Florence celebrates One Year on “First Friday”


“First Friday” of each month from March through December, Historic Downtown Florence comes alive with art, music, shopping, and entertainment for the whole family!

The October 5th First Friday celebrates the 200th anniversary of the City of Florence and the University of North Alabama’s first Homecoming as a Division I school.

This year, Florence Coca-Cola adds another special occasion to celebrate.  October 2nd is the first anniversary of Florence Coca-Cola joining the Coca Cola UNITED family of local bottlers across the southeast!  We’re proud to be a part of our Coca-Cola UNITED family and the Florence community, where we’ve been refreshing the Shoals area for the 110 years.   This is where we live, work, and serve- its home, and we’ll continue to deliver quality products to enjoy and provide excellent service with integrity and respect.

Florence Coca-Cola will park one of our “Big Red Trucks” and a Monster Energy truck in the center of Court Street; the area where we first began serving the Shoals and southern Tennessee in 1908.

Come visit us, learn more about your local bottler, enjoy refreshing Coca-Cola, and try even more beverage options we offer for our Florence family, friends, and community to enjoy!


Read on to explore the history of your local Coca-Cola bottler, Florence Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola UNITED.

In 1902, Russell and Arthur Pratt opened a Coca-Cola bottling franchise in Huntsville. The family then opened the first Coca Cola franchise in Northwest Alabama in Sheffield in 1906. The following year they crossed the river moving the bottling plant to the corner of Wood Avenue and Tennessee Street.

Florence Coca-Cola Bottling Company, local bottler, Florence Alabama, Coca-Cola UNITED History, Things to do

In 1908, after renovating the property formerly occupied by a milk company, the Pratt Bottling Company relocated to South Court Street, where Coca-Cola operations continued until 1998 (now, Comcast Cable). From 1948 until 1999, the two iconic Coca-Cola neon signs, facing two directions, towered over buildings welcoming visitors to the Shoals.

Florence Coca-Cola Bottling Company, local bottler, Florence Alabama, Coca-Cola UNITED History, Things to do

The Pratt brothers soon left Florence Coca-Cola in the care of Russell’s ex-wife Julia Pratt and the manager, Burt Snyder Russell went on to distribute Coca-Cola across most of the Pacific coast while Arthur took over Coca-Cola distribution in Newark, NJ and New York City. The Pratt Bottling Company remained family owned until it was purchased in 1940 by Walter Matthews Sr.

The Matthews family owned and operated the company as the Florence Coca-Cola Bottling Company; later becoming Coca Cola Bottling Company Southeast before being sold to Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated (CCBCC) in 1998. Consolidated later moved operations to the industrial park in Florence to distribute beverages for every occasion across North Alabama and Southern Tennessee for more than twenty years.

In October 2017, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED acquired Florence Coca-Cola as part of a nationwide refranchising effort to build a stronger Coca-Cola system of bottlers to better serve our consumers, customers, and support our communities.

Starkey Road, Alabama, Florence Coca-Cola Bottling Company, local bottler, Florence Alabama, Coca-Cola UNITED History, Things to do

Coca-Cola UNITED has an even longer history of bottling and distributing refreshing Coca-Cola products and community support in several Southeastern states.

Having purchased exclusive franchise rights to bottle and distribute Coca-Cola in Birmingham, Alabama in 1902, Crawford Johnson Sr. began serving Birmingham “with one employee, a mule named “Bird” and a foot-powered bottling machine.”

Bird the mule, Birmingham Coca-Cola, History, Coca-Cola UNITED


Today, the Coca-Cola UNITED family of local bottlers has almost 10,000 associates who serve consumers, customers and communities in six southeastern states.


Coca-Cola UNITED map of locations, local bottlers