In 1932, a young traveling salesman named Milt Odom stepped off a steamboat in Juneau, Alaska full of ambition and dreams of making his mark on the last frontier. A year later, Milt formed Odom & Company, an independent broker selling bourbon, liquor, coffee, tea, spices, meats, candy, and other dry goods.
In 1937, after meeting with Coca-Cola’s Chairman of the Board, Milt seized a unique business opportunity. He acquired the Coca-Cola franchise rights for one dollar.
Throughout the next few years, Milt also acquired distribution franchises for several other popular sodas. And in the early 1950s, Anchorage Cold Storage canned its first Coca-Cola. It signaled the beginning of a new era in soft drink beverage distribution and established Anchorage Cold Storage as the major supplier of canned beverages in Alaska.
In the mid-1970s, Milt reorganized all of his business activities into what is now The Odom Corporation. The company had grown to more than 200 employees located throughout Washington, Idaho and Alaska and had expanded its product line to include beer, wine and spirits.
After Milt passed away in 1988, his three sons – John, Jim and Bill – took over the leadership of the company.
The three brothers worked closely with their father for years and continued his successful business model of building and maintaining relationships and treating people fairly. This approach continues to be the cornerstone of the company’s success today.
From 1996 to 2010, Odom began expanding its portfolio and territory through a series of acquisitions, expansions and joint ventures with other beverage distribution companies in the Pacific Northwest. Odom has grown and matured into one of the largest privately held companies in the Northwest. While the corporation has grown considerably, the core operations and values that made Odom an initial success have remained the same.
Odom's divisions and wholly-owned subsidiaries still operate today under the guiding spirit of Milt Odom.