Street between their Coca-Cola plant and the Windmill Inn, which they developed with Bruce Hanna’s sisters, as Hanna Hospitality XII.

The old Windmill Inn has been torn down to make way for other projects to be developed on that site, which will be known as the Hanna Heritage Place.

The Hannas have made a major investment, and that’s a big shot in the arm for the economy of Douglas County, not just for the jobs it’s created, but showing other companies some reasons to locate in the area.

Bruce Hanna said the company started in Douglas County and he is adamant the headquarters will stay here.

“Even though we’re growing into the rest of southern Oregon, and into California, for 58 years Roseburg has been our home and headquarters, and they will remain here,” Hanna said. “That’s why we’re committed to the capital expansion.”

Hanna said their company was one of the smallest independent Coca-Cola bottlers in the country to be offered the opportunity to grow as they did. And that investment, he said, makes a statement that Douglas County welcomes new business and has a lot to offer.

“We’re proud of that, we’re proud to still be a family business and we’re proud to still be headquartered in Roseburg,” he said.

The expansion has meant more jobs in the Roseburg facility, as well as jobs in the other counties where the company has expanded.

Company-wide, Timber Country is at about 160 employees and as they grow into the areas they have acquired, they expect more job growth. About half of those employees work out of the headquarters in Roseburg and the Coos Bay-North Bend market.

Hanna, the owner-president, and his wife Teresa, owner and corporate secretary, bought the company in 1990, and they were able to hit the standards set by Coca-Cola, so they were considered as buyers for the franchises in Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake Counties in Oregon, and also Siskiyou and Del Norte Counties in northern California.

The Hannas are building their new distribution and headquarters building in the Back Nine Industrial Park near Interstate 5 at Winchester.

The new facility will include a 50,000-square-foot warehouse and 7,000 square feet of office space. That more than doubles the 22,000-square-foot plant at the current location.

Along with the distribution site in Roseburg, the company has a dry dock distribution center in North Bend and a 71,000 square-foot distribution center in Medford.

The Coca-Cola business was purchased by Hanna’s parents, Leroy and Betty Hanna right after the big blast of 1959 in downtown Roseburg, that destroyed the building and all the inventory of the old Coke plant.

“What they really bought was a piece of paper saying they could sell Coca-Cola,” Hanna said. “They got literally one vehicle that was not parked in the plant, so my parents really started Coca-Cola all over again.”

An investment of that size has its risks, but Hanna says they felt good about it.

“It’s the largest investment in the company’s history, so yes, it’s taking a big risk, but we’re comfortable with the risk,” he said.

The move by the company to keep its base in Douglas County, could send a message to other businesses that are thinking about locating in the area.

“I think it sends all kinds of positive vibes,” said Hanna.”This county is looking forward to somebody coming and doing responsible building projects, that are good for our county.”

Hanna said he has had a lot of help from the city of Roseburg on the Hampton Inn and other projects they are doing on that property. And the county, he said, has been extremely helpful in getting through the permitting process for the Winchester site.

Hanna predicts that it won’t be long before other companies begin to locate in the Winchester industrial area, and he feels the future is bright for Timber Country Coca-Cola Beverages and for the business climate in Douglas County.

“We chose to be here on purpose, we’re from here, we have everything we have, invested here,” Hanna said. “For people who want to live in rural Oregon and work for a reputable company, that has family wage jobs and benefits... come and see us. We’ve got a lot of jobs and we want rural and frontier Oregon to thrive.”

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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