From small beginnings in Martin, Tennessee, to distributing beverages across 85 counties in five states, the Clark Group of Corporations has served their communities through volunteer work, charitable donations, and stewardship for their neighbors.
History of the Clark Group
The Clark Group of Corporations began in 1903 as a small soda water operation located in the rear of a drugstore in Martin, Tennessee. It was founded by Carsie C. Clark, who was born in 1882 in Calloway County, Kentucky. He moved to West Point, MS around 1908 where he spent the rest of his career providing refreshing beverages to its citizens as well as expanding his interests into other markets in Mississippi as well as Kentucky. Working with his sons and later his grandsons he instilled in them the values of hard work, charity, fairness, and respect. Those values remain to this day.
Through 5 generations the company has remained an independently family-owned business. Today, they operate in large portions of Mississippi and Kentucky as well as parts of Indiana, Alabama, and Tennessee. They currently stand as the largest beverage distributor in the state of Mississippi operating in all or parts of 56 counties and one of the larger independent beverage distributors in the southeast.
Clark Beverage Group – Mississippi
The Mississippi division of Clark Beverage Group is headquartered in Starkville with other locations in Jackson, Greenwood, Senatobia, and New Albany, providing jobs for over 600 Mississippians. This corporation has franchises with the Coca-Coca Company, Dr. Pepper Company, Monster, Body Armor, MolsonCoors, Minute Maid Juices, Heineken USA, and Boston Beer Company, just to name a few.
Five generations of Clark family members have served at the forefront of Clark Beverage Group, and nearly 120 years later, the company’s commitment to their community is at the heart of everything they do.
Giving Back to the Community
With one of the company’s largest distribution centers based in the Starkville community, the Clark family has shown continuous dedication to the communities they serve through leadership roles and charitable giving in the Golden Triangle as well as the other markets they serve across the northern two thirds of the state.
Chief Executive Officer Robert Clark said, “It’s my generation’s responsibility to take the reins and continue the work of those that came before us. Leaving things better than we found it – for our dedicated employees, our customers, consumers, and our local communities.”
With a focus on youth development and welfare, health and wellness, education, the arts, economic and community development, and community disaster relief efforts, Clark Beverage Group supports many community efforts through public service, sponsorships, and volunteerism.
Over the years, Clark Beverage Group has supported local organizations such as Starkville Rotary, OSERVS, and the Palmer Home for Children, just to name a few.
Additionally, Clark family members Harold, Albert, and Robert have served as Chairmen of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership chamber board of directors and in various positions of leadership.
“Striving for the goal of making our community better has been one of the reasons I think we have been so successful. We want to continue to make an impact on the next generation,” Robert added.
Recognition for Service and Excellence
In 1997 the company received the R. Clay Simmons Exemplary Enterprise Business of the Year Award from the Greater Starkville Development Partnership highlighting their years of dedication and involvement within the Starkville community.
In 2015 Clark Beverage Group was awarded the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority Industry of the Year Award recognizing the company as one of the top industries within Oktibbeha County.
Rehabilitation Association of Mississippi named Clark Beverage Group, Inc. Employer of the Year in 2016 for its efforts in the AbilityWorks Program. Through its partnership with AbilityWorks, the company has hired employees through the program that do not sign or lip read but are able to communicate via text messaging.
Providing not only beverages, but quality products and customer service while upholding strong family values to make the community better, Clark Beverage Group sets a standard within the Starkville community that continues to make an economic and sustainable impact on our city and community.