Our Story

Our Story

We're celebrating 80 years of excellence!

Heidelberg Distributing Company is celebrating 80 years with a commemorative book: a tribute to our history, as well as featuring our exceptional team of Associates.

After turning these pages, you’ll find our Associates cultivating partnerships and relationships, while sharing the great wines, beers and spirits we get to sell. There is a form to collect your comments or memories with us for our special celebration!

 Click here to view the book online

Our History

Heidelberg Distributing is a family owned and operated company that markets and delivers beer, wine, spirits and non-alcohol beverages to retailers in Ohio and Kentucky. Products on Heidelberg trucks come from local suppliers and from suppliers all over the U.S. and the world!

Our roots are humble. Albert W. Vontz, a 22-year-old German immigrant, arrived in Cincinnati in 1907. He was a trained brewer and soon invested his money in two local taverns. After Prohibition ended, he helped open Cincinnati’s Vienna Brewery but eventually sold his shares to his brother-in-law.

When breweries started selling beer beyond their own neighborhoods, Albert drove a truck every day from the Heidelberg Brewery in Covington, Kentucky to deliver the popular Student Prince beer to grocery stores and restaurants in Dayton. The brewery closed in 1946, but Vontz kept the Heidelberg name and found new beer and wine products to distribute.

His only child, Albert Vontz Jr., returned from World War II as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and became active in the business. With a degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati, Al looked for opportunities to expand, and the firm has been growing ever since.

In the 1950’s, wine products represented a large part of the operation’s sales. In 1959, Al traveled to St. Louis to meet with the famous August Busch, and he ended up purchasing the Anheuser-Busch branch in Cincinnati for $25,000. In 1961 he purchased the Dayton Budweiser distributorship from another wholesaler. Albert Vontz Jr. passed away in 2002, but not before the company had grown substantially through mergers, acquisitions and industry consolidation.

We've grown from "one man" and "one truck"  

Heidelberg is comprised of nine warehouse and office facilities located in Cincinnati (two companies), Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lorain, Toledo, Youngstown and Northern Kentucky

 1,600 passionate Associates

 18,000 beverages

 740 suppliers

 Two million square feet of warehouse

 300,000 square feet of cooler space

 Serving 26,000 retailers throughout Ohio and Kentucky

 

Our Vision 

Thriving, adapting and leading the way to be our customers’ #1 choice.

 

Our Mission

What better Mission Statement for a company that has a fighting lion on its crest? We represent products that celebrate life. We're in a highly-competitive industry that takes jungle-like thinking to stay on top. And everyone here is part of a team—or a "pride" as the lion calls its family.

 

Our Core Values

Teamwork
We value working together and we celebrate our successes with each other.

Communication
Our roar is heard through open, timely and relevant dialogue on a variety of platforms.  

Excellence
We compete aggressively to be our customers’ #1 choice and we strive for excellence in all aspects of our work.

Integrity
Our commitments are honored through a foundation of integrity and honesty.

Pride
We roar with passion, commitment and enthusiasm.

Knowledge
We provide added value to our customers through knowledgeable employees, who continually search for new information and ideas.

Family
We cultivate an environment in the workplace where everyone gets along and works toward common goals, much like a family.

Respect
We encourage each individual’s ideas, abilities and opinions.

 

Heidelberg Family of Companies

Sales teams operate independently of one another, representing portfolios of the finest alcohol and non-alcohol beverages in the world.

Cincinnati
Heidelberg Wine Division, Anheuser-Busch InBev Division

Cincinnati/Ohio Valley Wine & Beer Company
OV Wine Division, OV Beer Division

Cleveland
Heidelberg Wine & Beer Division

Columbus
Heidelberg Wine Division, Heidelberg Beer Division

Dayton 
Heidelberg Wine Division, Heidelberg Beer Division, Allied Wine Division, Anheuser-Busch InBev Division

Lorain (Goodman Beverage Co. dba Heidelberg Distributing)
Heidelberg Wine Division, Heidelberg Beer Division

Toledo
Heidelberg Wine Division, Walter Berman Wine Division, Heidelberg Beer Division

Youngstown (Ohio Wine Imports dba Heidelberg Distributing)
Heidelberg Wine & Beer Division

Ohio State-wide Sales Organizations
Wine Trends Inc. - Focusing exclusively on emerging and luxury wine;
Spirits Marketing - Focusing exclusively on high-proof liquors and liqueurs

Kentucky (Heidelberg Distributing of Northern Kentucky, Inc., dba Heidelberg Kentucky)
Heidelberg Wine & Spirits Division, Heidelberg Beer Division

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