Osage City beverage distributor celebrates 90th anniversary of business – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Osage City beverage distributor celebrates 90th anniversary of business

Flint Hills Beverage hosted the quarterly Osage City Chamber After Hours in conjunction with the company’s 90th anniversary celebration Sept. 21, 2023. FHB co-owner Casey Mussatto shared some of the history of the company, while Tyler Parsons gave a tour of the warehouse. Attendees enjoyed delicious refreshments and beverages.

Here is the history of Mussatto Bros. as provided by Casey Mussatto:

Mussatto Bros. was founded in 1933 by Victor and Joe Mussatto in Osage City. The company represented several Kansas City area breweries, the most well known of which was Muehlebach Brewing Company.

Cheryl and Casey Mussatto.

In 1942, representatives of Anheuser-Busch called on the Mussattos at their downtown Osage City office and warehouse and told them that their current wholesaler in the area, 7UP bottling of Emporia, was not doing a very good job. They told Victor and Joe that they had heard very good things about their service and reputation and offered them the distribution rights to Budweiser, which was a good brand but only 5 percent of the market at the time. The brothers asked about what they had to spend to get it and other details. When the representatives told them there was no additional investment, they decided to agree to take on Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser brand.

Victor passed away in 1944 and Joe continued to run the business. Victor’s son, Raymond, and his wife Juanita then bought out Joe in 1950. They owned and operated it through 1985. During that time, they also added Hamm’s Brewing and several other regional breweries. They grew the brands of their suppliers, and Anheuser-Busch added several other brands like Michelob, Busch, Natural Light and Bud Light.

Raymond and Juanita’s son Casey and his wife Cheryl Mussatto took over ownership in 1985. In the 1980s and 90s the advertising and promotional expertise of Anheuser-Busch improved significantly as well as the area’s population, and the market share of Mussatto Bros. Inc. grew from approximately 48 percent to nearly 60 percent.

In June of 2000, Casey and Cheryl along with Terry and Nina Dow purchased Campbell Distributors, in Manhattan, Kan., which were also Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in the Manhattan, Junction City and Ft. Riley area. Then, on Jan. 1, 2013, Mussatto Bros Inc. merged with Flint Hills Beverage. After the merger, the company became Flint Hills Beverage, named after the region it serves, and continues operations in both cities. Flint Hills Beverage is the leading beverage wholesaler in the Flint Hills region, distributing a large variety of high-quality beverage products representing Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Nestle, New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Talking Rain Beverage, Congo, Walnut River Brewing, and Odell Brewing, plus 40 other beverage producers.

Today, Flint Hills Beverage is the 5th largest Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in the state and serves 500 plus retailers spread over 15 counties and the people in the Flint Hills region who buy their beverage products.

“We are celebrating 90 years in business and want to thank everyone who chooses to buy the beverages we sell and for the efforts of more than 40 dedicated employees,” Mussatto said.

Information thanks to Osage City Chamber of Commerce.

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