OUR HISTORY

Serving Arizona Since 1948

In 1948, Fred Kalil and his father, Frank, founded Kalil Bottling Co. in Tucson, Arizona.  The original building was on 5th Street and Frank and his wife lived in the house next door, their kitchen serving as the original syrup mixing room.

71 years later, Kalil Bottling operates out of four locations and across the southwest, with the support of more than 700 employees, 3rd and 4th generation family members, and a large truck and vehicle fleet. Today, Kalil Bottling distributes in a day what was once months' worth of business for the Good Guys at Kalil.

 

Major brands handled by Kalil Bottling include 7UP, bai, Squirt, BODYARMOR, RC Cola, Canada Dry, Snapple, C4 Energy, CORE Hydration + Organic, AMIN.O. ENERGY, Calypso Lemonades, Clamato, AriZona Tea, A&W Root Beer, ADRENALINE SHOC, Sunkist, Deja Blue Water, Alkaline88 Water, Big Red, Vernors, Diet Rite, Yoohoo, Cactus Cooler and more.

WHO WE ARE

John Kalil

PRESIDENT

John Kalil is a 3rd generation Kalil. All four of John's children work at Kalil Bottling, carrying on the family tradition that is a 4th generation family business.

A graduate of the University of Arizona and a native Tucsonian, John's roots have always been in Arizona. Growing up, he worked at Kalil in Tucson and spent part of a summer in Phoenix living in a motorhome with his dad helping to move the Phoenix warehouse to a larger location.

Even though he was born in Tucson, John really began to "see" Arizona after he moved to Phoenix in 1975. Shortly after arriving, he traveled to all corners of the state, visiting customers in towns he had never heard of. That is when his appreciation for "all things Arizona" really began to grow, as the state of Arizona grew.  

 

In the late 70's, his first trip to the Navajo Nation (originally expected to be 3 or 4 days long) lasted for 10 days, as he went from trading post to trading post introducing Kalil's products to a new market. Today, John manages Kalil's newest distribution facility in Tempe. 

John serves on the Board of Directors of the American Beverage Association, Washington, DC, and is the current  president of the Arizona Soft Drink Association. He is one of the original founders of both Phoenix Clean and Beautiful and Arizona Clean and Beautiful, and was the recipient of Beverage World Magazine's "Green Award" in 1993.

George Kalil

-IN MEMORIAM-
PAST PRESIDENT

George Kalil passed away on July 11, 2019, at the age of 81.  

George was a family man, an independent bottler, entrepreneur, innovator, University of Arizona basketball super-fan, and community leader.

George grew up in the soft drink industry, dedicating himself to the family business since the age of ten.  He took control of certain aspects of Kalil Bottling Co. as early as high school, worked his way up to Vice President in 1960, was named President in 1970, and ran the company until his death.  

Under George's tutelage, Kalil Bottling Co.'s operations expanded into all of Arizona, much of New Mexico, the El Paso area of Texas and the Durango area of Colorado.  With George at the helm, Kalil Bottling Co. became the first bottler in the country to offer a caffeine and sodium-free cola, a staple item on any grocery shelf today.

 

George served on the Board of Directors for the American Beverage Association in Washington D.C.  He was President of the Royal Crown Bottlers Association and served on the Board of Directors for the SevenUp Bottlers Association.  He was a founding member of both the Tucson Fiesta Bowl Committee and the Arizona Beverage Industry Recycling Program.

George was inducted into the global soft drink community's Beverage Industry Hall of Fame in 1992, and received many notable accolades over the years, including Beverage Industry's "Executive of the Year" in 1998, the Retail Grocers Association of Arizona's "Supplier of the Year" in 1991, "Arizona Small Business Person of the Year" in 1981, and the Exchange Club of Tucson's Golden Service Award in 1979.  He was inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

George was well-known as the University of Arizona basketball team's "Number One Fan," and one of the few fans to receive a championship ring when UofA won the NCAA National Championship in 1997.  He attended all home games and traveled with the team for 45 years, missing only 12 games in that time span.  Friends and family often said that George Kalil was married to Kalil Bottling Co. and that the UofA basketball team was an extension of his family.

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