Zadoc Marquis Lafayette Jeffreys in Goldsboro, North Carolina founded R. A. Jeffreys Distributing Company, originally called Jeffreys and Edgerton, in 1890. Jeffreys and Edgerton was a business that bought and sold produce, cottonseed, flower seed, vegetable seed, chickens and eggs.
In 1915, Zadoc’s two sons joined the family business and it was renamed Jeffreys and Sons. It was not until 1922 when one of the sons, Robert Alexander Jeffreys, went on a produce-related business trip to Norfolk, Virginia that the company’s future would include beverage distribution. While on this trip, Robert Alexander, discovered a popular beverage called Bevo, a “near beer,” distributed by Anheuser-Busch. He inquired about the distribution rights of this product and in 1923; Anheuser-Busch granted him the distribution rights for eastern North Carolina. In 1933, the United States Congress repealed the Prohibition Act and Anheuser-Busch granted Jeffreys and Sons the distribution rights to Budweiser and other brands distributed by Anheuser-Busch.
In 1963, Jeffreys and Sons reorganized and formed three separate corporations: Jeffreys Seed Company, Jeffreys Beer and Wine Company and Jeffreys Cabinet Company.
By then, Robert Alexander Jeffreys’ son, George Collins Jeffreys, had joined the business and began managing Jeffreys Beer and Wine along with his father. In 1964, they built a larger distribution center in Goldsboro, North Carolina to service the eleven counties that made up their beverage distribution territory. They managed the business together until Robert Alexander Jeffreys passed in 1968.
By 1974, George Jeffreys determined the business needed another distribution center and built one in Greenville, North Carolina to service the three and a half counties in the northern part of his territory.
George successfully built the business into a consistent leader in beer and wine sales. Before retiring in 1997, George oversaw the construction and expansion of new distribution centers in both Goldsboro and Greenville. George’s son, Robert Jeffreys, took the reins when his father retired and renamed the business R. A. Jeffreys Distributing Company, after his grandfather.
As evidence of its success, in 2005 and 2007 Anheuser-Busch bestowed its highest honor to the Greenville location as Wholesaler of the Year in North Carolina.
In July 2007, Robert Jeffreys had the opportunity to grow the family business and territory. He seized the opportunity by purchasing Eagle Distributing in Lumberton, North Carolina. Seeking continued growth, Robert purchased several more distribution companies in North Carolina. In September 2008, Robert acquired Jackson Beverage Company in Wilmington, North Carolina and in December 2008, he acquired both Atlantic Beverage in New Bern, North Carolina and Seago Distributing in Rockingham, North Carolina. In the Fall of 2010, Robert had an opportunity to grow his family’s business once again with the purchase of Harris Wholesale Incorporated in Raleigh, North Carolina. Robert finalized the purchase of Harris Wholesale Incorporated in early 2011, making R. A. Jeffreys one of the five largest Anheuser-Busch wholesalers by volume in the United States.
Today, R. A. Jeffreys distributes products by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), Corona Brands, Sweetwater and other suppliers across 36 counties in North Carolina. R. A. Jeffreys also distributes a variety of non-alcoholic products including Nestle, Taste of Florida and others. Robert actively serves the company as President and Equity Manager, while his sister, Leigh Jeffreys Fanning serves as Vice President.
As the oldest family-owned beer distributer in North Carolina, R. A. Jeffreys continues to grow by adding new product lines. As a distributor of ABI brands since 1923, R. A. Jeffreys has created many special relationships over the years. These relationships define a philosophy shared by both ABI and R. A. Jeffreys, because “Making Friends is Our Business”.
From all of us here at R. A. Jeffreys, we look forward to sharing an ice-cold beer with our Friends, including you!