The Pacific Northwest is known for its many legends. There is Harry Truman’s last stand on Mt. St. Helens, D. B. Cooper “vanishing” into thin air, and of course, there is Bigfoot lurking in the lush forests. However, the most valuable legends are those of the families who staked their claim to build communities across the region.
Bigfoot Beverages is an Oregon company rich in family tradition, steeped in community involvement, and an unwavering commitment to delivering quality beverages.
Bigfoot is the story of two long-time Oregon families: the LeFevre’s and the Moore’s. They entered the beverage business decades ago. Both discovered that they shared the same values, work ethic, commitment to the their employees, and support for their communities.
Lewis Fullerton, an orchard owner, from Winston, Oregon, opened Fullerton Beverage in Roseburg, in 1947. In the early 1970’s, as “The Pepsi Generation” was coming of age, Fullerton’s son in-law, Doug LeFevre, joined the family business. By working together with the many local people they employed, Fullerton and LeFevre grew their beverage business.
In 1969, William Moore had already had a distinguished career with Coca Cola, Portland Bottling Company and Alpac Corporation, when he bought the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Bend, that serves customers in Central Oregon’s Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, and Harney counties. William asked his son Peter to move to Bend in 1969 to lead the Pepsi business and, his brother Craig, joined the leadership team in 1974.
In 1988, the Moore and LeFevre families purchased the Willamette Beverage Company, which included Pepsi distribution centers in Eugene, Coos Bay, and Newport. Peter Moore was named president and general manager of the partnership, until he became chairman of the board in 2005. The companies would serve 10 counties and employ 300 people.
The company continued to grow under Peter Moore’s leadership. As Pepsi acquired other brands, the company expanded its reach with notable beverages such as Gatorade, Ocean Spray, Lipton and Aquafina. In addition, Moore added complimentary businesses to the entity, including Northwest Vending and Northwest Coffee Service.
Following in the families’ footsteps, a new generation took the helm of the Moore-LeFevre organization. In 2005, Doug LeFevre’s son in-law Eric Forrest, and Peter Moore’s son Andy, were named co-presidents of the company.
During their tenure, Forrest and Moore have held true to their respective family’s values and traditions as they continue to find opportunities and initiate programs to make their business more efficient in its delivery of products to their customers.
As an example, recognizing the ever-increasing cost of fuel and energy, Forrest and Moore instituted sustainable business practices. The fleet was converted to biodiesel fuel and hybrid vehicles are available to sales personnel. Electric forklifts and pallet jacks are used in warehouses, and a 450-watt solar electric system has been installed at the Eugene headquarters and distribution center. These measures have helped the environment and created significant savings.
Forrest and Moore have also expanded the brands the company represents. For the first time in its history, the company will distribute beer beginning in Fall 2012. In conjunction with adding beer to the roster, the entities were rebranded under one common name: Bigfoot Beverages. The name, Bigfoot, captures the variety and spirit of the brands it distributes. It projects the resourceful individualist living in the Northwest as well as the rugged and fun legend that Bigfoot offers.
As Forrest and Moore continue to identify opportunities for Bigfoot Beverages, Lewis Fullerton and William Moore probably had no idea just how big and varied a footprint their families and beverage distribution companies would make in much of Western and Central Oregon.