Northern Bottling Ltd. fonds. — 1937-. — 4 photographs.
Northern Bottling Ltd. was founded in 1937 by Peter Orchuk who had worked in the soft drink industry for six years prior to coming to Grande Prairie. He started the business in the old livery stable building on the corner of 102 St. and 101 Ave. that was at the time the Oliver Farm Implement dealership. In 1937, Pete Orchuk was manager and Alec Sekora, who was a working partner for five years, was salesman. Three other employees were Mary Orchuk, Eva Sekora and Mike Sekora.There was (and still is?) a water well located there which was used for the bottling and washing purposes until 1951. In 1950 a new building was erected around the old one and then the old one was taken down.The bottles were washed, filled and inspected by hand, cases were filled and carried by hand and the one delivery truck was loaded by hand and deliveries made in Grande Prairie and close proximity. After returning from duty in the Canadian Army 1945, Pete purchased the interests of his partners and became sole owner. In 1962 and 1967 expansions to that building were made and in 1973 another addition was added to the south which stands on the old N.A.D.P. site next to the United Church. This housed the offices and production area and the old building was used for warehousing and shipping. In 1978 another building was built across 101 Ave. north of the plant and that was used to house vehicles and provide retail space.
Because Peter had experience working for Orange Crush bottlers in Edmonton, his first product was Orange Crush. By 1938, he had the official contract to bottle Coca-Cola. In 1976, Northern Bottling acquired the Canada Dry franchise. In 1982 their gross annual sales were in excess of $5 million wholesale and serving 650 businesses throughout the Peace Country. By 1987, Northern Bottling employed 36 people and Pete’s son, Ken, was General Manager with a fleet of 8 trucks and 4 salesmen and served the northwest corner of Alberta. As of 2007, Northern Bottling remains Grande Prairie’s oldest family owned and operated business with Ken Orchuk Junior at the helm. The company’s new location is in the industrial park located in McRae subdivision. No more bottling takes place. Product is presold and trucked in to be delivered to stores.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of a booklet recording the history of the company, a copy of “News Quencher” a Canada Dry magazine featuring a congratulations to Pete and Mary Orchuk on their 50 years in the business, 4 photographs of their buildings , and 2 news articles about Pete’s death in 1991.